It is good to be the WHL King!

 

In 93-94, I was an 18 year-old kid playing his first year of junior with the Kamloops Blazers. The team was supposed to be building up to compete for the WHL championship and Memorial cup (or Mem cup as Gregor likes to say) for the following year, but the young group matured quickly. Early into the second half of the season, we knew we could do it a year early.

The team had many good players like Jason Holland, Darcy Tucker, Steve Passmore, Jarome Iginla, Brad Lukowich and Nolan Baumgartner. I was lucky to live right across the street from where Tyson Nash and Shane Doan were living.

Even then Doaner was very strong. He was like Bam Bam. Most of the time Nasher and I would gang up on him to wrestle. It didn’t really matter though, he could handle us both well enough. Then when Nasher would run away I would be forced to take him on alone – he would tie me into a pretzel before Nasher had the first hand full of Dippity Do in his hair!

After a very strong finish and working our way through a couple of rounds of playoffs we played Saskatoon in the WHL final. It went to game seven and thankfully it would be played in our home barn. I remember thinking there was no way we would lose. We were too well coached and too strong a team.

The game was all but over early. We spanked them 8-1. We still had guys blocking shots at the end of the game. We didn’t want to give them a sniff.

It was an incredible feeling. We would get a chance to play in the Memorial Cup in Laval.

The Oil Kings are pushing hard and want to sit in the King’s throne. They look strong and poised to do so. Good luck boys!

I am going to watch Friday’s game at Rexall. I can’t wait to see these young players go at it. Check out the fire in their eyes, it is the foundation that championships are built on.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Are you catering to our attention spans with the short articles, cause you’re not exactly a man of few words?

    Awesome stuff, Struds!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I wanna hear more stories from your playing career. Everytime I read something you write its a breath of freash air. Air that is relevant since your played so many years in the most competitive league.

  • Jason Gregor

    Screw you Struds…ha.. You know I hate it when people call it the Mem Cup. It is the MEMORIAL Cup people.

    “The Memorial Cup was proposed by Captain James T. Sutherland during World War I, who wanted to create a trophy as a memorial to remember the OHA’s players who died during the war. When the trophy was created, it was dedicated in honour of the soldiers who died fighting for Canada in the war. It was rededicated to honour all soldiers who died fighting for Canada in any conflict during the 2010 tournament.”

    That is why you should call it the Memorial Cup…Don’t shorten it.

    Also, let’s not kid ourselves we both know you would wrestle Nash for the last bit of hair gel. That salad, err hair, you had in junior needed a lot of help.

  • Jason Strudwick

    Sorry for mentioning hair in the article Gregor. I know some wounds never heal!

    I am thinking about hosting an evening dedicated to finding a match for you Wanye. I don’t care how hard it would be to get women to come. I would go out of the country if required. They would love your accent.

    • RexLibris

      It’s not that Struds was born old, it’s just that his parents had already scheduled his driver’s training for the week after.

      (I heard this from an Oiler. Guess which one, Jason!)