Category Archives: Stitched Flames Jerseys

Tobias Rieder Jersey

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Calgary Flames fans went home happy Thursday night, following a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres.

But a Flames fan by the name of Cindy drove home just a bit happier.

See also:
Fans react to Lucic finally scoring his first goal with the Flames

Tobias Rieder’s second-period goal was scored during the Flames’ “Minute to Win It” promotion, winning a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu for Cindy.

Cindy’s window to win occurred for 60 seconds after a TV timeout in the second period. As if that wasn’t improbable enough, the entirety of her minute window would occur shorthanded, thanks to a Johnny Gaudreau hooking penalty.

No matter for Rieder, who scored on a shorthanded breakaway.

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Millville High School’s Chapter #6925 of the National Tri-M Music Honor Society inducted new members and held a recital for its returning members on Dec. 4. The Fine and Performing Arts Department is proud to have such amazing young musicians represent them with this honor.

New inducted members are: Daniel Laird, Aurora Ryan, Emily Abdill, Gabby Akiatan, Alison Dingle, Natalie Harrison, Cassidy Miller, Matthew Phillips, Carter Crockett, Jared DeShields, and William Shea.

Returning members are: Justin Billman; Taylor Hastings, secretary; Lexi Kukal; Rebecca Rehmann, historian; Brooke Jablonski, vice president; Maia Morales, president; Bobby Williams; Zach Nolter; Andrew Hickman; and Rosalynn Rodriguez.

Henry Hartman, Joseph Sino, Donna Terry, Matthew Adams and Robert DeSantis are the faculty advisors for Tri-M.

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Sean Monahan collected a goal and an assist while Milan Lucic netted his first goal of the season as the host Calgary Flames scored four straight goals to net a comeback 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Goaltender David Rittich made 26 saves for the Flames, who have won three straight games and are on a 4-0-1 run since a six-game losing streak.

With the Flames trailing 1-0, Johnny Gaudreau’s power-play goal with 3:18 remaining in the opening frame tied the game. Shortly after the Sabres wasted a five-on-three power play, Gaudreau worked to the left faceoff dot and ripped a top-corner shot for his first goal in 11 games.

Tobias Rieder made his 400th NHL game more memorable when he tallied a short-handed goal to give the Flames a 2-1 edge just past the midway point of the second period. Derek Ryan forced a turnover at the Calgary blue line that sprung Rieder on a breakaway, which he finished by slipping the puck between Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark’s legs for his second goal of the season at 11:18 of the middle frame.

Monahan made it a 3-1 game with five minutes left in the second period. After leading the rush up ice, Monahan worked a give-and-go with Mikael Backlund and ended it with a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle.

Lucic then snapped a 27-game drought to make it a 4-1 affair. Lucic finished a three-way passing play that included Ryan and Dillon Dube to record the eventual game winner at 3:58 of the third.

To their credit, the Sabres pushed to the final buzzer. After Jake McCabe made it a 4-2 game with less than three minutes remaining, Jack Eichel scored on the power play with 47.4 seconds left on the clock. Eichel’s goal extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games, during which he’s collected 10 goals and 10 assists.

Sam Reinhart opened the scoring with Buffalo’s first shot on goal. Reinhart was in the slot when he redirected Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot at the 3:29 mark for his 10th goal of the season.

Ullmark made 25 saves.

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BBUFFALO, N.Y. — Flames captain Mark Giordano was thoroughly impressed with how Calgary rallied rather than unraveled.

Following two-plus days of facing questions regarding the uncertain status of coach Bill Peters, the Flames showed no signs of being distracted with Elias Lindholm scoring on a wraparound 1:17 into overtime of a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

“It’s a four-game trip that’s had a lot of adversity,” Giordano said. “I think guys, what we did as players, we said to one another this is almost a way to get away from everything off the ice right now by playing games, practicing. And I thought we did a good job of that.”

Peters has been accused of using racist slurs against Nigerian-born player Akim Aliu 10 years ago while the two were in the minors. And Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour earlier Wednesday backed another former player’s allegation that Peters kicked and punched players on the bench during his previous four years coaching Carolina.

Following the game, Flames general manager Brad Treliving confirmed he received a letter of apology from Peters, in which the coach acknowledged using offensive language in dealing with Aliu. The letter was initially obtained and posted on Twitter during the third period by TSN, a Canadian sports cable network.

Without specifically referencing the words he used, Peters said his comments to Aliu were the source of both anger and disappointment. He added, the incident was made in a “moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values.”

Peters says he regretted the incident and apologizes to anyone negatively affected by it.

The letter was released while Peters is away from the team while the Flames and the NHL conduct an investigation into the matter.

Matthew Tkachuk scored 4:02 into the third period to force overtime by tying the game at 2 a little over two minutes after Victor Olofsson scored for Buffalo.

Tkachuk then set up Lindholm’s overtime goal as Calgary improved to 2-0-1 in its past three and closed a four-game road trip that began with a 5-0 loss at St. Louis.

“It’s huge. Obviously, a lot of things going on right now. We can only affect what’s going on out on the ice,” Lindholm said. “We got the two points at the end, and that’s all that matters.”

TJ Brodie also had a goal and assist, and David Rittich stopped 34 shots with associate coach Geoff Ward behind the bench.

Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Sabres who dropped to 2-8-3 in their past 13 — and after getting off to a 9-2-1 start to the season. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves.

“It’s definitely frustrating, the final result,” first-year Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said.

“We definitely had the chances to put it away after 2-1, and the inability to do that and then have a D-zone breakdown to allow them back into the game is really, really disappointing,” Krueger added. “It’s a painful situation that we have to manage and use in the right way.”

The game was decided when Tkachuk beat a Sabres defender to the puck deep in Buffalo’s zone and slid a pass behind the net to Lindholm.

Lindholm came out untouched at the right post and circled atop the crease before scoring inside the opposite post.

Brodie’s goal with 2:55 left in the opening period came in his second game two weeks after experiencing a frightening moment in practice when he began convulsing after falling to the ice. A series of neurological tests came back negative and the 29-year-old play-making defenceman was cleared to return in a 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Despite the win, the Flames continued their offensive struggles in scoring two or fewer goals in regulation for the ninth consecutive game. It’s a stretch in which Calgary has been out-scored 30-12 and shut out three times.

NOTES: Sabres D Rasmus Dahlin is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion in being elbowed in the face by Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak in 5-2 loss Monday. … Calgary played its 17th road game, tying Minnesota for the most so far this season. … Sabres forward Marcus Johansson returned after missing seven games with an upper body injury.

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The Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets each had a glaring need and were able to help each other when Seth Jones and Ryan Johansen were traded for one another. From Columbus’ perspective, Johansen was not a favorite of coach John Tortorella and already had a lengthy contract dispute. Nashville had an abundance of talent on the blueline and needed to find a top line centerman. When a trade of this magnitude happens, one team usually regrets the move but, in this situation, both teams were left quite pleased.

It takes a lot of extenuating circumstances for two teams in the thick of a playoff race to trade their captains, but in 2014, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning completed the transaction. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman created a dispute with Martin St. Louis when he left the future Hall-Of-Famer off Team Canada’s original roster for the Sochi Olympics. In return, St. Louis requested a trade and the Lightning ended up honoring the request. On the other side, Glen Sather wrapped up contract extensions with Henrik Lundqvist and Dan Girardi but struggled to find common ground with Callahan. Even though the Lightning had very little leverage in the negotiations, Yzerman still found a way to pry two first-round picks from New York in the process. The Rangers went on to lose in the 2014 Cup Final and fell in the 2015 Conference Finals to the Lightning in a seven-game series. Neither team won a championship because of this move, but both clubs settled a problem with this transaction.

A few maneuvers were significant when Los Angeles won two Stanley Cups early in the decade, but the Kings paid a steep price to acquire Mike Richards in June 2011. Coincidentally, another big piece, Jeff Carter, was traded that day to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was eventually sent to Los Angeles at the 2012 trade deadline where he became a key cog for the Kings. Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown were already in place, but the acquisition of Richards and Carter were a huge reason why Los Angeles was very successful in the first half of the decade.

On the flip side, the Flyers were looking to change the culture around the club that offseason and landed Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn in the Richards deal, while acquiring Jakub Voracek in the Carter trade. Philadelphia did not win a Stanley Cup, but they were not ripped off in either deal when trading legitimate NHL stars.

It was a blockbuster trade in June of 2018 that helped both the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames. Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox were sent to Carolina in exchange for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm. If one was to define a hockey trade, this would be a great place to start.

There are always overreactions after losing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but the way the Boston Bruins reacted to losing the 2013 Stanley Cup Final was clearly a mistake. The Bruins front office decided to trade Tyler Seguin, a star in the making, to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson and several other pieces. The Bruins did not make matters worse by handing Eriksson a lucrative contract extension in the summer of 2016, but they did lose a player that averaged 77 points per season since the trade.

This deal is easy to judge knowing how each player performed since the trade. However, in April of 2013 the move did make some sense for both teams. The Ottawa Senators had a crowded crease with Craig Anderson, Robin Lehner and Bishop while Conacher was off to a strong start with the Tampa Bay Lightning, recording 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in the first 35 games of the season. The undersized forward instantly became the Senators’ leading scorer upon his arrival but would never become the lethal scorer Ottawa hoped for. On the other hand, Bishop has become a well-rounded NHL goaltender.

There probably could be a category for several of the moves Peter Chiarelli made but trading two premium draft picks for Griffin Reinhart is at the top of the list. It doesn’t help when one of those picks turned into Mathew Barzal, but the Oilers general manager hoped Reinhart would solve Edmonton’s defensive issues. Former Islanders general manager Garth Snow is probably still confused how he pulled this one off.

Hall helped the New Jersey Devils return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and captured the 2018 Hart trophy, while Edmonton picked up a middle-pairing defenseman.

Why the Ottawa Senators were interested in trading a young center with Zibanejad’s potential is still a bit mind-boggling. The Swedish forward has turned into one of the more underrated centers in the NHL while Brassard has bounced around the NHL the past couple of seasons.

The Minnesota Wild received Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first-round draft pick, but Burns has been one of the most dynamic defensemen in the entire NHL throughout the decade. There are very few assets that could have lived up to the value Burns has provided on the ice.

For those who understand the salary cap recapture penalties, the Nashville Predators took a significant gamble when sending Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K. Subban. If Weber were to retire before his deal runs out, they will be forced to operate with a lot of dead money on their books.

Subban did help the Predators reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 but has since been shipped off to the New Jersey Devils.

The 2019 Conn Smythe winner was an integral member of the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup run last season. Doug Armstrong gave up a lot at the time including a top prospect, two premium picks and two roster players, but the Buffalo Sabres miscalculated in their evaluation. Without the the O’Reilly acquisition, the song ‘Gloria’ is probably not a huge hit in the St. Louis area.

It wasn’t always a smooth ride in Pittsburgh, but Kessel averaged 75 points per season and played a major part in back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships.

The Washington Capitals have been one of the most successful teams over the last decade but didn’t get over the hump until the spring of 2018. T.J. Oshie was not the main piece during the championship run, but he has provided secondary scoring and strong two-way play since his acquisition in the summer of 2015.

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CALGARY — Dillon Dube was bracing for the onslaught.

Alas, his reputation caught up with him.

When the Montreal Canadiens and their accompanying media blow into towns around the NHL, it’s not uncommon for the Francophone broadcasters and scribes to search out French names for new angles.

Dube is definitely French.

Dillon definitely isn’t.

“When we went to the Memorial Cup my 16-year-old year every day I got a whole bunch of media scrumming around me,” said the former Kelowna Rockets star, smiling about his 2014-15 experience in Quebec City.

“They were like, ‘So, do you speak French?’ I’m like, ‘No.’

They’re like, ‘Okay…’ and I swear every media guy left. There were like 15 of them… gone. It was like that every day – they all thought I spoke French because of my name.”

There was no such gathering around Dube from the Montreal media after morning skate Thursday, which is fine with the Cochrane kid who grew up in Golden, B.C., where there was no French immersion offered.

What the 21-year-old has brought to the table since his AHL call-up a month ago has been so integral to the team’s recent turnaround that the club sent a powerful message of support to him Wednesday.

As the only forward on the Flames’ roster who doesn’t require waivers to make room for returning players like Sam Bennett and Austin Czarnik, Dube was well aware a return to Stockton was a possibility.

Alas, Zac Rinaldo was demoted Wednesday and the Flames risked putting Czarnik through waivers, which he cleared Thursday morning. Czarnik was subsequently assigned to Stockton, while Rinaldo was recalled to Calgary on Thursday.

“It gives me confidence not just to stick around but to play some of my best hockey to help this team win,” Dube said of the vote of confidence.

“My mindset changes a bit because I’m not as worried and I can relax a little because you didn’t know what was going to happen. At the same time, I cannot at all let myself go to that stage where I’m comfortable.”

He’s certainly looked that way since his promotion, picking up seven points in 14 games on a line with Derek Ryan and Milan Lucic that has been the team’s most consistent the past month.

“My whole career, point production has been a big thing, but I’ve had a lot of my best games of my career with no points,” said Dube, whose focus in Stockton was learning to play away from the puck, along the wall and focusing on his defensive game.

“If you can go out there and make the guys you’re playing with better and bring something to the table, that’s the most important thing. A couple games with Looch and Doc (Ryan) we had at the start I didn’t have any points, but those were some of my best games. We all got going from playing the right way.”

Lucic has since scored all three of his goals this season, Ryan is flourishing as he did late last year and the Flames have one of the most potent third lines in the league.

It will be a crucial unit against a Canadiens club that enters Thursday’s game at the Saddledome as winners in five of seven and feeling good about themselves.

Much like Calgary, a team with just one goal on its two-game losing string despite piecing together its two best first periods of the season.

“For us, it’s sticking with it,” said Dube, a second round draft pick who captained Canada to World Junior gold in 2018.

“We need a complete 60 – if we can come out again and have a good first period, we can’t let frustration set in when you don’t score.”

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CALGARY, Dec. 18, 2019 /CNW/ – E3 METALS CORP. (TSXV: ETMC) (FSE: OU7A) (OTC: EEMMF) (the “Company” or “E3 Metals”) is pleased to announce the successful closing of the first tranche (“Tranche 1″) of its non-brokered private placement financing (the “Offering”) announced on November 20, 2019. Under the Offering, the Company has issued 2,267,900 units of the Company (the “Units”) at a price of $0.40 per Unit for gross proceeds of $907,160. Each Unit comprises one common share (a “Share”) and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant a “Warrant”). Each Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one additional common share at an exercise price of $0.60 for a period of 30 months following the date of issuance. On Closing of Tranche 1 of the Offering E3 Metals has 27,341,885 common shares issued and outstanding. All securities issued are subject to a hold period under applicable securities laws in Canada expiring on April 18, 2020. There are no finder’s fees or warrants associated with the issuance.

“In spite of 2019 being a challenging year for companies in the lithium industry, E3 has made significant progress in advancing its unique Alberta Lithium project. The Company was successful in further testing its proprietary Ion Exchange Direct Lithium Extraction Technology; was selected for GreenCentre Canada’s Raising Innovative and Sustainable Enterprises (RISE) program, and most importantly entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Livent Corp., the world’s largest pure-play lithium producer, to further develop our lithium extraction technology. Numerous insiders, including all the Directors and members of the senior management team, have expressed their underlying confidence in the Company by electing to participate in the current financing,” stated E3 Director Paul Reinhart.

Chris Doornbos, E3 Metals’ President and CEO commented, “We are pleased with the closing of the first tranche of this financing with strong support from our executive team, existing shareholders and new local and international shareholders. The second tranche is well underway and we look forward to completing the financing early in the New Year.”

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Bernard Morley hailed Chester FC’s superb 3-1 win at Southport on Boxing Day as one of the best of his and joint-manager Anthony Johnson’s reign at the club.

Twelve months to the day since a chastening 3-0 loss at Haig Avenue that was met with much anger, Chester were simply irresistible against their promotion-chasing hosts, who sat in third spot coming into the game and on the back of three successive wins in the National League North.

And while they fell behind to a goal against the run of play through former Blues defender Ryan Astles on 20 minutes, a George Waring goal and two in the second half from Akwasi Asante and Gary Roberts, the latter a rocket from 30 yards, ensured a deserved three points for Morley and Johnson’s side to see them back up to third.

To a man Chester were excellent, the display one of the most complete in recent memory and one that energised the travelling 700 or so Blues fans and ignited the promotion dream once more, a dream that had seemed to be disappearing of late.

“That was probably one of the best performances I’ve seen in my 18 months at Chester,” said Morley.

“I felt like we stuck to the game plan. We had to outwork them on their patch to get something out of the game which we clearly did. We went 1-0 down but we reacted really well and everybody stuck to their job and that is the reason we have had a great result.

“You could say we’ve been under a bit of pressure of late, and the players feel it to as they don’t just divert it to the managers, we collectively take it as a group.

“The result, 3-1, makes it looks like it was a contest but it could easily have been six or seven. Fair play to Southport they tried to keep the scoreline down and I have a lot of respect for Liam (Watson) and Jon (McCarthy) as they are always humble when we play against them. We’ll just go away and know that we have got to do that again on Saturday (at home to Curzon Ashton). We need to put back-to-back results together.

“As a Chester manager I’m proud of the performance and for Chester fans, I know it was difficult for them to get here today with no trains and what not. There had to be a good six or seven hundred standing in the rain and in here (main stand), it was unbelievable and it drives us on.”

Chester’s midfield three of Roberts, George Glendon and the recalled Gary Stopforth ran the show all afternoon.

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CALGARY — Craig Conroy has officially been relieved of bench duties with the Calgary Flames. Okay, that’s a tad dramatic.

The Flames assistant GM has simply finished a two-game stint at ice level, where he was asked to spend the last nine days huddled up with the coaches as an observer and helping hand.

The fact that it ended in bloodshed Wednesday is mere coincidence.

“I hit Janko (Mark Jankowski) right in the mouth… bleeding,” explained Conroy, minutes after concluding practice.

“I felt bad. I wanted him to shake me off and drive the net, and he hit my stick and it hit him square in the mouth. He asked if there was blood. I said, ‘a little.’ He’s in there icing it now. I’m definitely out of here.”

Mere hours after Akim Aliu alleged that Bill Peters had previously directed a racial slur towards him, Flames GM Brad Treliving asked Conroy if he’d join the team on the ice the next day to aid associate-turned-interim head coach Geoff Ward.

Ward then asked him and assistant Martin Gelinas to join him behind the bench, as the two typically watch games from the press box.

Happy to do what he could at a difficult time for the organization, Conroy borrowed Mark Giordano’s skates in Buffalo and helped run drills, offered feedback and provided encouragement. He even stayed late to team up with Gelinas for a two-on-two grudge match with the healthy scratches, which he claims to have won in Buffalo despite ill-fitting Bauers.

His takeaways?

“You kind of remember when you played and think, ‘well, it was only 2010-11,’ but so much had changed really,” chuckled the former Flames captain and 1,000-game man, who is now 48.

“Especially the first game, the pace blew me away, and how much quicker it is than from above. I had never seen an iPod on the bench; they’re changing skate blades bam-bam-bam; they’re changing gloves like crazy. I wore my gloves all game. We used to come in after and dry them. Now they’re flying all over the guys’ heads.

“Now we have to pick which side for the faceoff too, so there are a lot of new things going on since I played.”

Admittedly unsure where to stand and what to do or say, the organization’s best talker kept mostly to himself.

“That first game I was nervous too – I’ll be honest – you don’t want to get into their routine or say something,” he said with a smile.

“You don’t want to talk too much because I didn’t love when the coach talked to me that much. At certain times, no problem. But not every shift. That drove me crazy.

“I’d sometimes tell a guy like, ‘you’ve got to bear down there and shoot on that 2-on-1. Don’t defer.’ Sometimes young guys defer to older players. I’d say, ‘hey, you were in a good spot and you were actually passing out of a good spot. Just shoot.’ You want to keep it small talk and positive talk.”

Taking cues from former coaches such as Joel Quenneville, he said he kept reminding the players of the time and score.

He was struck by just how much communication there is on the bench.

“On TV it looks like a lot of the time to me like the bench is very quiet – it’s actually not as quiet as I thought,” said Conroy, a former centre who stood at all times by the forwards.

“It was good to see how everyone interacts and all the things going on. It was interesting.”

It didn’t take long for him to feel the urge to yell at the officials again.

“We kind of had a reputation of being on the refs but I thought we weren’t on the refs,” said Conroy.

“There are a couple times you wanted to yell, ‘that’s a penalty,’ but just be quiet. I don’t need to be yelling at the refs, but it kind of comes natural when you are on the bench.”

He enjoyed skating with the lads again and took note of just how impressive of a pace and tone leaders like Milan Lucic and Giordano take in practice.

Happy he got the chance, he’s also thrilled it won’t be turning into a new career path.

“Oh no, I didn’t want to do it for a long time – Tre said it was for a short period of time,” chuckled Conroy, who generally spends plenty of time on both sides of the pond, scouting amateur, pro and college prospects .

“We have college free agents, the draft, I’ve been over to Europe and seen a lot of players. I feel really comfortable where I am in my other job. And that’s my job.

“It’s nice to be at a level to see (Buffalo’s Victor) Olofsson and guys you’ve watched, to see how they’re doing. Gives you a better perspective when I’m going out and scouting guys. It’s good to get that perspective. It will make me appreciate when I go back up next game. I won’t be as nit-picky then.”

Nor will he let anyone forget he’ll wrap up the stint a perfect 2-0.

“(Flames PR, Sean) Kelso is putting it in the bio now,” he said, laughing.

“You don’t want to jeopardize that perfect record – there’s no point.”

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Ask just about anyone who played hockey in Brandon, Manitoba, over the past three decades about Kelly McCrimmon and they’ll know the story.

Darren Ritchie has heard McCrimmon tell it so many times over the years, he started making fun of his former coach.

“If you ask him, his plan was to farm,” said Ritchie, the current general manager of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, while holding back a chuckle.

“I don’t believe him, because he’s such a good hockey guy.”

Farming and hockey, maybe in that order, long have been McCrimmon’s passions, and the new Golden Knights general manager often uses the story of his own career path as a cautionary tale to countless aspiring young players in western Canada.

Once content to run his family’s grain farm in small-town Saskatchewan, McCrimmon instead became one of the most successful coaches and executives in Canadian major-junior hockey.

“As much as you think you know what your future holds, it might play out completely differently,” he said.

McCrimmon, whose promotion from assistant GM became official Sept. 1, is a “hockey lifer” known for his keen scouting eye and business acumen. In 2015, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock called McCrimmon one of the “two best hockey men, period” he knows.

But McCrimmon’s true talent for the past 30 years is building teams around high-character people, which he showed again with the Knights.

After decades of riding buses to rinks in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, the 58-year-old has proven to be the perfect complement to president of hockey operations George McPhee.

“They’re like Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside,” Knights majority owner Bill Foley said, referring to the famous 1940s Army football backfield of Glenn Davis and Felix “Doc” Blanchard. “Kelly is really a character guy. I have the utmost respect for him.”

Hockey in the family

Byron McCrimmon was a local hockey legend in the village of Plenty, Saskatchewan (current population: 164), and sons Kelly and Brad also were obsessed with the sport.

The brothers were extremely close and played together in Brandon during the 1978-79 season, helping the Wheat Kings to the WHL championship. Brad McCrimmon, nicknamed “Beast,” went on to become the 15th overall pick in the 1979 draft and played more than 1,200 NHL games, winning the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989.

Brad McCrimmon died at age 52 in the 2011 plane crash in Russia that killed all but one member of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl before he coached his first game with the team.

“I never felt in his shadow, ever. It was never, ever a burden,” Kelly McCrimmon said. “I was always tremendously proud of him, and the fact we got to play that season together is something with the passage of time and with life’s events that I cherish even more.”

McCrimmon continued his hockey career at the University of Michigan, and after graduating in 1984 with a business degree, he and his wife, Terry, returned to the farm in Plenty.

But he couldn’t stay away from hockey, serving as player-coach for the Kerrobert Tigers of the senior Wild Goose Hockey League before he coached three years in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

McCrimmon then returned to Brandon as an assistant coach in 1988 and was promoted to general manager the following year. He took over as head coach in 1990 and went on to become the Wheat Kings’ all-time winningest coach during his three stints (1990-92, 2004-2011, 2013-2016).

In 1992, McCrimmon bought one-third ownership of the Brandon franchise from partner Bob Cornell, and it soon became the family business. To this day, Terry McCrimmon is listed as the team’s receptionist on its staff directory; daughter Chelsea is the controller.

“It was only then when I bought into the team when I realized I wouldn’t be going back to farm,” said McCrimmon, who became sole owner of the Wheat Kings in 2000. “I’d be working in hockey for a career.”

The WHL is one of three major-junior leagues in the Canadian Hockey League and consists of 22 teams in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. It is open to players age 15 to 20 who hail from the four western Canadian provinces and 20 U.S. states west of the Mississippi River, including Nevada. Matthew Gross of Las Vegas was selected by Prince Albert in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

Along with drafting and developing young players, WHL franchises also can make trades to improve their roster, making it a perfect training ground. McCrimmon is permitted to retain ownership of the Brandon franchise while working for the Knights.

“The WHL, I’ve always said, is the NHL light,” McCrimmon said.

McCrimmon had a hand in the development of several current NHL standouts who played in Brandon, including Knights right wing Mark Stone, Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, Philadelphia’s Nolan Patrick and Ivan Provorov, and St. Louis’ Brayden Schenn.

He’s also been willing to take chances on players who worked hard but may have been less talented, according to Ritchie.

“He was the first one who gave me a chance to develop my skills,” said Stone, who played for the Wheat Kings from 2008 to 2012. “I was always looked at as slow and weak, and I think he kind of looked at me as tall and smart.”

McCrimmon was named WHL executive of the year three times (1995, 2010, 2015), as well as Canadian Hockey League executive of the year in 2010. He led the Wheat Kings to the WHL title and an appearance in the Memorial Cup, the championship tournament for Canadian major-junior hockey, during his final year as coach in 2016.

From the time McCrimmon bought into the Wheat Kings in 1992 until he was hired as the Knights’ assistant GM in 2016, Brandon won more games than any other Canadian Hockey League franchise.

“Kelly is one of those guys that has kind of been a hockey lifer,” said Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who played junior hockey in Brandon when McCrimmon was an assistant coach. “It was inevitable, I think, in everyone’s mind that if and when Kelly wanted to turn pro or try his luck on the pro side of it that he would be a successful person.”

Surrounded by good people

McCrimmon was courted by NHL clubs throughout his time in Brandon, most notably in the summer of 2015 after Toronto hired Babcock as coach.

McCrimmon interviewed for an assistant general manager’s position with the Maple Leafs, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave a Wheat Kings team that expected to contend for the WHL title.

“When I look at what I was doing here in Brandon, it would take something pretty special for me to leave it,” McCrimmon said. “I’m a person who loves to build teams and be involved in that process, and there was never going to be a better opportunity to do that than working in a situation like we have in Las Vegas with an expansion team.”

McCrimmon was hired as the Knights’ assistant GM on Aug. 2, 2016, and his influence can be seen at all levels of the organization.

Multiple Knights players, including forward Ryan Reaves, played junior hockey in Brandon or another WHL city. McCrimmon is widely credited with engineering the trade and long-term contract extension for Stone.

Assistant coach Ryan Craig is a former Wheat Kings captain, and assistant Mike Kelly was Brandon’s head coach for one season.

Also, director of player personnel Vaughn Karpan was McCrimmon’s teammate in Brandon for one season, and assistant director of player personnel Bob Lowes is the second-winningest coach in Wheat Kings history.

“He always has good people around,” Ritchie said.

McCrimmon’s experience navigating the NHL expansion process made him a leading candidate for the GM job with the incoming Seattle franchise, though he never interviewed. The Edmonton Oilers also had interest in McCrimmon for their vacant GM position this spring before he removed his name from consideration.

McPhee, who relinquished his GM title in part to help retain McCrimmon, confirmed in May at the time of the promotion that the Knights were contacted by at least one club seeking permission to interview McCrimmon.

“He would have gotten a GM job somewhere else,” Foley acknowledged.

McCrimmon now serves as the first point of contact for other general managers and will represent the team at GM meetings.

While McPhee retains the final say, he and McCrimmon will collaborate on all hockey decisions as they have done throughout their time working together.

“I don’t know if there is another guy who is more well equipped to do this,” McPhee said. “He’s well read, and he’s a deep thinker. You’re not going to outwork him. He never has a bad day. And again, he’s as straight as they come. High integrity, very, very well respected in the hockey community and very, very well liked as a guy. Great guy to have a beer with. He’s the whole package for me.”