Sylvan Lake going after Kraft Hockeyville crown

Losing the “Old Barn,” a 40-year-old rink steeped in hockey history, was a blow to Central Alberta.

Losing the “Old Barn,” a 40-year-old rink steeped in hockey history, was a blow to Central Alberta.

The ice community felt the loss of memories and tradition when the Sylvan Lake Arena’s roof partially collapsed under a heavy load of snow on Jan. 20.

But the community is bouncing back with its efforts to score the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 crown for the Medican Multi-plex.

Kevin Putnam, a former arena player, staff member and coach, now living in the Yukon, is one of the organizers behind Sylvan Lake’s campaign to win the prize of $100,000 in arena upgrades, a pre-season NHL game and visit from CBC.

Putnam said people have always looked at Sylvan Lake as a “hockeyville” with its rich hockey tradition and the quality players who came through over the years.

“With the rink collapsing last week, now seemed liked the perfect time to go for it,” said Putnam.

“What we would really like to do is go to the Kraft Hockeyville’s website and submit their stories under Medican Multi-plex community,” said Putnam. “And to vote for all the other (Sylvan Lake) stories.”

The Heart of Our Town … Gone Forever is one of the highest ranked stories on the website.

Putnam said there are more than 4,000 people on the Sylvan Lake Hockeyville 2014 Facebook page but the numbers are not translating on the Hockeyville website.

Putnam said the arena meant the world to residents and those who came to Sylvan Lake every summer for the hockey camps.

Arena operator Graham Parsons said losing the well-played rink was heartbreaking. Parsons had operated a long-running hockey school out of the rink for many years.

“I’ve been in there every day for about 28 years,” said Parsons.

“It was the busiest rural rink in rural Western Canada, especially in the 1980s and 1990s because there wasn’t much spring or summer ice around. All sorts of people came to skate here.”

Parsons gave a laundry list of NHL players and figure skaters who touched the ice over the years, including the Sutters, Chris Phillips, Curtis Glencross, Craig Berube, Chris Mason, Sean Burke, Ryan Smyth, Jarome Iginla and Kurt Browning.

“All different kinds of personalities have skated at this … little rink,” said Parsons.

He said winning the Hockeyville title would mean a great deal for Sylvan Lake.

What remains of the arena is expected to be demolished some time next week.

The arena was due for demolition in a couple of years to make way for a new multiplex.

The town already has concept plans in place for a new multiplex with an arena to be built on the same site beginning in 2016.

The adjacent multiplex remains closed until after the demolition because of the arena is structurally unsafe and there’s the chance of the roof collapsing into the multiplex.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read