Innovation for Life.

Professional and Olympic Athletes: Hockey

Joe Nieuwendyk

Joe and Sam Bock met in 1993 on the sprint track in Calgary where Sam was training Paragon’s bobsled athletes.  Sam provided Joe with off-season training to do in Ithaca, N.Y. to help him rehabilitate a knee injury. 

Joe introduced Sam to Gary Roberts, Craig Berube, who wanted to improve their speed and power, andAl MacInnis, who had missed half the previous season with dislocated hip.  

They, and others including Cory Stllman, all trained together for the summer with Paragon’s training programs, speed training apparel, and targeted nutrition that emphasized sport specific power/speed and regenerative nutrition to help them perform better and extend their careers.  In addition to hours in hot and cold tubs, they patiently endured hours of nutrition training concerning the importance of organic sources of essential fatty acids & other nutrients, as well as how to avoid pesticides, other toxins, and unwanted hormones.  They also learned which nutrients were important to muscle and central nervous system activity and recovery.  Over that summer after training Gary and Craig would take turns providing their houses for hot & cold tubs, lunch and power shakes for recovery.  They had strong seasons, and over the next 2 years all left Calgary to sign some of the first big contracts in hockey. 

Ultimately Nieuwendyk played 20 years, Roberts 21 years, Berube 17 years, and Al MacInnis 23 years.  Al Macinnis was awarded the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman at age 35.  

Craig Berube

Has since worked with Paragon frequently over the past 18 years both as a NHL player and coach.  Paragon became re-involved training professional hockey players after the 2000-2001 season when Craig decided he wanted to get faster in order to further prolong his career, as the NHL was becoming much faster and he had only played 38 games for the New York Islanders, and 22 games the season before that with the Washington Capitals.  

Craig was the first NHL player to use Paragon’s weighted shoe inserts in his off-season sprint training.  This helped him make the Calgary Flames at age 36 and play 66 games in the 2001-2002 season.

The following year Craig became the first hockey player to combine Paragon’s weighted skating with MSR split training.  The results he achieved were unprecedented.  After 17 years in the pros and at age 37 he improved his speed an amazing 6 meters down the ice, outskating Mikal Rynberg and many other great skaters in timed sprints in that summers training.  He went from being a slow skater to one of the fastest in just 8 weeks with this revolutionary new training equipment.  The following year he played 55 games for the Flames, including his 1000, which his friends in the NHL marked by giving him a Harley Davidson Fat Boy.

Career highlights: 17 years in the NHL, 1 of only 2 players w/ 1000+ Games & 3000+ Penalty Minutes (the other is Dale Hunter), helped coach the Phantoms to the 2005 Calder Cup and the Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. 

Gary Roberts

Long history with Paragon first began in the summer of 1993 when we first provided coaching, training programs and targeted nutrition, as discussed above.  Gary has since become the NHL’s most outspoken athlete on the importance of training, nutrition, and organic foods to performance.  

Due to its extensive environmental research, Paragon has always been concerned about heavy metal contamination in fish and pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements, as stated in Sam Bock’s 1999 Presentation to the Canadian Senate on toxins in the food chain.  Gary was the first NHL player to use many of Paragon’s advancements in metabolic testing.  This helped Gary and many other players after him to discover their own mercury poisoning from those fish oil supplements and other foods.  Paragon then designed nutritional interventions to detoxify these athletes and maximize their subsequent performance. 

“I’ve been buying my meat from Beretta Organic Farms since 2000.  In my work now as a hockey life-coach for elite young players, I supply them with an organic post-workout meal.”  As well, each of his players receives a nutirion package that includes an organic food choice list and organic recipes.

“If I hadn’t taken such good care of myself nutritionally, I wouldn’t have played until I was 43.  It was as much about what I did off the ice as what I did on it.”

Paragon helped Gary with much more than just nutrition.  In 2002, after Paragon had developed its first weighted running and skating programs, and with hockey becoming even faster, Gary began working with Paragon’s latest MSR training when playing with the Maple Leafs.  Craig Berube’s training success the year before (see above) provided Gary with the incentive to use Paragon’s weighted shoe inserts, and weighted skate training programs.  They enabled him to get into the best shape of his life, and in half the time.  He improved his speed down the ice dramatically (by 3 meters).

However these training and skating programs require lower skating mechanics, and Gary was still skating higher than he desired in his high-cut Graf 709.  Fitting Gary with proper skates had been a problem in his later career.  Invariably the newer, stiffer skate boots would overly restrict his ankles preventing him from getting into a lower more powerful skating position.  The following summer Gary trained in Missions in an attempt to get to a lower position.  However those skates left his legs too unstable, leading to excessive energy use and constant fatigue. 

In November 2003, he decided he needed to do something about his Missions, having scored practically no points until then.  He called Sam in to analyze his skating and to try to solve the problem.  It was quickly evident the skates provided no lateral support.  

To solve his problem, Sam worked with Graf’s chief skate designer to build a Paragon-designed Graf hybrid from 2 different models, that further incorporated a V-notch between the 4 & 5 eyelets to provide a skate that flexed to allow more effective dorsi-flexion required for a lower, longer more powerful stride.   Two weeks later Gary was skating in the Paragon/Graf 749 V-Notch.  Not only did this allow him to quickly turn his season around, he was also named to the All-Star Team for the first time in 11 years.  

(Side note: While Gary’s V-Notch skates allowed him to skate well, the V-notch in the 749 side walls would eventually cause the sidewalls to break down after about five weeks of constant pro use. At that time Graf had problems consistently aligning blades from one pair to another which led to groin strains each time Gary needed to switch into a new pair of skates, as his muscles needed to adjust for a different blade alignment with each pair.  Unfortunately Gary was never able to get a skate company to build him a proper skate after that.  After years of skate problems he was finally forced to retire.  This led to the search for a permanent, viable solution, that several years later would result in Paragon’s new skate patent.)  

Paragon also helped Gary to quickly recover form numerous injuries and prevented him from requiring hip surgery that may have ended his career three year earlier.

Later in the 2005 off season Gary developed chronic hip pain.  By August, for more than 4 weeks he had been having difficulty sleeping, could not push when he skated, and was limping when he walked.  He was diagnosed with a torn hip labrum by three different leading hip surgeons.  All said  he needed surgery to correct the painful problem.  He would have missed the first half of his season, possibly ending his professional career.

Paragon disagreed with the surgeons’ diagnosis, as Gary’s pain was not in the hip but on the very outside of his hip where a number of muscle tendons insert to the hip.  The symptoms he was experiencing were indicative of multiple muscle spasms due to over-zealous off season training that had created a debilitating and chronic tendonitis at the hip insertion.

Sam traveled to Gary’s home for one week of therapy and rehabilitation training.  Upon arrival Gary could not walk properly, no less skate.  A 15 minute hot bath followed by a 1.5 hour treatment of deep tissue massage immediately located several spasmed muscles, which were treated with massage, A.R.T., and hip mobility stretching.  This was followed by alternating hot and cold tub treatments to flush his tissues and reduce inflammation. 

He was able to sleep well that night, and the next day, after heat treatments and massage, started therapeutic squat training with no more than 85 lbs to re-strengthen his atrophied glutes and related skating muscles.  He also did a few other general strength exercise and some very light and slow interval-style skating.  This was followed by another hour of massage and stretching, followed by alternating hot and cold treatments.  

The following day the entire process of heat, massage, weights, skating, more massage, and hot and colds was repeated, but with slightly heavier 135lb squats, and slightly faster and longer interval skating.  The third day was the same with no more 185 lb squats and slightly faster and longer interval skating than in the previous session. 

The fourth day we repeated the entire process again, but took a rest day from weight training, and did more skating which was dramatically improved, with Gary capable of reaching 80-90% of top speed with no pain. 

On the fifth day we repeated the entire process again, but with slightly heavier 225 lb squats, and our first light sprints and longer faster interval skating.  At this point Gary was skating effortlessly.

On the six day we repeated the entire process again, but with slightly heavier 285 lb squats, sprint drills and a full out 2 on 2 scrimmage for 20 minutes.

Gary then resumed normal training at this point, avoided surgery. Two year later he became the oldest player in NHL history to score two goals in a playoff game.

Career highlights: 22 years NHL, All Star, 50 goal scorer, 1989 Stanley Cup winner, NHL record for oldest player (43) to score 2 goals in one playoff game.  Gary played over 1,200 NHL games in his career, recording 438 goals, 910 points, and a +/- of +229.

Al MacInnis

Al MacInnis joined the training group Gary Roberts had organized with Bock after Gary and Sam met through Joe Nieuwendyk in 1993.   MacInnis had dislocated his hip the season before and was interested in getting as strong as he could.  He was ultimately the strongest and most powerful of all the Calgary Flame athletes training with Paragon.  His 19 pullups, speed on stairs, and running on the track was the best of the group. 

He was also the first Paragon athlete to do weighted-skating – to further strengthen his hip.  This was Paragon’s very first experimental training with weighted skates, and we hadn’t yet learned it was necessary to skate with and without weight in the training sessions. Initially, when he removed the weights his skating timing was off a bit.  However, within a couple of weeks he had his normal timing back with much stronger legs and he had one of his strongest seasons, scoring 81 points in 75 games. The following year he signed with the St. Louis Blues for US$14 million for four years, making him the fourth highest player in the NHL.

MacInnis would play another 10 years, 23 NHL seasons for Calgary and St. Louis, finishing with 1,274 points, and ranking third all-time in goals, assists and points amongst defencemen.  An eye injury suffered early in the 2003–04 NHL season forced McInnis into retirement.

Career Highlights: 1989 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player of the playoffs after leading the Flames to the Stanley Cup championship. 13-time All-Star.  Winner of the Norris in 1999. Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.  Fourth defenceman in NHL history to score 100 points in a season.

He tied Bobby Orr’s Ontario Hockey League (OHL) record for goals by a defenceman, and won two OHL championships and a Memorial Cup with the Kitchener Rangers as a junior. MacInnis was most famous for having the hardest shot in the league. He famously split goaltender Mike Liut's mask with a shot. He was an all-star on defence as Canada won the 1991 Canada Cup, twice participated in the Winter Olympics, and was a member of the 2002 team that won Canada's first gold medal in 50 years.

Mark Recchi

Was introduced to Paragon by Craig Berube.   Re-signs with the Pittsburgh Penguins and begins working with Bock and quickly gets into great shape.  Already a good skater, Mark, then 39 years old used Paragon’s coaching, MSR sprint training, weighted skate training, metabolic testing & targeted nutrition to improve his speed and conditioning in an effort to extend his career. 

However he is looked over for the main line-up, is not playing regularly, and his shooting percentage drops to a career low of 5.6%.  Frustrated with how things are going, Sam suggests Mark start practicing sharp shooting with 50-100 pucks a day to get ready for his next assignment. 

In December Mark’s placed on waivers and is claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers.  In his first game against his former team, he scores the game-winning goal in a shootout.  He then scores 40 points in 53 games with Atlanta with a 14.4 shooting %.

After scoring 45 points in 62 games with the Lightning in the 2008–09, Recchi is traded at the deadline to the Boston Bruins. He scored his first two goals for the Bruins three days later.  On July 2, 2009, Recchi re-signs with the Bruins to a one-year deal and becomes the leader in points and assists among active NHL players.  Recchi serves as an alternate captain during the season, playing 81 of 82 games in the 2009–10 season.

During the 2010 NHL playoffs, Recchi becomes third oldest player to score a playoff goal, behind Chris Chelios and Gordie Howe, and also becomes the oldest player to have a multi-goal game in the playoffs, (breaking Gary Roberts record set 2 years earlier) when he scored two goals in a 5-4 OT loss to Philadelphia in Game 4 of the second round. After suffering defeat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers, instead of retiring Recchi re-signs with the Bruins for a further year. 

The next season Recchi scores twice against the Florida Panthers to get his 1,500th NHL career point.  Later that season, in Game 2 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Recchi, now 43, becomes the oldest player to score a goal in a Stanley Cup Final.  In Game 3 he scores the final two goals of his career.  Recchi also leads the team in scoring during the Finals series.  On June 15, 2011, Recchi becomes a three-time winner of the Stanley Cup and joins Frank Foyston, Jack Walker, Mike Keane, Claude Lemieux, Hap Holmes, Al Arbour, Gord Pettinger, Larry Hillman and Joe Nieuwendyk in winning three or more Stanley Cups with three different teams. 

Career highlights: 3 Stanley Cups. 7 All-Star games.  Second longest span between Stanley Cup wins (1991–2006), at fifteen years.  His 123 points (53 goals, 70 assists) in the 1992–1993 season is the Flyers regular season scoring record.  Oldest player to record 5 assists in a game on March 1, 2009, at 41 years, 28 days.  13th player in NHL history to score 1,500 points during his career.  Oldest player to score a Stanley Cup Finals goal on June 6, 2011, at 43 years, 126 days.   Second oldest player to hoist the Stanley Cup after Chris Chelios.  One of only ten players in modern day NHL history to win the Stanley Cup with three different teams.  One of just 11 players in NHL history to play in four decades ('80s, '90s, '00s, '10s) ... Scored ten-plus goals in 22 consecutive seasons and 15-or-more in 20 of the 22.  Is the 30th player in NHL history to have both 1,000 NHL points and 1,000 career PIMs.

Craig Conroy

Developed as a defensive specialist through much of his career, Conroy was twice a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward.  In 2001-2002 Conroy established himself as the Flames' first line center alongside Jarome Iginla. The pair developed good chemistry, and became best friends.  Conroy scored career highs with 28 goals and 75 points, while Iginla reached the 50-goal plateau for the first time and led the league in scoring.  Iginla credited Conroy for making his breakout season possible. Conroy was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy for a second time.

In 2002–03, Craig Breube’s final season with the Flames, Conroy was the Flames second-leading scorer in with 59 points.  Conroy wanted to keep playing as long as he could and after that season was introduced to Paragon by Berube.  Already a fast skater, Craig used Paragon’s coaching, MSR sprint training, weighted skate training, metabolic testing & targeted nutrition to improve his speed by a further 3 meters down the ice.  

Conroy was having another good year in 2003–04 when he suffered a torn knee ligament.  To fully recover as quickly as possible, he followed a special recovery program developed by Bock.  He was soon lifting 300lbs in the squat rack, and still finished second in team scoring when he scored 47 points despite missing 19 games with the knee injury.  The Flames qualified for the 2004 playoffs, their first trip to the post-season in eight seasons.  Conroy was a key player for the team as they upset the top three seeds in the Western Conference, the Canucks, Red Wings and San Jose Sharks en route to a heart-breaking seventh game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.  He finished second on the team in playoff scoring with 17 points.

Craig proved to have similar durability as other NHL players who learned Paragons training and nutrition systems.  He scored 542 points, played 1,009 games in 16 seasons in the NHL, and was the second oldest player in league history to reach that milestone. He scored his 500th career point on January 3, 2009, when he assisted on Todd Bertuzzi's game-winning goal in a 3–2 win against the Nashville Predators, and finished the year with 48 points.

Steve Montador

Was introduced to Paragon by Craig Berube when they played on the Flames together.  Already a very fast skater, Steve used Paragons coaching MSR sprint training, weighted skate training, and metabolic testing &targeted nutrition to improve his speed by a further 2.5 meters down the ice.  

Paragon also provided Steve with specially sharpened & polished skate blades with significantly enhanced glide for Calgary’s playoff run to the 2003 Stanley Cup Final.

David Perron

Was introduced to Sam Bock while they were both playing pick-up hockey in Montreal.  David had just turned 18 and had received a tryout with the Lewiston Maniacs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  David used Paragon’s metabolic testing & targeted nutrition and MSR weighted split training to get ready for his tryout.  David not only made the team, but became an overnight sensation, leading his team to the Memorial Cup, and in scoring, finishing with 83 points in 70 games: 39 goals, 44 assists, +37.  He was 1st amongst all QMJHL rookies in goals and +-  and was selected for Junior Team Canada for the 8 game series against Russia, where he finished 4th in scoring.  That summer St. Louis drafted him 26th overall in the 1st round.  A few months later at 19 he became the 3rd youngest player in Blues history to make the team.  Among 2007 NHL Entry Draftees, Perron is third in career points (behind Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner)  

Taylor Hall

The NHL 2010 #1 draft pick,is the son of Steve Hall whowas a CFL wide-receiver turned Canadian National Team bobsledder.  Steve and Sam Bock were team mates, training partners, and co-founders of Paragon.  Together they helped develop many of the top athletes to compete for Canada’s national bob program.  

Taylor owes his success to his father Steve, who was one of the most focused, hardest working athletes in sport.  Steve was also highly analytical, a natural coach, and self starter.  He only started playing serious football as a sophomore in college, and just a few years later was playing in the pros.  In 1987 he made Canada’s national bobsleigh team.  In 1990 Steve took on another new challenge and became a driver.  In 1992 he and Jeff Ingram set a world track record on the Calgary Olympic track in a bobsled designed by Bock and built by Bock and Hall.  It is still the only Canadian-designed sled to achieve that feat.  

Steve’s many accomplishments in sport are being upstaged by Taylor, who has been immersed in Paragon’s advanced training methods his whole life. He owes his prowess to his parent’s willingness to sacrifice and to Steve’s constant provision of the best coaching, speed training, and periodization from the time that Taylor was a young boy and first showed a genuine interest in sports.  In addition to his own backyard rink, Taylor had the same advanced athletic training and disciplined mental preparation that allowed many records to be set by Canadian bobsled athletes.  

At age 9, Taylor was the first child to use Paragon’s weighted shoe inserts.  The following year he used his advantageous speed to score 55 goals in 11 soccer games and 65 goals in his first serious hockey season.  As a 12 year old he was moved up to play with the 14 year olds.  Hall captured a Bantam AAA Calgary city championship with the North East Canucks during the 2004–05 season.  

Taylor first used Paragon metabolic testing and targeted nutrition when he was 14.  In 2005–07 Hall played Bantam and Minor Midget hockey for the Greater Kingston Predators of the ODMHA league.  Hall was named to the ODMHA Midget AAA All-Star team. After the season, Hall was the second overall choice in the 2007 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection by the Windsor Spitfires.

At 16 Hall made his OHL debut in 2007–08, scoring a team-high 45 goals and adding 39 assists for 84 points, third in team scoring.  He was named OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year after the season.

Hall also won gold three times in 2007-08, as a member of Team Ontario at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge; as a member of Team Canada at the 2008 IIHF World U-18 Championships where he was fifth in tournament scoring, with nine points in seven games; and as a member of the Team Canada squad at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

During the 2008–09 OHL season, Hall scored 38 goals and 52 assists for 90 points.  During the OHL playoffs, Hall had 16 goals and 20 assists, and won the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as Playoff MVP.  He scored the game winning overtime goal in the fifth and deciding game of the OHL Finals.  At the 2009 Memorial Cup, Hall recorded 8 points in 6 games, as the Spitfires defeated the Kelowna Rockets 4–1 in the final.  Hall was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Tournament MVP. 

Hall made Team Canada for the 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan, the lone draft-eligible player selected to the final roster.  He scored a hat-trick in an 8 - 2 win against Slovakia, and finished tied for 3rd overall in scoring with 6 goals and 6 assists in 6 games.

In May 2010, Hall helped lead Windsor to their second straight Memorial Cup.  Hall was awarded the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as Memorial Cup scoring leader, and his second straight Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, the first player in its history to repeat.

Taylor made his NHL debut on October 7, 2010, as the Oilers defeated their arch-rival Calgary Flames at Rexall Place.  Hall's first NHL point, an assist, came in his second game, against the Florida Panthers on October 10, 2010, Shawn Horcoff redirected Hall's shot in front of the net.  His first NHL goal came on October 28, 2010 against Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fred Meyer

Was introduced to Paragon by Craig Berube when he played for Craig on the Phantoms.  Fred used Paragonsweighted skate training, and metabolic testing &targeted nutrition to help improve his game, and make it to the Flyers.

Daryl Sydor

Was introduced to Paragon by Mark Rechhi.  Darryl used ParagonMSR sprint training,and metabolic testing &targeted nutrition.

Peter Forsberg, Richard Zednik, Radek Dvorak, Noah Welch, Karlis Skrastins, Ville Peltonen, and Hayley Wickenheiser

All used Paragon metabolic testing to improve their nutritional balance and performance.

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