Kariya loved being a Panther

Paul Kariya just smiled as he reflected on his two seasons as a Penticton Panther.

PAUL KARIYA talks to the crowd about his time as a Penticton Panther during the 2013 B.C Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

PAUL KARIYA talks to the crowd about his time as a Penticton Panther during the 2013 B.C Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Paul Kariya just smiled as he reflected on his two seasons as a Penticton Panther.

“They were amazing,” said Kariya, prior to the start of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony held July 26.

Under coach Gary Davidson, the North Vancouver product scored 91 goals and 244 points in 94 games.

Kariya said it was a great experience to be coached by Davidson and play with several great players. It gave him the chance to play for Canada’s under-18 team and the world junior squad. Davidson also helped Kariya earn a scholarship with the University of Maine Black Bears.

In his rookie season, 1990-91, the Panthers won just 13 games.

“The second year we were a really good team,” said Kariya, as they won 38 games. “Got some good players. I was able to play with a lot of friends that I played minor hockey with. Guys like Brian Barnes and Jeff Tory. A good group of guys.”

Helping make Kariya’s time as a Panther memorable were the fans.

“It’s a great hockey town,” said Kariya, who was inducted alongside retired NHLer Mark Recchi, former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford, Colin Patterson and Nancy Wilson, the first female inductee, and the 1993-94 and 94-95 Kamloops Blazers Memorial Cup winning teams. “Obviously in the summer it’s amazing here. Kids going to the hockey school. It’s a great place to be, a great place to play. I certainly miss the people here.”

Kariya also enjoyed a 15-year NHL career that began with nine seasons in Anaheim. He then spent a season with the Colorado Avalanche, followed by two with the Nashville Predators and three seasons with the St.Louis Blues, where he played his final game in 2009-10. Kariya was forced to retire due to concussion problems.

“I had 15 great years and that’s a lot longer than the average person,” said Kariya, who resides in California. “I’m very thankful.”

Four BCHHF awards were also given out during the evening, one going to Vees forward Cody DePourcq.  He was given the Patricia Carter Award, which honors the BCHHF Society’s first member. Past winners of the Patricia Carter Award have combined success in hockey with their educational goals.

 

Just Posted

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Most Read