BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
Like many of you, I have really enjoyed watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year. Obviously I’m disappointed that my Edmonton Oilers didn’t make the playoffs, but it’s been fun watching the remarkable run of the Vegas Golden Knights and then seeing Alexander Ovechkin finally lift the Stanley Cup after the Washington Capitals won. What a celebration!
There’s another reason why I have enjoyed watching the playoff runs of both of these teams so much. And that’s because both the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights have a connection to our region.
The Capitals’ Brett Connolly was raised in Prince George where he played minor hockey. He went on to play for the Prince George Cougars from 2007 to 2011, serving as captain during the 2010-2011 season.
You may also know him from that viral video at the beginning of the playoffs when he tried three times to get a puck to a young fan named Keelan Moxley. The video of his determination to get her the puck and her reaction when she finally got one has been shared thousands of times on social media.
Brett also had an assist on the game winning goal that finally clinched the Stanley Cup for Washington after 43 seasons.
The Capitals Assistant Coach Lane Lambert also has ties to the Prince George Cougars. He was head coach for two seasons, from 2003-2005.
The Vegas Golden Knight’s Deryk Engelland was raised in Chetwynd where he played minor hockey. He is also nominated for this season’s Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is awarded to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey”.
We in northern B.C. have so much to be proud of. Not only for Brett and Deryk’s efforts on the ice, but also for the character they have shown off the ice.
Congratulations to Brett and Coach Lambert on this historic win and also to Deryk for his role in this storybook first season in Vegas. I will be rooting for you when the winners of the NHL Awards are announced.
For anyone who is a hockey fan this has been a playoff run for the ages.