Ryan's Rant - Quesnel, BC

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By Terry Ryan 


I have chosen for my rant an excerpt form a book which I wrote, called "Tales of a first Round Nothing".  The book is unpublished so if you like it spread the word!  I always felt lucky for my fortune, getting to travel and play hockey and I kept a journal wherever I went.  In 1991 my parents moved away from Mount Pearl NL with me to pursue my hockey dream.  We moved a long way, to Quesnel British Columbia.  In those days you had to leave the island in order to get noticed as there weren't many scouts coming to the Rock.


  Tales Of First Round Nothing By Terry Ryan


BetOnHockey Ryan NHL Draft 350x479.jpgQUESNEL, BC 1991-1993

Quesnel is a small mill town smack dab in the middle of British Columbia, although everything above the Okanagan is considered Northern B.C.. I had spoken with the Tri-City Americans, who wanted to make me their 1st round selection that year. I had to actually move to western Canada in order to be eligible for the Western Hockey League draft as I had played all my minor hockey in my native home, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.

I was REALLY nervous. My father, as I said, played pro hockey and I put all my trust in him because this was a big move I really didn’t know much about. I remember him on the plane saying that it was up to me, I could bail on this idea at anytime and he would support me. He made the point however that he had seen and played a lot of hockey, and in his point of view I was a bona fide NHL prospect already (Being 6’ and 180 at 14 didn’t hurt). Another point he made was that I had to do my best to fit in. These guys were older so I had to be ready to grow up and mature a little faster than my peers I had been hanging with to this point, who were back in Newfoundland starting grade 9. This meant a lot of things on AND off the ice.. On the ice the biggest change was the size and physical play. Off the ice it was the obvious for a team filled with guys as old as 21, and NONE my age. Girls, booze, parties….I had to deal with all this ON TOP of dealing with my introduction to high school! I had come from pee-wee the year before and there is no hitting in pee-wee, let alone fighting. It was a league for big boys, he said, and it would be easier to get respect if I didn’t show signs of weakness. He was correct.

The first few days were tough and I remember it being very obvious that I was nervous and awkward most times, although my actual play on the ice was average in relativity to the other guys, and for a 14 year old that was more than I could ask for. Camp was going well and now it was time for the first exhibition game, which was only a big deal to 1 person in the building, me. The league - The Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League - had a reputation as one of the toughest Junior circuits in Canada. Quesnel is a blue collar town where more fans come to see the fights than anything else, and if the team wins it’s a bonus! This, by the way, I don’t consider a bad thing. I still have a lot of friends there and visit frequently. Good people, good values. But don’t piss anyone off or it’s go time. I learned a lot in that small town and I think it shaped a lot of my character.


Check Back Every Week For 'Ryan's Rant', By Terry Ryan.


Also Watch For Terry Ryan's book, 'Tales Of A First Round Nothing'.



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