For offseason relaxation, what does a Stanley Cup winning assistant coach do? He plays hockey.
Little more than a week after returning home following the Chicago Blackhawks' title run, Jamie Kompon was back on the road to play hockey, in Santa Rosa. He is one of many Canadians on the Red Barn Ice Dogs, a top draw at Snoopy's 38th Annual Senior World Hockey Tournament.
"Hockey is a release for me. It's just a fun way to compete in a different setting," Kompon said. "The fans are great. Anytime someone comes out to watch you play other than the Zamboni driver gets you going."
Playing in the event's top division, the Ice Dogs, out of Long Beach, are among more than 60 teams playing over nine days at Redwood Empire Ice Arena. Games continue into Sunday morning.
The event brings together teams that mostly play pickup hockey year-round and occasional tournaments. Players range in age from 40 into their 70s.
"It's a competitive tournament, but there's a lot of camaraderie," said Mike Kovanis, the ice arena's hockey director.
Former college and the occasional professional players fill rosters of featured squads in the most competitive divisions.
"The hockey's great. There are some elite players," Kompon said.
Fitting the profile is Kompon with one notable difference — he has been a part of the past two Stanley Cup-winning teams.
"I'm very fortunate to have been in the right spot at the right time," he said.
As a player, Kompon did well enough at McGill University in Montreal to reach the professional ranks. He spent a season in the East Coast Hockey League and another in the German elite league.
For the past 20 years, Kompon has coached, including long stints with the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL.
Kompon was a top assistant during the Kings' campaign to capture the Stanley Cup in 2012. Then he moved over to the Blackhawks this past season to work with head coach Joel Quenneville, who led the Blues when Kompon was on the St. Louis staff.
Chicago completed its run to this season's Stanley Cup title with a six-game series win against the Boston Bruins. The matchup of "Original Six" franchises — league standard bearers — was much anticipated.
"One cup is special. To do two back to back, I don't even know what to say," Kompon said.
The Stanley Cup is particularly coveted among professional sports championship trophies. New cups are not made each year. Rather, winners keep the cup until a new champion is crowned.
All players, coaches, management and staff of the winning club each get the cup for a day. Teams are allowed to engrave 50 names on the cup's base.
Kompon's day comes in August. He will have the cup with his father and family, in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
"It's been an incredible 14 months," Kompon said.
Before preparing for a third run at the cup, Kompon returned to his offseason home in Manhattan Beach earlier this month. His first opportunity to reunite with many close friends is at the senior hockey tournament.
"It's a great group of guys. We enjoy our time together and play a little hockey," he said.
A week in wine country including pool time, dinners together, and hours at the ice arena make the event a popular draw for players from 13 states and three Canadian Provinces.