Hit The Ice is back for its 5th season on APTN, where 29 indigenous Junior hockey players vie for spots on Canada’s Junior team and U.S. Colleges. John Chabot, former NHLer, is coaching during the Hit The Ice elite hockey training camp. He let CraveOnline readers in on the process.
CraveOnline: For those who don’t know, what is Hit The Ice?
John Chabot: It’s a hockey-based reality show for indigenous kids, and what we try and do is, if these kids have fallen through the cracks at the first go around, we try and give them another shot. The idea is to have them understand the importance of hard work, not just in hockey but in what they choose to do. We try and get them in and run them through a professional hockey camp, and we bring in NHL players, give them insight into what their lives are like, and what their stories are. We want the kids to have a good time doing it and make friends.
What is your role on the show?
I’m the host as well as a coach, and I run the on-ice portion.
How did the idea for this show come about?
Producer Jason Brennan and I had a conversation eight or nine years ago. We had worked on another show by another production company and talked about different projects, and we thought maybe we would try and have a program for first nations’ kids and make it a reality show. Jason took the idea and ran with it, and I got a call back four or five years ago saying, “Let’s get ‘er going.” Now we’re in our fifth year, filming our sixth year in Winnipeg this summer. We didn’t know how long it would last, but we’ve got five seasons and it’s gone pretty well.