A Canadian hockey icon helped kick off a two-day Edgestravaganza over the weekend.

Pat Quinn visited the Edge School on Friday to talk with students and supporters of the brand new campus located just west of the city limits.

“I’ve always been a proponent of education and sports,” said Quinn during an exclusive interview with Metro Calgary. “In my day, the NHL teams didn’t want you going to school. They wanted to be able to control your future.”

Nowadays, that’s not the case. Students who can combine academics with their athletic pursuits often find themselves further ahead than their peers.

Just ask Edge School graduate Thomas Hickey, who captained the Quinn-coached Canadian entry to a gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa.

“It’s like being in a team environment all the time,” said Hickey of his experience attending Edge School.

“You’re on the ice an hour extra a day. That might not seem like a lot but when you’re on the ice an hour extra a day for five years, that time adds up. It’s like a few full seasons you’ve got over everyone else, so that really helped me.”

After visiting Edge School, Quinn couldn’t say enough about the new campus and the benefit it will provide to athletically inclined students for years to come.

“Programs like this are just incredible where you can combine the academics,” said Quinn, who recently signed on to coach the Edmonton Oilers. “We seem to know so much more about team building and leadership skills that kids can learn in this environment.”

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