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What they said: Quotes on Curt Giles

By Star Tribune, 02/07/15, 5:36PM CST


Current and former players, former teammates, fellow coaches and hockey observers weigh-in on Edina coach Curt Giles.

Current and former players, former teammates, fellow coaches and hockey observers weigh-in on Edina coach Curt Giles.

“The first time I went to see him, I arrived late. I saw a player on the other team lying on the ice. His stick and gloves were scattered around him. It was the aftermath of a collision with Curt, who was this little, sawed-off guy.”
Bruce McLeod, former Minnesota-Duluth athletics director and WCHA commissioner

“I got him out of class and told him that his father died. Curt handled it beyond his years. I drove him home and attended the funeral. He had two younger sisters and he contemplated staying home. But his mother would not hear of it. She told him to think of what his dad would have wanted.”
Bruce McLeod

“We had guys who would party and guys who were quiet. Curt was quiet. He might say, ‘Come on, boys,’ but really he led by his work ethic. As soon as I got the puck, I’d throw it to him and I knew we were fine. And I never saw anybody with a better hip check than Curt. He’d look like he was beat, then his hip would come out and the other guy went flying.”
Stan Palmer, former Minnesota-Duluth teammate

“His open ice hits … he was like [NFL safety] Jack Tatum. At the same time, he could move the puck and had a good sense for the game.”
Gordie Roberts, Elk River coach and former North Stars teammate

“He was a small guy in a big game but his play never deviated. He was as consistent and dependable of a player as you could want.”
Lou Nanne, former North Stars general manager

“There weren’t many games where Curt didn’t show up to play, whether we were playing at home, on the road or back-to-back. There weren’t many guys you could say that about. He played with passion. He cared deeply and that’s why players looked up to him.”
Craig Hartsburg, former North Stars teammate

“His type of stoic leadership is not valued today as much as in the past. There’s an expectation now that even if we’re not sure what we’re doing, we should be doing something. He was a strong presence on that [1991 Stanley Cup finals] team. His performance didn’t vary. That’s what helped turn that team around.”
Bob Gainey, former North Stars coach

“He teaches the kids to win. He makes them believers and they don’t expect to lose. And if you look at his teams, no one is better conditioned. They maintain the pace throughout the entire game, just like the 1980 Olympic team.”
Lou Nanne

“He showed up earlier this season to watch when Patrick and Wisconsin-Stout came to play Hamline.”
Pat Regan, father of 2009 Edina graduate Patrick Regan

“After I got hurt, one of the first calls I got the next morning was from him. He said he wanted to make sure I would still be a huge part of the team my senior year. He said, ‘We’ll figure it out as we go.’ That was awesome because I was devastated.”
Zach Budish, 2009 Edina graduate

“When I got hurt before my sophomore year he told me, ‘Hey stuff happens but you’ll get through it.’ He supported me and gave me a sense of hope I could hang onto no matter how grim things looked. He can be hard on you but he absolutely cares.”
Parker Reno, 2013 Edina graduate

“One of his players this season had a discipline issue and the family wanted to talk to Curt. They came in with their son and sat down. Curt said to the kid, ‘I only care about you and how you fit in with our team.’ The parents were floored but later they were OK with it.”
Brian Lawton, former North Stars teammate

“I think the Edina job is easily the biggest pressure-cooker in the state. The standard is a state championship and that’s it. That job would chew me and a lot of other coaches up and spit us out.”
Ken Pauly, Benilde-St. Margaret’s coach

“The passion in that community is pretty intense – in a good way. Curt has come to the forefront in that community. He persevered and the whole program benefitted.”
Lee Smith, Eden Prairie coach

“Curty is one of the coaches I respect the most. He’s a man of his word and he’s a disciplined guy. I’m a poor sport but for whatever reason I can handle losing to Giles.”
Bill Lechner, Hill-Murray coach

“Everyone that I’ve played with in past years has made an effort to come back to into this locker room and say hello to the coaches, so obviously they are doing something right.”
Dylan Malmquist, Edina senior forward

“He’s the best high school hockey coach in the state and I’m thankful to play for him.”
Ben Foley, Edina senior defenseman

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