It brings out the kid in all of us: Nicholls
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | October 12, 2017
There were humble beginnings for one of the greatest hockey players to ever lace up the skates in the NHL.
Bernie Nicholls, best known for his stint with the LA Kings, shared some memories of growing up just outside of Haliburton long before tinsel town.
He was born in Haliburton but grew up in West Guilford, and has fond memories of the neighbourhood rink with its lights running down the middle.
“It was cold. I remember skating there ‘til night time. My dad would have to come and get me to take me home. My feet would be frozen. We played with a pink rubber ball so we could find it when it went over the boards into the snow. Even when we were at school, at lunch time, we’d be going back and skating at the ice rink there,” Nicholls recalls.
Today, he’s a huge fan of the NHL outdoor game. He said Canadian players, in particular, love them, since it harkens back to a simpler day when they just played shinny on a pond, or outdoor rink.
Something about having Hometown Hockey come to Haliburton’s Head Lake Park is also very appealing to Nicholls, who played 1,127 games in the show, amassing 1,209 points. He was one of only eight players to score 70 goals in a season, and one of only five to score 150 points. He brought a Stanley Cup home and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
He’ll be on the ground both Saturday and Sunday to sign autographs and take part in the broadcast spectacle.
“It’s for the fans … it’s for the kids…you see the excitement of the kids and that’s what’s exciting for me.
“I’m just happy for Haliburton as a whole for the opportunity they get to host it. We’ve got a lot of young kids that just love hockey and Hockey Night in Canada. It brings out the kid in all of us. That’s what hockey is. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you play … when I play … I still feel like a little kid.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.