As the Langley Rivermen gear up for another B.C. Hockey League season, they remember one of the community’s junior A hockey pioneers.
On their Twitter feed, the Rivermen paid tribute to former Langley Thunder owner Paul Flett, who passed away July 28 after a battle with cancer.
He was 70 and is survived by wife Judy, sons Josh and Mac, daughter-in law Brianne, granddaughters Isabella and Halle, sister Robin, brother Sandy, brother-in-law Chuck, and many cousins nieces and nephews.
Our deepest condolences on the passing of Paul Flett original owner of the Langley Thunder Jr A Hockey team.
— Langley Rivermen (@LangleyRivermen) July 29, 2017
“He was larger than life and will be missed deeply,” Flett’s obituary reads.
After bringing junior hockey to Langley for the 1994-95 season, Flett sold the Thunder in April 1996 and in 1998, the team changed its name to the Langley Hornets.
In their first two seasons in Langley under Flett’s ownership, the Thunder amassed back-to-back, dominant 38 win seasons and along the way played an aggressive, uptempo style of hockey inside what was then known as the Langley Civic Centre (now the George Preston Recreation Centre) in Brookswood.
The Rivermen opened their 2017-18 pre-season schedule by walloping the Coquitlam Express 10-3 at Coquitlam’s Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex on Aug. 23.
The teams also met the following night at the Langley Sportsplex, and while the score was much closer, the Rivermen prevailed once again, this time by a 3-2 score.
The exhibition season continues with games at South Surrey Arena against the Eagles on Saturday (Aug. 26) at 7 p.m. and at Chilliwack’s Prosper Centre against the Chiefs on Sunday (Aug. 27) at 2 p.m.
Langley wraps up its pre-season with back-to-back games in Wenatchee, Wash., on Sept. 1 and 2 against the Wild.