Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the death of former Prince George Spruce Kings captain Chad Staley.
So it is only fitting that day has been chosen to unveil the sign which will be hung outside the city’s newest indoor ice rink – Chad Staley Memorial Arena.
Built last fall within the confines of the Prince George Golf and Curling Club, the rink will be officially dedicated in Staley’s honour at the sign-raising ceremony at the south entrance to the rink near the golf pro shop on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Staley died of an accidental opioid overdose on March 9, 2020 at his home in Kennewick, Wash., two days after he was hit in the mouth by a puck during a recreational 4-on-4 hockey tournament. Staley took a pill given to him by a friend to relieve his pain, under the mistaken belief it was the prescription drug oxycodone, but instead it was an illicitly-produced street drug laced with fentanyl.
Staley played three years in the B.C. Hockey League with the Spruce Kings from 2012-15 and was one of the team’s most popular players. He went on to four-year U.S. college career as a centre for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks and he played professionally last season in Germany and Italy.
“It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year and he’s missed by a lot of people in a lot of different parts of the world, people that he really touched” said Spruce Kings general manager Mike Hawes.
“It makes us feel proud as Spruce Kings that we were able to know Chad and that we were able to spend time with him and be a big part of his life for three years. His legacy is going to live on here in Prince George for years and years to come and that’s something as an organization that we can be very proud of.
The project to dedicate the arena in his name and form the Chad Staley Memorial Athletic Foundation is being spearheaded by Lynda Pattie, Staley’s billet mom during his time in Prince George and her software development and IT services company AscentTech Solutions.Pattie plans to launch the foundation website on Tuesday.
The 125-foot long, 55-foot wide ice surface was built as the city’s first private indoor rink by Chris Hunter and Mike Peterson on four sheets of curling ice which were being used only sparingly by the curling club. Operated by Northern Ice Sports, the rink is now available to the public for rental and will be open year-round.
Spruce Kings president David Keough, who played four seasons for the Kings as a defenceman from 1996-2000 and also went on to play at U of A-Fairbanks, will represent the team at the sign unveiling on Tuesday.