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DC121240 Darlene SASKATOONEXPRESS - December 12-18, 2016 - Page 9

Plenty of former pros in 60 Plus Hockey League


(Continued from page 3) en Crump, who is a past-president and the schedule-maker, was born and raised in Winnipeg where he played some Junior B. “I moved to Saskatoon, played in the Masters league, the Over 50 League and have been in this league for 11 years now. We tend to get six to seven new players every time we change the schedule. Some have played pro or semi-pro, with the juniors or the Huskies.” Ken McKnight, who is the current president, grew up around Waldheim and didn’t play much organized hockey as a youth. “About 35 years ago, I moved to Clavet, started with a group which was renting the rink at Elstow and we were playing at 11:30 at night. I’ve been playing in this league for 10 years and the scheduling is really a factor.” Gentle grew up in the City Park area, became strongly interested in hockey when he was playing in the University of Saskatchewan’s Faculty and Staff Hockey league “and that’s where I got to meet Dave King and saw what a great mentor and motivator he was. About 11 years ago, I was invited into this league, was a spare for two games and got hooked.” Orban played junior hockey with the Saskatoon Quakers and spent 11 years as a pro, including the 1972 season where JW121215 James he scored four goals in one playoff game

and helped Springfield win the American League championship. Among the former pros who preceded Orban in the league were Jack McLeod (New York Rangers and Saskatoon Quakers), Al Staley (Rangers and Quakers) and Jack Norris (Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles). Norris was an NHL goalie for four years and opted for defence in the Over 60 League. Crump said the league has been like a support network “for some who have lost their wives, had cancer scares, even bypasses, and this league is a place they can turn for friendship and support.” Sometimes league teams go intact to a 60 Plus tournament in Victoria, sometimes individual players go to a tournament in Vernon. The new twist last summer was forming a team to play in the Canadian Senior Fitness Association +55 Games in Brampton, Ont. Orban heard about the opportunity, signed up 14 players, practiced regularly and all paid their own way down east. “When we got there,” said Orban, “we found out that the Ontario team from Brantford had tryouts by 400 players before selecting their roster. We stayed with our original 14, five of whom were over 70 years of age. We had five games in four days, lost only once to Ontario, and we got the silver medals.”

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Saskatoon Express, December 12, 2016  
Saskatoon Express, December 12, 2016