By Doug Kennedy
I have a feeling there will be a lot of people from the Ripley area watching the Winnipeg Jets play in the near future. Logan Stanley got his chance to get in to the lineup this past Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played five games for the Jets and from reading comments from his coach, played well. A ritual in the NHL is for a rookie to lead the way onto the ice in the warm up for the first game. Stanley got his chance to do this in Toronto last Monday night. It happens with most rookies as he leads the team on to the ice for warmup and they let him get that first lap in by himself.
A favourite thing to look forward to as a young Canadian would be making his NHL debut with your family in the stand. I am also sure there would have been a good number of people from Ripley that would have been at that game. Unfortunately, that cannot happen in Canada this winter.
Stanley was drafted 18th overall in the 2016 NHL draft. He is a six foot, seven inch defenceman who plays a solid game in his own end and has a heavy shot from the point.
His teammate Mark Scheifele recently said he would love to see Stanley get his shot at getting in the lineup. He has noticed his great work ethic and has seen how much he has improved in the last couple of years. Scheifele is from Kitchener and they work out together.
Stanley played his minor hockey in Waterloo before getting picked by the Windsor Spitfires in the first round of the OHL draft. He played three seasons in Windsor before being traded to the Kitchener Rangers, where he finished his junior career.
After tha,t he moved on to the American league where he played for the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg. He played the last two seasons for the Moose.
His family has strong roots in Ripley, as his father grew up there. Jeff Stanley played minor hockey in Ripley and after that played for the Ripley Wolves and the Elora Rock. Stanley’s mother, Laurie, was a hairdresser in Kincardine and had moved to Point Clark as a teenager. He has a brother, Reese.
He helped out with our ballgame at the Kincardine Old Boy’s reunion. He is willing to give back to his parent’s roots which is nice. Let’s hope this is a start to a long NHL career.
The NHL has assigned referees and linesman to the Canadian division. Kevin Pollock has been assigned to this division. He started with a road trip out west for a string of games after coming back from that injury last year. Pollock gets to his location the day before games and takes his Covid-19 test in each city he goes to.
Scott Cherry from Drayton has been a linesman in the NHL for 14 seasons and is in the Canadian division also.
Kendrick Nicholson from Milverton is also in that division. It seems like last year Nicholson was refereeing in the Pollock division, but it was five years ago. It is so good to see these local young men succeeding in the NHL.
It was a great couple of football games on Sunday. It looks like there will be a great Super Bowl in a couple weeks. What more can you say about Tom Brady? He is probably the greatest leader in professional sports of all time. It should be a great game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.