Cliff Ronning excited to meet fans during alumni Classic

Cliff Ronning said playing in Vancouver Canucks alumni games is about friendships and getting to know the fans.

CLIFF RONNING is excited to meet fans in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre after the Canucks alumni game

CLIFF RONNING is excited to meet fans in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre after the Canucks alumni game

Cliff Ronning said playing in Vancouver Canucks alumni games is about friendships and getting to know the fans.

Once the Canucks alumni finish playing the Penticton Old-Timers Sept. 7 at 5 p.m., the players will joins fans for a meet-and-greet and autograph session.

“That’s when you really get to meet the people, talk to them and their kids,” said Ronning. “We’re there really just to kind of kickstart the Canucks year.”

Ronning, who spent six of his 18-season NHL career with the Canucks, said they are not taking the game super-serious.

“The biggest thing is hockey fans will notice just the passion still for the game is there,” said the speedster, who proved doubters wrong about his five-foot-eight frame.

He’s excited to hit the ice at the SOEC as he likes the group he lines up with because of their skill.

“Thomas Gradin was one of my favourites,” said Ronning, who started his career with the St. Louis Blues and also played for the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and New York Islanders. “Thomas Gradin to me was a gentleman on the ice and off the ice. He was a player that to me was one of the best skaters that I’ve ever seen. Helped me realize that you don’t have to be super-big to play the game. If you’re a good skater and focus on that, it definitely helped me become a better player.

“It’s fun to be around those type of guys,” he continued.

Ronning, a member of the 1994 Canucks team that lost the Stanley Cup to the New York Rangers, likes the different eras of Canucks hockey covered by the players. The coaching staff features Orland Kurtenbach, Harold Snepts and Richard Brodeur.

Asked if any practical jokes can be expected, Ronning said he’s not that kind of person.

“I’m sure there will be stuff going on,” he said. “I know Lofthouse has been known to do stuff. Gary Nylund is another one.”

Jared Holmes, a member of the Penticton Fire Department and Penticton Old Timers, is excited to play against what he said are some of the Canucks’ great players.

“Just to experience the way they play the game will be exciting,” said Holmes.

Growing up in Nelson, Holmes enjoyed watching Adams, a Nelson Minor Hockey product play for the Canucks, as well as Ronning, Smyl and Babych. Holmes said he and the other firefighters are pumped about the game.

“It should be a lot of fun,” said Holmes, who joked that the Penticton Old-Timers may be like the Washington Generals against the Canucks alumni. “Even if they take it easy, they will be awesome. I think it’s going to be a lot of laughs. Something I have never done before.”

Ronning will be joined by Greg (Gus) Adams, Dave Gagner, Thomas Gradin, Dave Babych, Mike Brown, Doug Bodger, David Bruce, Jamie Huscroft, John Craighead, Gary Nylund, Paul Reinhart, Mark Lofthouse, Garry Monahan, Stan Smyl and Dave Tomlinson for a tilt against the Penticton Old Timers Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. as part of the Canucks Young Stars Classic that hits the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Sept. 5.

The Canucks alumni will face a Penticton Old-Timers roster that includes Frank Darin, Penticton Vees director, Craig Cooke and Lance Johnston alumnus of the Penticton Vees and Knights alumnus, Dean Garnet, who played for the Summerland Buckaroos according to HockeyDB.com and local firefighters Marc Tougas and Holmes.

 

Just Posted

Osoyoos mayor Sue McKortoff shows a drip line used efficiently in a local vineyard. Most of the Okanagan is experiencing tinder dry conditions. (YouTube/Screenshot)
Extremely dry spring brings water shortage worries to the South Okanagan

The Okanagan has the least amount of water available per person and highest water usage in Canada

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
5-storeys still too tall for Penticton’s downtown, votes city council

Vote against new development leaves one councillor questioning validity of city’s zoning restrictions

Spiritleaf, Penticton’s first cannabis retailer opened in 2019. (Western News File)
Penticton expands cannabis store hours to match liquor stores

Cannabis stores are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. in Penticton

(Jennifer Smith/Black Press file photo)
Poll: Should Penticton hold Canada Day celebrations this year?

The spotlight on residential schools has caused the rethinking of Canada Day

A committee held its first meeting on June 9 to consider opionions for incorporation of the community of Okanagan Falls. At present, Okanagan Falls is the largest unincorporated community within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. (Contributed)
Study begins for Okanagan Falls incorporation

Committee held first meeting on June 9

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Vandalism forces Vernon to close public washrooms early

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Fire trucks parked near the McEachern Tobacco Barn on Wednesday, June 16.(Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Fire at heritage tobacco barn in Kelowna doused by residents

McEachern Tobacco Barn is on the city’s heritage register

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Old growth in the Columbia Valley, in the Kinbasket area. (Photo submitted)
Wildsight: Old-growth forests are being logged in Golden

Wildsight says that Canfor has been logging old growth at the Blaeberry headwaters

MAKING MUSIC
The Dixie Fried Hep Katz recorded a promotional video at the Kettle Valley Steam Railway station featuring the railway’s steam locomotive. The young band from Enderby plays Canadian Rockabilly, with Porter Johnson, 20, writing, lead guitarist and vocals; sister Kyndra on drums; and Logan Bannick on bass. The band is using the locomotive to promote their song Spooky Train and help shed light on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s drive for donations. (Tom Burley photo)
Donations help with repairs of Summerland steam railway

Kettle Valley Steam Railway put out earlier call for railway ties, tires for locomotive

Most Read