Ryerson to school NHL players

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By Brad Whitehouse
Biz & Tech Editor

Ryerson’s list of applicants will look a little more like the NHL draft this year.

The Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) has partnered with the NHL Alumni Association to introduce a program called BreakAway exclusively

for current and former NHL players. The program was launched in December to school NHL players on skills they could need when they retire.

“The era that I played in, the players were very conscious of what they would do after their careers were over because the salaries weren’t such that you would be able to retire after playing hockey,” said Pat Flatley, director of BreakAway and NHL alumnus.

He said “the game has changed” since players now sign multi-million dollar contracts, but they need to know how to manage themselves so their bank accounts don’t dry up.

The program offers four courses to players that include personal finance, leadership, privacy law, marketing and personal branding.

But students shouldn’t expect to be sitting next to an NHL all-star in lecture. The courses will be taught entirely online with a mere 15 hours of material, and must be completed within six months.

Players are not required to take all four courses and the program isn’t degree-granting.

Marla Spergel, a marketing professor, said the courses are more of an introduction to basic business topics since most players stop going to school after high school. Spergel said players are marked on quizzes and reflection papers.

The courses are meant to fit in with the busy schedules of current players who are on the road. Flatley said at least 30 players have already enrolled in the course, but would not disclose the names of any students.

Photo: Marta Iwanek

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