Blazers celebrating Don Hay's milestone tonight vs. Rockets

By Chad Klassen
February 16, 2018 - 2:50pm Updated: February 16, 2018 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — When Don Hay began his head coaching career in Kamloops in 1992, he never could've imagined what is coming Friday night, a celebration of his distinguished title as winningest coach in Western Hockey League history. 

"It's something I'm very proud of," said Hay. "Very proud of all the people I've worked with. It's a real team milestone. A lot of people involved in it. A lot of assistant coaches, support staff, trainers, and management people. General managers and owners."

Hay will be recognized before Friday's game against Kelowna for reaching 743 wins. The fact the celebration is in his hometown makes it that much more special. 

"It means a lot, having grown up here in Kamloops, playing junior hockey here with the old Kamloops Rockets, having played in the Western Hockey League as an 18, 19 year old. Having my son [Darrell Hay] play in the Western Hockey League. It means a lot," noted Hay. 

Leading into Friday's celebration, Hay penned a letter to his coaching staff, past and present, players, and management for ultimately helping him reach this milestone. 

"On a milestone like this, you can't thank everyone, [but] you want to thank everybody," he said. "I thought the letter would be able to reach a lot of different people. I've coached three different organizations: Kamloops, Tri-City, and Vancouver. The milestone took place in a lot of different areas along the journey to the end result. I just wanted to reach out to everybody that has been apart of it."

In the letter, Hay acknowledged the role his family has played. He said they sacrificed a lot over his three decades of coaching, which includes his six years as assistant coach under Ken Hitchcock and Tom Renney. Hay noted as many family as possible will be on the ice for the honouring.

"They've sacrificed a lot. In the hockey business, wives and family sacrifice. Missing a lot of birthdays and anniversaries and special days that normal families have, but they've been very supportive and very proud."


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