Collision Repair Magazine
Big hits in the big leagues PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 10:55

Ottawa Sens grinder Matt Carkner made the shift from body work to body checks. Dennis Carkner, shop owner and hockey dad, couldn't be more proud. Neither can the local fans.

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It’s game six in the Senators vs Penguins series during the NHL playoffs. Triple overtime. Fisher rushes down the ice, puck in his control. He crosses the defence, carries it to Alfredson. With Penguins closing in he passes it to Carkner. Carkner shoots! Scores! The Sens win!

This goal, believe it or not, has roots planted firmly in collision repair.

It all starts with Dennis Carkner, owner of Fix Auto Winchester/D’s Collision Centre, and Matt Carkner’s father.

Dennis has owned his shop for 22 years now, so he knows what it’s all about. He makes sure to keep everyone and everything in line and on side, ensuring success for his business. His team at the shop is about seven strong, ranging from estimators to paint technicians, with a large family contingent. Dennis’s wife runs detailing and rentals. His sister-in-law, Bev Stewart, is responsible for the accounting. Bev was the one who first encouraged Matt to go into hockey.

Both of Dennis’s sons worked at the centre growing up. Phil Carkner went on to get a degree in dealership management. He later returned as a partner in the business.

“I was lucky and I found my way into the industry,” Dennis said. “But Phil was born into it.”

Growing up, Matt was at the shop a lot, honing his skills and developing the character ideal for making a good, solid defenceman. “Matt will tell you that he got all the rotten jobs, but really he just got the ones that he was able to do,” Dennis laughed. To be fair though, Matt was developing extremely well in his other field.

On the facility’s team, Dennis is the coach. He directs the players, monitors progress and sets goals.

“The shop has progressed due to the collaboration of different people,” he said. “It’s been hard work, especially in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it.”

Over the years he has added more and more to his shop, bringing in computerized management and measurement systems and more technicians.

As any hockey parent knows, having a son or daughter who’s coming up in a sport makes for a demanding family schedule. Most cope with a sense of familial pride and a lot of coffee. For Dennis, however, he enjoyed it so much he never noticed extra stress at the shop. “I came from a great position with great people—I made sure I had the right people and everything I needed to do the job right.”

Matt, ever grateful of his father’s support, concurs: “It really comes down to the team and the atmosphere the coach creates,” he said. “Dad’s made sure to create a team with the best players, and ensure that he has everything he needs to do the job right.”

Big hits in the big leagues

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 09:06

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