How about that Jeff Legue?

Seaway News - - SPORTS - Thom Racine Sports

Wouldn’t Jeff Legue look good in a Riverkings uni­form - slap me out of my dream - in­stant fan favourite and lo­cal boy, it was talked about last year, play for Al and Mike (Ruest) again, play with your long time ice enemy and now brother in law, Bren­nan Barker, would have been some­thing.

Where does the time go, it seems like yes­ter­day that those golden locks of fab­u­lous flow were wind­ing up in­side his own end and streak­ing down the Si Miller ice sur­face.

That was over twelve years ago. He went to Fer­ris State and played with Colts team­mate Matt Ver­doni and some guy named Chris Ku­nitz, but die hard Colts fans will never for­get the im­pact that num­ber 11 had on his team and his com­mu­nity. Where has he been? Those that fol­low lo­cal hockey re­li­giously, know that Jeff went to Great Bri­tain and found a way to make an im­pact on a league, that not many of us knew or cared about, play­ing for the Sh­effield Steel­ers of the Elite Ice Hockey League of the United King­dom. I got to know Jeff dur­ing the 1999 and 2000 sea­sons, hockey sea­sons that play­ers, coaches and play by play guys can only dream of.

I am sure, Al Wa­gar re-vis­its those years of­ten, he owned the team, the town and it helped him se­cure a spot in our Hall of Fame, among the other things big Al has done and con­tin­ues to do. That Colts team had ev­ery­thing, and yet noth­ing was a given, as they were forced to the limit to win back to back league cham­pi­onships and that alone made those two years even more spe­cial. Jeff Legue was the Cap­tain and leader on a team that sim­ply had no quit in them and had fun play­ing the best game in the world.

I re­mem­ber one day show­ing up for prac­tice, Co­geco had asked me to cover some play­ers and when I got to the Si, Big Al was call­ing the team to the boards near the bench on the west side of the arena. Ev­ery­one was on the ice ex­cept Legue. He was tardy get­ting to the rink that day. When he fi­nally ap­peared from the dress­ing room and re­al­ized that he was too late, Jeff Legue crawled on his hands and knees all the way around to the play­ers bench, just in time to hear Al say, “give me two laps and lets get started.”

The Cap­tain blended into the crowd and al­most got away with a mi­nor vi­o­la­tion that af­ter­noon, ex­cept Jeff had for­got­ten his hel­met, in his haste to get onto the ice. Who will ever for­get the goal he scored against Ottawa in game seven of the 2000 fi­nal.

A night af­ter An­drew Schem­bri had saved their butts in over­time of game six, Legue crossed the Se­na­tors blue line and let go a ‘bar down’ slap shot that lifted the roof off the ‘old girl’ and would pro­pel the good guys to a 7-0 win and a spot in the Coat­i­cook Fred Page Cup. On Sun­day last, Jeff Legue as­sisted on another game win­ing goal in a 2-1 win over ri­val Hull.

Sure it was just another as­sist in his long hockey ca­reer, but this one was spe­cial - for it was Jeff Legue’s 500th point since head­ing over­seas seven years ago. He be­came only the fifth player in the his­tory of the EIHL to ac­com­plish the mile­stone. Sit­ting here think­ing about Jeff and his ca­reer, I am quite cer­tain as Jeff Legue grew up match­ing wits with his twin sis­ter Jen­nifer, there was never a dream in his youth, that woke him up smil­ing about play­ing hockey in a na­tion that loves its soc­cer as much as we love our game, never a con­ver­sa­tion with his fa­ther Bill about the city of Sh­effield, Eng­land, un­til that pos­si­bil­ity be­came a re­al­ity in 2007, a few years be­fore Bill’s death.

But the day af­ter he scored that 500th point, dur­ing the eleventh minute of the first pe­riod, I am sure that dream brought a smile and a tear, when the home town Sh­effield faith­ful did some­thing so very spe­cial. They rose in uni­son and stood cheer­ing for that en­tire eleventh minute of play. A fit­ting trib­ute to their num­ber 11, be­cause that day and for­ever more, Corn­wall’s Jeff Legue, will have a spot in Bri­tain’s hockey an­nals and as Mel Allen would say - How about that!

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