Headliners for Hometown Hockey

By Geoff Lee

March 2, 2017 12:00 AM

Darcy Tucker

Kris Wiebe, one of two assistant coaches with the Lloydminster Bobcats hockey club, will be the honorary team captain when the team faces off in the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni game.
The AJHL Bobcats are partnering with First General Lloydminster and Fountain Tire to present the game on March 11 as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Weekend.
Wiebe, a former Bobcats’ fan favourite player, got the pick last week in the lead-up to the Bobcats’ fundraiser to be played the Centennial Civic Centre
“His jersey is up on our wall of honour,” said Bobcats’ marketing coordinator Andrew Heliotis, who released the news.
Wiebe owns Keva Concrete Construction Ltd. in Lloydminster.
The team’s current head coach, Travis Clayton, who played semi-pro hockey,  and the team’s other assistant coach, Taylor Holt, will lace up to bolster the Bobcats lineup.
Both men coached the Midget AAA Bandit Pipeline Bobcats to the 2016 Telus Cup and have been fixtures behind the benches of local hockey teams in Lloyd for eons.
“Seeing them so much behind the bench, it will be nice to see them competing,” said Heliotis.
Headlining the Maple Leafs roster will be former Leaf star, Joe Nieuwendyk, who broke into the NHL with the Calgary Flames in 1986-87.
Darcy Tucker, who played eight seasons with the Leafs will also play for the Leafs Alumni along with some lesser known players.
The alumni game replaces the perennial Evening of Champions fundraiser that had run its course.
The Bobcats jumped at the chance to play the Leafs Alumni after the AJHL circulated an e-mail about the association’s availability at the start of last season.
“We kind of bounced it around different community members, different sponsors to gauge what the attractiveness of the event would be,” said Heliotis.
“We got a lot of good reception, so it was something we kind of started running with to tie in into the Hometown Hockey weekend when a lot of people are going to be in town.”
He said the board decided it would work out great knowing there are diehard Leafs fans across the country dating back to the old six team National Hockey League.
“Even though they aren’t the Oilers or the Flames, there still seems to be a lot of Leafs fans,” said Heliotis.
“Ever since we put the tickets live, people are excited.”
The event organizer, Jackson Event noted this will be the first time the Leafs Alumni will play in Alberta with an initial game in Lethbridge prior to the match in Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan side of the Border City.
Tickets are $30 for the game and $60 for a VIP ticket including post game autographs and an after party with the Leafs alumni at the Wild Rose Pavilion.
The event will include a Kids Skate with the Leafs Alumni prior to game time at 6 p.m.
See the LloydminsterBobcats.ca website for complete ticket options, rosters and event information.

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