This is a big weekend for Bruce Hamilton, the president, governor and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, who also is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors.
On Friday night in Penticton, Hamilton was one of four people inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.
With Hamilton in control of the Rockets, the franchise has turned into one of the best in the major junior ranks. It has been to four Memorial Cup tournaments, winning as the host team in 2004.
I could go on and on, but one thing says it all: When you talk with Hamilton, you know that he has the best interests of the game at heart.
To show in what high esteem Hamilton is held in hockey circles, a number of WHL people showed up in Penticton unannounced. That group included the likes of Kelly Kisio, the GM of the Calgary Hitmen, Red Deer Rebels owner and Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter, former Rockets head coach Marc Habscheid, who now is the GM and head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins, Vancouver Giants majority owner Ron Toigo, WHL commissioner Ron Robison and Spokane Chiefs GM Tim Speltz.
“This is a real thrill,” Hamilton wrote in an email.
As for the unexpected guests, Hamilton added: “It was unreal!!! I had no idea they were coming.”
No one is more deserving of being in a hall of fame to do with hockey than is Bruce Hamilton, who has done more for hockey in the Interior B.C. than anyone in recent memory.
Also inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday were Trevor Linden, who won two Memorial Cup titles with the Medicine Hat Tigers and went on to play 19 seasons in the NHL; Dallas Drake, who played 1,009 regular-season NHL games and won an NCAA title and a Stanley Cup; and, Frank Lento, a longtime administrator in B.C. amateur hockey circles.
Lanny Stewart, over at myWestman.ca, sat down and chatted with Brandon Wheat Kings D Mark Schneider. If you’re looking for a chuckle or two, check out the result right here.