"Development is the name of our game" might be the club's motto, but long-time Flyers president Peter MacInnis and his colleagues have made sure that development has never come at the expense of a youngster's enjoyment of the game.
"They know how great Mr. MacInnis
has been for as long as he's
been (with the Flyers).
Personally, I fell like I owe him a lot and I owe the whole organization a lot."
The Don Mills Hockey Association
was founded in 1960 for kids aged 8-17.
In 1968, the rep AAA clubs got permission from the Philadelphia Flyers
to use the Flyers emblem and the orange, black and white colours.
Tocchet, coincidentally, would go on to star for Philadelphia after learning the game as a Don Mills Flyer.
MacInnis joined Don Mills in 1975 as a coach after being recruited from the Toronto Olympics.
Over the years as coach, general manager and now president, MacInnis
has overseen one of the most respected organizations in minor hockey.
was awarded the Chamandy Award in 1998, the highest honour given by the GTHL
, for "outstanding service in the fostering and promotion of youth hockey in the GTHL
The 63-year-old has also won a number of other awards, including the Cooper Humanitarian award for service to youth and minor hockey in 2007.
MacInnis, the president of the Jennifer Ashleigh Children's Charity, which assists chronically ill children and their families, last coached at the Triple-A level in 1989, taking the Flyers bantam team to the finals of the All-Ontario Bantam Championships.
Unable to kick the coaching bug completely, MacInnis
still gets behind the bench in the North York Hockey League's
house league select program.
MacInnis takes pride at what he
has helped build and believes people want to associate themselves with the Flyers
because, in a way, the organization is unique.
"We're a little more old-fashioned here," MacInnis
says while watching a team of eager 12-year-old Flyers run through drills at a local arena.
"It's a little more peaceful here.