April 01, 2008

Native Hockey Players

A regular reader sent me this note yesterday:

"Hey Joe, you've got a section on black players, but why not a section on First Nations players? I'd be happy to help if you'd like. Being First Nations myself, I think it's important, especially to show my sosn the accomplishments of native players."

The reader has something here, although that would be a long term undertaking. I will see what I can do. I have some players profiled, such as George Armstrong, Bryan Trottier, Jim Nielson, Reggie Leach, and the ever popular Stan Jonathan. Today I've added my newest profile - "Chief" Ron Delorme.

Ron Delorme was a honest, unrelenting mucker and grinder with the Colorado Rockies and the Vancouver Canucks.

A popular player with his teammates and the fans, Delorme was a hero to Native Canadians. A proud Cree Indian from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Delorme became a role model for aspiring native hockey players and athletes. "Chief," his obvious nickname, spent a lot of his spare time visiting reservations and native banquets encouraging Native youths to aspire for great things like he did.

Delorme was drafted by the Kansas City Scouts 56th overall in the 1975 Entry Draft. He split the next season playing with his junior club in Lethbridge, the WHA in Denver and the CHL in Tucson. The following season he made his NHL debut in 1976 with the relocated Scouts, now known as the the Colorado Rockies.

Read the full Ron Delorme biography here - including on his role in bringing another popular native player to Vancouver, Gino Odjick.

And by the way, for more information on First Nations hockey players, check out NativeHockey.com. The website appears to be in its infancy, but it could develop into a real impressive resource.

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