Inglis gives new meaning to two-way player

Red Deer Rebels overage forward Charles Inglis is literally a two-way performer.

Red Deer Rebels overage forward Charles Inglis is literally a two-way performer.

The outgoing Inglis has worked overtime as both a sniper and team spokesperson. Since joining the Rebels last December, Inglis has been a contributor both on and off of the ice, attending as many team-sponsored functions as he can manage, which so far has basically been every one.

“He’s incredibly eager, he wants to be at every event we do off the ice,” said Rebels radio broadcast director Cam Moon. “He wants to go to every school, make every public appearance. He likes being out there and he’s not afraid to show some personality at those events.

“I know we got a great reaction regarding how personable he was at the (recent) Advocate post-game skate (with the Rebels at the Centrium).”

Inglis was one of six Rebels players to visit Vancouver’s skid row area this month with members of the RCMP drug squad and will share the experience at Central Alberta schools with drug awareness talks starting next week.

In addition . . .

“He paired up with a class at Annie L. Gaetz school this week and after he got here last year he attended all the Subway floor hockey events that we did (at various Red Deer and area schools),” said Moon. “Not to mention his regular Thursday morning visit to (radio stations) The Drive and Big 105. He goes on air and talks about whatever.”

Moon noted that if the hockey thing doesn’t work out for Inglis, he could be a radio personality.

“He could be a morning deejay. He could probably host a show,” Moon insisted.

Inglis is just happy to be of service.

“I do like getting out in the community. We finally got to go to Annie L. Gaetz school and I got paired up with a great bunch of Grade 1’s for the year,” he said. “There’s the radio thing I go to once a week and I’m setting something up where I can go to the hospital, visit some kids and just bring some joy to their day.

“I really enjoy doing that kind of stuff. It makes me feel good if I can make somebody else happy. It’s really important for me to give back because I can remember when I was just a small kid.”

In short, Inglis is enjoying his time in Red Deer.

“I love it here, I couldn’t be happier. I really thank Brent (GM Sutter) and Jesse (head coach Wallin) for giving me the opportunity here,” he said.

Inglis potted 32 goals with the Prince George Cougars in the 2010-11 season and last season netted 19 in 52 games with the Cougars and Rebels, who acquired him from Prince George in exchange for forward Daulton Siwak and a third-round bantam draft pick.

He’s regained his form this season with 11 goals to date, including a league-leading seven on the power play. Four of the goals have come in the last two games, both Red Deer victories.

“Everyone, including myself, is playing more relaxed,” he said. “We’re working harder out there and coming into games with the mindset that we’re just going to go out there and play with a relaxed intensity instead of gripping our sticks too hard. Hockey is a fun game. If we’re not having fun out there we’re not doing it right.”

As the Rebels’ leading scorer with 14 points, Inglis gives himself a passing grade to this point in the season.

“I’ve had a not-bad start to the season, but there are definitely areas I need to improve,” he said. “I had a little slump there where I was minus-5 over five games. I’m trying to get on the plus side of things and it’s working out. With my new linemates, Tyson Ness and Joel Hamilton, we’re moving the puck real well out there. It’s nice to play with those guys.”

Wallin likes what Inglis brings to the table — speed, a good shot, a physical presence and the ability to score — and said the six-foot, 185-pound forward is most effective when he follows the game plan.

“The big thing with Charles is just staying focused and playing the game the right way,” said Wallin. “When he gets away from some of the details in playing a team game, that effects his play and the play of the team.

“The last couple of games he’s got back to paying attention to the details. He’s keeping his shifts short, he’s using his linemates and he’s had a real good pace to his game. He’s a guy who when he’s moving he gets to the net, he creates space for himself and his teammates. Just about every goal he scores is from right in the paint. That’s where he has to get to and he has to be moving the puck. When he’s hanging on to it himself he doesn’t get to that area.”

Inglis was traded to Prince George after falling out of favour with the Saskatoon Blades. And he didn’t get through two seasons in Prince George before being sent home to await a trade, all of which meant he arrived in Red Deer with some personal baggage.

Since settling here, however, he’s been a model citizen.

“He’s been excellent,” said Wallin. “His past is his past and he can’t erase that, but it’s what he does moving forward. Here, we’ve had zero issues with Charles. He’s great in the community, he works hard off the ice doing what he’s asked.

“He quite enjoys that part of it. He’s very personable, very likeable and he’s kept his nose clean. If he continues to do that he can be a good player for us.”

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

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