Flyers Family Snapshot
Meet five Philadelphia Flyers wives — real moms who give us a peek at their off-ice lives raising kids in the area.
Photography by Joanne Posse
These women take the term "hockey mom" to a whole new level. Click through to meet five fantastic Philadelphia Flyers wives who put family first and immerse themselves in Philly-area fun.
Anne Gill (wife of defenseman Hal Gill)
Dale Rosehill (wife of left wing Jay Rosehill)
Nadine Coburn (wife of defenseman Braydon Coburn)
Cindy Salvadore (fiancee of forward Steve Downie)
Dina Hall (wife of right wing Adam Hall)
Married to #75 Hal Gill (defenseman) & mom of Isabelle (Izze, 9), Sophia (6) and Talon (2, pictured here with Anne)
About Anne: "I moved around a great deal growing up. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, moved to England and then to Detroit, Michigan. My family then returned to London, where I graduated from the American School in London. From there I attended Providence College, earning a BA in political science and international relations with a double minor in French and Japanese. Hal and I met and started dating at Providence College. After we graduated, Hal played for the Boston Bruins and I worked in sales for Champion International and later joined a competitor, Appleton Papers Inc. After working for a few years, I made the decision to go back to graduate school to pursue my MBA in international business at Suffolk University in Boston. Soon after earning my Masters, I became pregnant with Isabelle."
The reality of her NHL lifestyle: "Most days I feel like we run a taxi service. We are constantly running the kids to and from school and all of their various activities (gymnastics, music, lacrosse and soccer, to name a few). I am just like any other mom on the go. It's tough when Hal is on the road for long stretches. It is challenging trying to be in two places at once, but just like anyone else, once we get into a routine we are good. As the third child, Talon gets dragged around a great deal. I have to admit, there is little glamour in our lives."
How does she deal with home life when the Flyers travel? "Balance can be a tough to find during the hockey season. There are some months where it feels as if they are constantly traveling, and other months that they are home for a good amount of time. It all comes down to how you spend the time you have together. When Hal is home, we really try to spend time as a family and enjoy the day-to-day craziness life brings. We have also been through a couple of trades, which are always difficult. Both times Hal was traded, he was on a road trip and had to immediately report to his new team, which meant that we would not see him for a while. I remember the last trade very well. Talon was 5 months old when Hal was traded from Montreal to Nashville, and we were unable to see him for 6 weeks due to his schedule and ours. It's a roller coaster for sure, but we have a chance to catch our breath in the off-season."
Do she and the kids go on the road with the team? "I don’t travel with my husband. In hockey, wives and families usually do not travel with their husbands on a regular basis. The team is typically in a city for a night or two, then off to the next destination. My main focus is to make sure the kids are happy and healthy. Currently my role in this life is to make sure everything runs smoothly. We move often, so staying home allows me to create a stable atmosphere."
Hal's daddy style: "Hal is very much a hands-on dad and genuinely loves his time with the kids. I suppose one could say he is a big kid himself. I like to call him ‘Disney Dad’ because he is definitely the fun one. The kids know that when they are with Dad, they are in store for a ton of fun. When they are with me, I am usually taking them to the grocery store or dragging them to their various activities. So . . . I have been told that I am not the fun parent. Ha! I suppose we are a good balance."
Why she's a fan of Philly: "We just arrived here this year, but we are loving our Philly experience thus far. My kids really love the history of Philadelphia. They have been asking so many questions about American history, and it is fun to live in a city where it all began. We are continuing to explore the city and the surrounding areas. We live in South Jersey and love that we are learning about two states at once."
Fave family spots: "The Adventure Aquarium is a big hit with our girls, although we have yet to bring Talon. My oldest, Izze, recently went to the New Jersey State Museum with her class, and was so excited about her adventure. We have also been to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We usually go out as a family around Haddonfield. Some of our favorite places include Ludovico’s for a great homemade lunch; Animo for veggie juices, fruit smoothies and burritos; and Kabuki and Zinburger for fun dinners. We also have plans to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and attend a UPenn women’s lacrosse game (both my girls play lacrosse and are so excited that Penn is ranked 15th in the nation)."
Teammate playdates: "The Flyers kids do play together and get along great. We are a true family and we get together as often as we can. Everyone is in the same situation, so it's nice to have people around you who understand exactly what your life is like. We see each other quite often at games and team events as well. Talon goes to school with Madison Downey and Gabriel Lecavalier."
Having been immersed in hockey, would she be happy if her kids played? "I will let my kids play any sport they choose, including hockey. My husband and I truly believe that our kids should enjoy playing and learning any sport. I would support them in hockey just as I would soccer or gymnastics. It will be up to them what they choose. We are currently exposing them to all different types of activities. Our hope is that they find something they love to do. That may be a sport or it could be music or art. Each of our children have different strengths and we will be supportive with whatever they choose to do."
Jr. Flyers on ice: "My girls skate and enjoy it, but Talon is not quite into it yet. He is only 2, so we will get him some lessons next year."
Does she worry about the inherent risks of playing hockey? "Hal has been playing pro Hockey for 16 years. There is always the chance for injury, but that is part of playing a sport. It is something you can not worry about or it would consume you."
The best aspect about being part of the Flyers Charities: "It affords me the opportunity to give back to the community. It is so rewarding to be able to meet people on a personal level. Once you get to know someone and learn about their experiences, it becomes more than just a cause and more about humans helping humans."
Are the kids hockey fans yet? "My kids are definitely hockey fans and big fans of their dad. They also ask about Hal’s previous teams and how his former teammates are playing. My girls love going to the games and they make a point to watch and sing the American and Canadian anthems. Talon doesn’t quite understand what it is all about yet, but he knows that Daddy’s job is to play hockey. Talon loves the excitement of the games, so I am sure he is a major hockey fan in the making."
What else should we know about the Gills? This is our sixth team in the NHL. Uprooting your family has its challenges. We ask a great deal of our kids, and every single time they rise to the occasion. It truly amazes me how easily they acclimate to new situations. Isabelle is getting older and has really been feeling the impact of moving, but she is so positive and has made so many great friends here. This life does not last forever, so we really just want to enjoy the ride."
Married to #37 Jay Rosehill (left wing) & mom of Ryatt (10 months)
About Dale: "I grew up in Vancouver and worked for a company called Earls Restaurants for 12 years as a general manager in a couple of their locations."
The reality of her NHL lifestyle: "We are enjoying living in different cities and taking it as an adventure."
How does she deal with home life when the Flyers travel? "I have to be organized and get in a good routine especially when Jay goes on long road trips or nothing will ever get done."
Do she and Ryatt go on the road with the team? "I have traveled to the West Coast a couple times when Jay has played in those cities, since friends and family are there to watch as well, but we never stay with Jay."
Jay's daddy style: "Jay's style is yet to be determined since Ryatt is pretty young, but he wants Ry to learn early that things will be good and dad can be fun . . . but once he starts misbehaving life gets bad in a hurry."
Why she's a fan of Philly: "We live in Old City and I like the small-town feel in the downtown area."
Fave family activity: "We go to Stroller Strides three days a week. I get to work out and Ry gets to meet and play with other kids."
Teammate playdates: "The Flyers offer a great lounge on game nights where all the kids are able to play with each other."
Having been immersed in hockey, would she be happy if Ryatt played? "Yes, of course, if he wants to."
Jr. Flyers on ice: "We took Ryatt skating at Christmastime even though he was only 5 months old. He is a big boy, so we found a pair of skates that fit him. It made for some cute pictures."
Does she worry about the inherent risks of playing hockey? "Jay has a tendency to get physical, but we have been lucky so far with no major injuries."
The best aspect about being part of the Flyers Charities: "It's great how the Flyers make us feel part of the organization and it gives us a outlet to help in the community."
Married to #5 Braydon Coburn (defenseman) & mom of Rory (2) and Blair (7 months)
About Nadine: "I'm originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have a Bachelors in marketing management and an MBA in management. I also have a Master of Arts in social economics from studying in Germany. Before having kids I worked for a yoga/fitness retailer and volunteered with a few different organizations, including PAWS."
The reality of her NHL lifestyle: "It's family first in our household. We work as a team and prioritize what out family needs to be successful. Sometimes that means missing out on 'glamorous' events or nights out, but we are committed to raising our kids ourselves. Braydon may be a hockey player at work, but he is a dad and a husband at home."
How does she deal with home life when the Flyers travel? "I am extremely fortunate to have an incredible babysitter, who treats my children like family. It is so important for them, since we have no family in the area. She invites us to her family dinners and events, which adds a little bit of normalcy to our life. It is so heartwarming to go to one of her family events and watch my kids be included like they are just another cousin."
Do she and the kids go on the road with the team? "I do not travel to away games with the kids. Before we had a family, it was fun to go to cities that are close, like Manhattan, and have dinner with Braydon when he was on the road. As for traveling, I do travel with the kids, often alone, in order to spend time at our home in Canada. I definitely think a lot of planning helps for a smooth travel day. If flying, try to get a direct flight; layovers cause nothing but headaches. Bring lots of things to entertain little ones and always pack extra clothes for you and the kids in your carry on. Someone always spills something on themselves or has an accident and it makes it less stressful when you have alternative clothing. Pack it in a large Ziploc, that way you seal the dirty clothes in it and launder them at your destination."
Braydon's daddy style: "Braydon is very hands-on. He is confident with the kids and that makes it easy to leave him alone with two small children. I am very fortunate. He changes diapers and goes to any of their activities when he can. We are definitely a team and he helps with a lot of the parenting load."
Why she's a fan of Philly: "There are so many great places to take little ones in both Philly and the South Jersey area. We go to the Adventure Aquarium and the Philadelphia Zoo almost weekly and I love all the parks in both the city and in our neighborhood in NJ."
Fave family spots: "The Pop Shop in Collingswood is a great restaurant to take the kids. I really like Franklin Square in Old City for an afternoon of mini-golf and riding the carousel. The zoo is definitely one of my daughter's favorite spots."
Teammate playdates: "We are fortunate enough to have quite a few little ones on the team this year. My daughter considers Madison Downie her best friend. In fact, when I asked her, she said Madison and her mom, Cindy, are her best friends!"
Having been immersed in hockey, would she be happy if her kids played?"Of course. It is a great sport that teaches children discipline and how to be a team player. Hockey provides a community for kids to grow up in and the opportunity to travel playing the game."
Jr. Flyers on ice: "My daughter just got skates. She was wearing double blades since she could basically walk. She prefers to have Braydon skate around the rink and carry her, rather than skating on her own. She loves the rink and anything she can do with her dad."
Does she worry about the inherent risks of playing hockey?"I don't really worry about the risks involved. The game isn't about intent to injure or violence, but it can be rough. Braydon is a professional and I know he is always well prepared physically for the demands of the game and he had always rebounded from any injuries he had sustained."
The best aspect about being part of the Flyers Charities:"I enjoy giving back to the community, who really give so much to us. Fans are what drive both the game, the sport and essentially, support my husband. I like seeing how our contributions to the charity affect the community and how we can make a difference."
Are the kids hockey fans yet? "My daughter often asks any other dads she meets if they are going to hockey if they mention work at all. Hockey is Braydon's job, so we tell her that Daddy goes to work in the morning and travels for work. She loves watching him play though. Her favorite is warmups on game night, because she can just sit and watch him for 15 minutes."
What else should we know about the Coburns? "Through all the ups and downs, I wouldn't trade this crazy lifestyle in for anything. We have made great friends living in the Philly area for the past seven years and both our children were born here. I am grateful every day for the opportunities and adventures we have had since living here and I hope we stay here for many years to come."
Fiancee of #9 Steve Downie (forward) & mom of Madison (2)
About Cindy: "I'm originally from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and went to York University in Toronto."
The reality of her NHL lifestyle:"We are so grateful to have Steve do something that he loves to do. Hockey has provided a wonderful life for our family. We have made many amazing friends and lived in a lot of great places we likely would have never otherwise lived. As with any profession, there are some challenges as well. The most challenging I find, are family-related: Steve being away for some of our daughter’s milestones, missing special days in her life, holidays, and Madison simply just missing her Daddy. But in the end, the good far outweighs the bad. I am incredibly thankful for my life."
How does she deal with home life when the Flyers travel?"It is sometimes difficult to balance the season with Steve away so often; I feel like when he is gone the house is empty. He has such a great sense of humor and will make Madison and me laugh all day. So when he’s not around it feels like something is missing."
Do she and Madison go on the road with the team?"The only time we travel is when he is playing in our hometown. It is a great excuse to head home and spend some time with our loved ones. I once made the very big mistake of not bringing a change of clothes for Madison and our flight was delayed for four hours. Accidents happen, especially with a little one, so my number one travel-with-kids advice would be to bring an extra set of clothes."
Steve's daddy style: "Steve is a fantastic dad. He basically is wrapped around Madison’s finger. From tea parties to playing in a princess castle, he will do anything to see her smile. He is also unsurprisingly very protective with her yet really encourages her to do things on her own."
Why she's a fan of Philly: "We have only been in the area for a couple months but we love it! Everything is family-oriented and there is a ton of things for kids to do."
Fave family spots: "Madison just went to the circus at the Wells Fargo Center with my parents and it is all she has been talking about. We also love going to the incredible aquarium here and cant wait to check out the zoo when the weather is a little warmer."
Teammate playdates: "Our kids play together all the time! Madison goes to nursery school in the morning with a couple of kids on the team. But if you ask her who her best friend is she will tell you Rory Coburn."
Having been immersed in hockey, would she be happy if Madison played?"Of course, we would love if Madison played hockey! Steve and I will support her in whatever she wants to do."
Jr. Flyers on ice: "Madison has been on the ice a couple of times and that was all Steve’s idea."
Does she worry about the inherent risks of playing hockey?"Obviously, there is risk involved with the sport of hockey. Steve knew that when he started playing. But he is doing what he loves to do so it is a risk worth taking. I am not going to lie though, there certainly have been times for me when he has been injured that my heart skips a beat when I see a stretcher being brought on the ice and I am a five-hour plane ride away. Naturally watching the person you love get hurt is very scary. I wouldn’t say I necessarily worry about it. I can't live like that. I can’t live worried about what may (or may not) happen. But when injuries have happened, those are one of the more difficult times."
The best aspect about being part of the Flyers Charities: "The charities are my favorite part of being a Flyers wife. We meet so many wonderful people and get to do such incredible things around the community. I love being apart of such a great organization."
Is Madison a hockey fan yet? "Madison is a huge Flyers fan. As soon as she sees the Flyers symbol, she will yell 'Go, Daddy, go!' ”
What else should we know about her family? "The one thing I would want readers to know is how grateful we are for all the hockey fans around the globe!"
Married to #18 Adam Hall (right wing) and mom of Evan (2)
About Dina: "I was born and raised in South Africa by Portuguese parents. I came over to the States on a tennis scholarship to the University of Tulsa. Before becoming a mom, I worked as a specialty sales manager for a pharmaceutical sales company, an industry I had been in for many years."
The reality of her NHL lifestyle: "It’s not the easiest lifestyle. Having Adam away is difficult, but I get help from my parents and in-laws when they come into town. It’s all about balance and routine. Like most children, Evan loves his routine. If we can keep him to his schedule, Adam’s time away isn’t a big hiccup. Let’s just say that FaceTime is a lifesaver. Evan knows what his dad’s ring tone sounds like, so when he hears it, he knows he gets to see and talk to Dada. Nothing more precious in the world to see."
Adam's daddy style: "Adam is a very nurturing and protective father. He loves to play with Evan and they share a special bond when they read books. It’s such a touching moment to see."
Why she's a fan of Philly: "We have never lived in a city like this before, so it’s been a fun experience. This is truly a wonderful, special place. There are so many activities for children to be a part of, so Evan is never bored. His favorite place to visit is the Please Touch Museum. I’m sure as he gets older, he’s going to appreciate all the local sports teams. It’s been a thrilling experience to see how passionate the fans are about their teams. The history behind the city mind blowing at times. Knowing the Founding Fathers of this country signed the Declaration of Independence here makes you realize you are a part of something special."
Evan's favorite activity: "Evan loves anything to do with cars, dump trucks, diggers, fire trucks . . . you name it, he’s into it. I’ve never seen anything like it."
Teammate playdates: "Some of us who have children of a similar age do playdates."
Having been immersed in hockey, would she be happy if Evan played? "We would support Evan in participating in any sport. Naturally, hockey is all around us. He has the helmets, the skates, sticks, pucks, jersey. You name it, he has it. Since I was a tennis player, I’m hoping he’ll enjoy learning to hit a tennis ball, but honestly, whatever makes him happy. That’s what every parent wants for their children. I’m sure I’m not alone there."
Jr. Flyers on ice: "A few of the older children have it down, but the ones around Evan’s age all need a little help."
Does she worry about the inherent risks of playing hockey? "It’s something we all face on a daily basis, but it’s not something that consumes our lives. In anything we do in life, there are risks. Being supportive of your spouse, no matter the profession, is one of the keys to family unity and happiness."
The best aspect about being part of the Flyers Charities: "Giving back to the community is a very rewarding experience. It’s something that warms the heart and makes this whole NHL experience worth it. We get to be a part of something special in ways that can’t always be described with words. Knowing we have made someone happy is fulfilling and immeasurable."
Is Evan a hockey fan yet? "Evan is only 2 years old, so he knows what hockey is, and when he sees the game, he understands his dad is playing. He knows what the Flyers colors are and their logo, so if he sees it he’ll identify it and cheer “Go Flyers,” but I’m not sure he fully understands what is it."