Grumpy Old Men cool on the ice in Parksville tourney

They may be edging past their prime, but this team still has what it takes on the ice

Doug Banks

Doug Banks

Bring on the Tiger Balm.

The Grumpy Old Men old-timers hockey tournament went off without a hitch at Oceanside Place over the weekend, and the players, some 350 of them in all, left it all on the ice.

“This is the 21st annual, and we’ve been here (in Oceanside) for eight years,” tournament director Bruce L’heureux said Saturday, on the history of what for many of the players in attendance is their last outing of the season.

L’heureux said the tournament was moved here from Nanaimo back in ‘04 because of economics, but it’s the facility and the people that keep them coming back.

“The ice is better, the facility is first class … the people here treat us like gold,” he said. “They love us, and we love being here.”

The 24-team tourney featured a four-team division of 35s, and four divisions of 45 and overs. There were two Parksville teams in the mix — the Bald Eagles and the Bruins.

“Oh yeah,” the longtime tournament organizer confirmed with a chuckle when asked if the speed and skill-set of the old timers on the ice struck home the deep roots of hockey in this country.

“A lot of these guys played some good hockey in their time.”

As for the economic benefits of the Grumpy Old Men — there were five teams from Campbell River North, four teams from Victoria, a team from Vancouver, and as far away as Salmon Arm and Washington State.

“This (tournament) generates in the neighbourhood of $250,000 for Parksville in spinoff business hotel rooms meals, shopping,” he said.

On Sunday, the Victoria Crusaders won the Blue division for bragging rights among the over 35s.

The Bald Eagles came up short against Goldstream in the Labatts final, but they had to be good to get there, as they beat the Saanich Old Chiefs 3-1 in Saturday’s fast-paced semifinal.

Parksville fire chief Doug Banks must have eaten his Wheaties before that game as he backstopped the Bald Eagles with some three alarm saves.

There were also a number of great efforts on the part of his teammates in front of him, including Gene Gervais. Gervais is the oldest Eagle at 62, but he was a handful for the Old Chiefs on Saturday.

“We had to win that game to make the final, so yeah it was a nice win,” said Bald Eagle D-man and team manager Lucky Butterworth.

“Great performance by Banksy,” he confirmed. “He was first star that game for sure … today’s (Sunday’s) game though, for the whole team, not so much.”

In other results, the Courtenay Blood Shots won the Budweiser division and the highly coveted Grumpy Guy T-shirt.

“Thats what they all play for, is the T-shirts,” Bruce chuckled.

The Salmon Arm Colts won the Kokanee division; the Bellingham Fury won the Lucky division and the Port Alberni Old Puckers the Alexander Keith’s.

“It gets a little intense out there sometimes — there were a couple incidents (on the ice) on the weekend,” Lucky confirmed when asked about the intensity a lot of the players still bring to the ice.

“For the most part it’s pretty good though, and we forget about whether we won or lost about 10 minutes after the game when the tray of beer arrives.”

Butterworth, who turns 50 soon, started playing hockey at the age of six up in Port Hardy. He said the average age of the players on the Bald Eagles is 52, 53, “and we’ve been in the (tournament) final six years in a row.”

As for the four in three days, “we’re pretty tired, a bit sore, and some people are pretty hung over today,” he said Sunday night, and agreed the game of hockey never gets old.

Last weekend was the Bald Eagles’ second tournament of the year and they still have one more in Campbell River in two weeks — including league games the team has played around 40 games this season.

“We all still enjoy it. We have an Over 55 team as well, so we all get to move up,” he laughed.

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The Oceanside Minor Lacrosse Association will honour their many volunteers on June 26. (PQB News file photo)
Oceanside Minor Lacrosse to honour volunteers on June 26

Appreciation event set for Parksville Community Park

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read