One of the more popular captains in Saskatoon Blades' history will be honoured Friday when the Bridge City Bunch opens its 2017-18 W-H-L regular-season against the visiting Swift Current Broncos.
Unfortunately, Bruce Gordon was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is undergoing experimental treatment. A two-year Blades' defenceman, Gordon was captain in 1981-82. One of his team-mates that season, was also his partner with the Saskatoon Police Service after their playing days were done.
"It's like he played, he's meeting it head on," explained Dave Chartier when talking about Gordon's condition. "The cancer is a strong competitor...and so is Bruce. So, he's just started into some stronger pain management. He's just doing an amazing job with it."
Former Blades' assistant G-M, now voice of the Winnipeg Jets, Dennis Beyak will M-C the pre-game ceremonies. Several former team-mates will be in attendance. There will be a number of fund-raising initiatives Friday, as the Pacman jersey is reintroduced in Saskatoon, including proceeds from the auction of a Kelly Chase signed jersey going towards cancer research at Royal University Hospital. Game time Friday is 7-05 with fans encouraged to be in their seats before then for the special opening ceremony. Following is the news release from the Blades...
The Saskatoon Blades have some big league fire power coming to their home opener Friday to salute a former captain and help the fight against a bigger opponent beyond the rink.
The Blades and their fans are celebrating the return of the jersey affectionately known as the Pacman and all that it embodies. Few epitomize that more than former captain, Bruce Gordon.
Bruce captained the Blades in the early 80s before going on to a storied career with the Saskatoon Police Service. Afterwards, he enrolled in university and earned a law degree. He made an incredible impact on people in rinks, courts and communities, showing care and compassion while fighting to ensure things are done the right way.
He was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he’s tackling it the way he’s faced every other challenge in life – stoically while thinking of others. After his diagnosis, he went out and set a record winning a triathlon.
Blades alumni are coming from across the prairies to Saskatoon to rally around their captain in a special pre-game ceremony.
The Voice of the Winnipeg Jets, Dennis Beyak, who was the Assistant General Manager on Bruce’s teams, is flying in to emcee a program that will also feature Bruce’s teammates, including 2-time Stanley Cup Champion Brian Skrudland, former Philadelphia Flyer and Vancouver Canuck Daryl Stanley, former Edmonton Oiler Todd Strubey, long-time Blades Dave Chartier, Roger Kortko, and Ron Dreger, and a host of others. Former General Managers and Coaches Jackie McLeod and Daryl Lubiniecki will also be in attendance.
Police officers in Saskatoon and Regina are also mobilizing to come out Friday in support of Bruce. The same is true for lawyers, triathletes, and cross fit athletes as they all come out to join Bruce, his family and hockey fans at the event.
“We aim to develop people first and players second so they leave our program more well-rounded citizens than when they arrived,” says Blades President Steve Hogle. “Bruce is in a class by himself as evidenced by this amazing response. He offers all of us a lesson in how to live life.”
The game will feature a number of fundraisers for the fight against cancer. Proceeds from the auction of a Kelly Chase signed jersey, the sale of “Be Like Bruce” t-shirts and the 50-50 will all generate money for cancer research at the Royal University Hospital.
The Blades will also unveil some initiatives to ensure their players hit the ice and Be Like Bruce when they take on the Swift Current Broncos, as well as other opponents at SaskTel Centre this year.
Be in your seats by seven this Friday Night for the special ceremony which will be followed by an exciting game between the Blades and the Broncos and lots of fun in the stands. Someone will even have the chance to go home with a two-year lease vehicle from our friends at Merlin Ford Lincoln.