Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It Was 30 Years Ago That The Pride Of Powell River...

....Scored The Winner In Game One Against The Kings.

Second round in that magical King Richard-assisted, towel-waving year of 1982.

Always dug Lupul.

An undersized Lotuslander who was never drafted and never supposed to make it, he spent most of his NHL career playing in the Halloween costumes of yore.

And, before he got to the big leagues, I lived a little vicariously through him in old Memorial Arena, given that we were the same age and my own hockey playing glory years were already fast fading by the time time he joined the old Victoria Cougars after fighting his way up from the BC League's Nanaimo Clippers.

Sadly, Gary passed away a few years ago of a heart attack.



Norm Farrell said...

Gary's family resided 1/2 a block from where I lived as a Powell River teenager. Vic Lupul played for the Powell River Regals hockey team and son Gary turned out something like father. Vic was not big either but he played with speed and a style that was non-stop.

In those days, the 6-team NHL paid fringe players poorly (actually by today's standards, the first and second line players were not paid well either.) Many players chose not to play minor league pro hockey because they couldn't support families on the earnings.

Places like Powell River (essentially company towns) would recruit fine players by offering good jobs in the mill with time off to play hockey. This was better for many guys than playing in the American or Western Hockey Leagues. Small towns could attract highly skilled players and ice fine teams.

Semi-pro hockey was a pretty big deal in Powell River and more than the local arena was usually full, which meant that 10% of the town's residents were at any one game.

Good memories still.

RossK said...

Thanks for the bonus content Norm!


Norm Farrell said...

Indulge me with one more story.

When an early teen, I usually went to Powell River hockey games with a pal. His strict father wouldn't vary a curfew so the kid had to leave early in the third period to be home on time.

Decades later, friend takes his father to an important Canucks game and waits until the third period has started, then announces they must leave. Dad asks why and is promptly reminded that what goes around, comes around.

RossK said...


That is like a reverse Inigo Montoya.