Minor Hockey Moments - Tom Kostopoulos


While a member of the OHL’s London Knights, Tom Kostopoulos earned the nickname “Tommy Non-stopoulos” for his work ethic and despite his on ice intensity.


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The 28-year old native of Mississauga was drafted in the seventh round by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1999 entry draft. While a member of the OHL’s London Knights, he earned the nickname “Tommy Non-stopoulos” for his work ethic and despite his on ice intensity, is known to be a joker in the dressing room. Last season Kostopoulos earned a Gordie Howe Hat-Trick by registering a goal, an assist and a fight in a game against the Boston Bruins. After making his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kostopoulos had two-year run with the Los Angeles Kings after signing with their AHL affiliate, Manchester Monarchs, during the lockout and is now a fixture on the Montreal Canadiens.

When asked to name one coach that influenced his career Tom Kostopoulos couldn’t name just one. “You never hear the stories about the great coaches that so many players had growing up,” said the 28-year-old Montreal Canadiens forward. “Minor hockey means a lot to a lot of kids growing up.” Kostopoulos cut his proverbial hockey teeth at Dixie Arena, a real barn of a rink in Mississauaga, but has great memories from playing across the Toronto area. “A rink I really loved playing at was Chesswood Arena in Toronto,” said Kostopoulos of his home rink during his days with the famed Toronto Red Wings. “It’s such a great arena with the arcade and the bubble hockey.”

Like trying to pick just one coach that had a greater impact than others, Kostopoulos struggled with choosing just one memorable moment in his minor hockey career. “My best minor hockey memories were of tournaments, like the All Ontario’s and the Silver Stick,” said the former Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick. “The highlight was winning the Quebec ‘AAA’ peewee tournament when I was with the Red Wings, it was awesome.”  
Kostopoulos feels fortunate that throughout his whole minor hockey career, he never remembers his dad not being there. “I don’t think my dad missed a game,” he said. “If he couldn’t make it, mom always stepped in.” The elder Kostopoulos wasn’t your typical hockey loud-mouthed dad and preferred to send his message through silence.  “My dad wouldn’t really give me advice on the way home,” remembers Kostopoulos. He was more of a ‘you played good or ‘you played bad’ kind of guy.” “My dad never yelled at me, but he enjoyed yelling at the refs and I felt bad about that,” said Kostopoulos. “Minor hockey refs probably have the toughest job of all.”
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