Without history, yesteryear, or days of yore, we have little to reflect on. Conversations among buddies and acquaintances focus on the past. Indeed, we all have stories albeit often exaggerated- nevertheless, the memories can last a lifetime.

The Prince George Cougars are similar to any high profile team that are trying to build structure to recognize the past. Although the 3rd annual Cougars Alumni Hospital Charity Golf Tournament is primarily a fundraiser for the Spirit of the North Foundation it gives the participants a chance to see former teammates and connect on a shared bond.

Hockey players can be well known public figures but they also cherish the dressing room, an environment that provides a sense of exclusivity. These kind of events offer a unique opportunity to socialize with a group that have similar backgrounds; in this case Cougars hockey. This resembles a high school re-union where one can get great satisfaction traveling down memory lane.

To date, the Cougars organization has not built a winning environment but that doesn’t mean that the many players that have donned their uniform did not enjoy and appreciate the experience. Fans have the belief that sports are all about winning and it’s hard to argue the value of the “W”, but athletes realize there’s also no substitute that camaraderie, fellowship and familiarity can bring.

During the charity golf weekend, co-owners Dan Hamhuis and Eric Brewer were the headliners along with Blair Betts, Nick Drazenovic, Brett Connolly and Ronald Petrovicky, all of whom are or were in the NHL, but they were just among the guys happy to reminisce with other men that were once in their shoes, or should I say skates. Fellow former Cats like Scott Myers, Andrew Luciuk, Quinn Hancock, Shaun Gendron, Trevor Shoaf, Justin Cox, Chris Falloon, Dan Baum, Eric Hunter, Garrett Thiessen, Chris Petersen, Scott Bowles, Cody Carlson, Richard Peacock, last season’s captain Troy Bourke and organizer Tyler Brough were just as instrumental in making the event a success.

It didn’t matter if one excelled in golf or was a hacker, one played on a good Cougar team in 99-00 or a bad one in 09-10, or if one was still involved in the game or working as a firefighter, they were all on equal footing with great plays, bad fights and costly giveaways to recollect. There is nothing like the off season to bring out the best in everybody. When the pressure is off and the stress is gone, the Cougar alumni can all shine in a relaxed environment.

Chief organizer Gary Samis has spearheaded the Cougars Charity Golf tournament which has now raised well over 100 grand in a three year period for the Spirit of the North. Samis, who’s enjoying retirement, is a hockey fan who realized the need for such an event in Prince George. There is no downside to hosting a charity function, where a hockey team, ex-players and fans re-unite.

If one was wondering, Hamhuis says he doesn’t care for the term “rebuild” when that catchphrase is used for the Canucks; the 35-year-old Brewer has high regards for Tampa coach Jon Cooper (who was born in PG) and his innovative ideas and Connolly says he has put on 10 pounds of muscle in the off-season to enhance his chances of making the Lightning. These are all stories of note and certainly can be expanded, but reflecting on the lighthearted side has its value.

The importance of alumni reconnecting reaches far beyond chums sharing a “pop” and a few laughs. Why? It helps build and create the team’s reputation, which relies in large part on how successful “graduates” are in the real world. If a franchise like the Cougars becomes well-known for producing ex-players with excellent character, people that are intelligent, and effective in their fields (hockey or otherwise), then the organization’s reputation will grow.

The new Cougars ownership is well aware of the team’s image. Changing culture does not happen in one day, one weekend, one month or even one year, but the worthiness of a successful event that brings together the past and present cannot be understated. Having strong roots to the past builds a sense of community and a rapport with every person setting the foundation for a positive, brighter future.

From the Quote Rack

Yankee Stadium suite for Derek Jeter’s final home game is going for $244,000. Why the discount?

Roger Federer and Lindsay Vonn played a tennis match—atop a glacier in the Swiss Alps. Roger was supposed to play Maria Sharapova, but officials ruled her grunting could’ve triggered an avalanche.

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Tennis legend Monica Seles, 40, is engaged to marry 72-year-old billionaire Tom Golisano. For Seles, that will make nine Grand Slams and one granddad.

In 2009 WTA star Simona Halep had surgery to have her 34DD breasts reduced. Or as they say in tennis, she dropped a set.

Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

The Chicago Cubs have filed a lawsuit over “Billy Cub”, a fake mascot that allegedly has been engaging in bad behavior outside Wrigley Field. Wonder how long it will take some Cubs season ticket holders to file a lawsuit over bad behavior on the field inside Wrigley.

Odrisamer Despaigne came within four outs Sunday of throwing the first no-hitter in San Diego’s 46 year history. And Padres pitchers have the added handicap of not being able to pitch against own team.

Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

A pair of white flags recently appeared on the tops of the Brooklyn Bridge’s two towers. Authorities say they have no suspects but are leaning towards every New York Mets fan.

Comedy writer Marc Ragovin

KFC Canada announced Wednesday that they will be serving beer at its “KFC Fresh” concept store in Toronto. Is this just a coincidence that the Red Sox were in town?

The body of Casey Kasem is missing. His family has compiled a list of the Top 40 places he could be found.

Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (http://alwaysfunny.com/)

And in case you missed it

The highlight of his life was playing goalie for Brazil in this year’s World Cup.

Craig Ferguson of CBS, on Brazilian Jose Aguinelo dos Santos, who claims to be 126 years old which would make him the world’s oldest man.

Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio station TheGoat94.3 His column appears weekly on hqprincegeorge.com. Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller