A close-up look at Paul Cyr’s game-worn jersey. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni hockey player honoured for World Junior Hockey Championship appearance

The late Paul Cyr was called up in 1982 to replace an injured player

With a pair of World Junior Hockey Championships pre-tournament games taking place in Port Alberni, members of the local World Junior Committee took the opportunity to present a piece of local history.

Paul Cyr was the only Port Alberni hockey player to ever play in a World Junior tournament. His story started with Canada’s 1982 world junior hockey team.

Historically, the Memorial Cup winner represented Canada at the World Juniors. But after a few years of disappointing losses, Hockey Canada changed the format, recruiting the top talent in junior hockey. They invited 31 players to a summer camp in Kingston, Ontario ahead of the December tournament, but only 21 showed up. Many major junior teams refused to release their players, and others were injured.

“There was a call-up, a guy from Port Alberni,” explained World Junior Committee member Darren DeLuca. “During that tournament, he scored four goals, got six assists in 10 games, and Canada won the first gold medal in 20 years.”

Cyr was subsequently drafted ninth overall in the NHL entry draft by Scott Bowman and the Buffalo Sabres. He played in 470 NHL games with the Sabres, the New York Rangers and the Hartford Whalers before retiring in 1993.

Cyr died of heart failure in 2012, and his family donated one of his game-worn jerseys to the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society.

“We didn’t really present it right,” DeLuca admitted.

With the World Juniors coming to Port Alberni, DeLuca decided it was the perfect time to present the jersey. The jersey has been put on display in a box frame by L7 Framing. The wear and tear of an NHL career is visible, with stitches and puck marks preserved.

“We’re very grateful to have it,” DeLuca said. “To all the players here, if you ever make the show and you’ve got a game-worn jersey, we’ve got a spot on the wall for you.”

There is more to Cyr’s World Junior story. According to World Junior committee member Ron Paulson, Cyr’s home in Port Alberni burned down while he was enjoying his retirement.

“He had a World Junior Championship gold medal and he was deathly afraid that he had lost the gold medal in the fire,” Paulson explained.

But the gold medal had actually been placed inside a closed book. Although the lanyard it was attached to had burned, the gold medal survived. Cyr’s family still holds onto the medal to this day.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s Kari Trott set to shine at Canada Winter Games

Trott is one of two Special Olympics BC figure skaters invited to the national event

BCHL: Bulldogs’ Hawthorne commits to NCAA Wildcats

20-year-old goaltender earns scholarship to play Div. 1 hockey next year

Port Alberni realtor trekking the Sahara Desert in support of ACAWS

Chris Fenton of The Fenton Team will spend five days hiking in the Sahara Desert

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Port Alberni bear spraying suspect arrested in Coombs

Nanaimo resident facing 16 criminal charges after “well coordinated” RCMP effort

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

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

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

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

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

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read