TOWN OF GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR RETIRES JERSEYS OF SIX NOTABLE LOCAL HOCKEY FIGURES
July 14, 2023 (Grand Falls-Windsor) – The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor was honoured to officially retire the jerseys of six notable local hockey players and builders last evening. The jersey retirements took place at the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium during the annual Salmon Dinner, the kick-off event of the 2023 Kelly Ford Exploits Valley Salmon Festival.
The Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, which opened in 1948 as the Grand Falls Stadium, has hosted thousands of hockey games in the community now known as Grand Falls-Windsor. All six honourees began their hockey careers at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium.
The jersey retirements acknowledge the outstanding careers and commemorate the invaluable contributions made not only to the local sports leagues, but to the entire community and province. Recognized persons included Terry Ryan Sr., Don Howse, Tony White, Stan Coffin, Brian Casey, and Terry French. More information about each honouree is detailed in the backgrounder below.
“If you live long enough good things will happen to you, and it happened to me tonight,” said Terry Ryan Sr. “I’m so truly honoured to be recognized by my hometown, Grand Falls-Windsor.”
“The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is so proud of the six individuals honoured last night,” said Mayor Barry Manuel. “Each of them have had illustrious hockey careers, as players, coaches, and managers, and have all represented Grand Falls-Windsor well in various ways. Hockey plays a significant role in the history of Grand Falls-Windsor, so it’s fitting for the Town to commemorate those from our community who have contributed so greatly to the sport.”
The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is in the central region of Newfoundland and Labrador and is home to approximately 13,800 residents. The 2023 Kelly Ford Exploits Valley Salmon Festival is taking place July 13-17 in Grand Falls-Windsor. For more information about the Salmon Festival, visit www.evsalmonfestival.com.
Communications Officer, Town of Grand Falls-Windsor
709-489-0173 | 709-689-3682
Terry Ryan Sr. was a top performer for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Hockey League, winning Rookie of the Year honors and team Most Valuable Player as he had 92 goals and 112 assists for 204 points. Drafted by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Association, he had 13 goals and six assists in 76 games. He played in the International Hockey League for two seasons, was fifth in league scoring one year, and voted to the second all-star team with 52 goals and 90 assists for 141 points. During seven seasons in provincial senior hockey, Terry Rya Sr. played for Memorial University, the Gander Flyers, Mike’s Shamrocks, Stephenville Jets and St. John’s Capitals, collecting 84 goals, 173 assists, 247 points and 241 penalty minutes in 164 games. In addition to his great hockey career, Terry Ryan Sr. was a perennial all-star baseball player.
Don Howse won four Herder Memorial Trophies with provincial senior hockey championship teams from Grand Falls, Stephenville, and Port aux Basques. He was selected provincial Rookie of the Year with Grand Falls in 1972 and had a nine-year provincial senior hockey career that spanned 222 games and included 122 goals, 261 assists and 399 points. The Grand Falls native played 33 NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings which featured two goals, five assists and seven points. His pro years boast two Calder Cup rings as American Hockey League champions with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs where he became the club’s all-time scorer with 253 points from 347 games.
Tony White was selected in the 1974 draft in the tenth round, 161st overall, and spent three seasons with the Washington Capitals and one season with the Minnesota North Stars, along with other pro leagues in North America and Europe after he graduated from the Ontario Junior League’s Kitchener Rangers. He won two provincial championships and enjoyed much success in minor and school hockey prior to joining the Grand Falls Cataracts for the 1971-1972 senior hockey seasons. He played 164 NHL games collecting 37 goals and 28 assists for 65 points to go with 104 penalty minutes. His 25 goals were best for Washington for the 1975-1976 season.
During the 14 seasons he played hockey, he appeared in 829 games with 306 goals and 408 assists for 714 points and was called for 673 minutes in penalties. Provincial hockey accounted for 17 goals, 29 assists and 46 points of his playoff totals of 24, 38 and 62. His Herder victories came with Grand Falls in 1972 and with Corner Brook in 1985.
Stan Coffin’s career as a General Manager began with the Grand Falls Minor Hockey Association in the early 1980’s and continued on for 40 years. From there he continued to look after the management side of numerous hockey teams including the Triple A Midget franchise that was a big part of hockey in our town throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. His career as a General Manager went to another level in the early 2000’s when he joined the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts. The team won 5 Herder Championships and an Allan Cup Championship. His diligent work, his leadership and dedication, an impressive willingness to make sacrifices and an outstanding determination to have a first-class organization are the trademarks for Coffin’s work for hockey and his community.
Brian Casey played for the Men’s National Canadian Team in 1998 and 1999 and helped them capture two prestigious Spengler Cups. Brian played three years of Junior A hockey in PEI and Central Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Montague Huskies, Messina Americans, and the Charlottetown Abbie’s. Brian went to play two seasons with the St. Jean Lynx of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was named to the Quebec Atlantic All-Star team in the Canadian Hockey League. After his junior years, Brian was invited to the Providence Bruins training camp of the AHL. He then set his sights on education, joining the Acadia Axemen where he played four years. He was named the team’s rookie of the year, played in three AUS all-star games, won an AUS and National Championship and in 2016, was inducted into the Acadian University’s Hockey Hall of Fame. After playing two years with the full time Canadian National Team Program in Calgary, Brian moved on to the European hockey where he played ten seasons. Brian has accumulated 73 goals, 291 assists, for 364 points over his illustrious hockey career.
Terry French was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in the second round, 25th overall in 1971. His career also took him to Prince Edward Island where he played with the PEI Islanders, played two seasons with the Ottawa 67’s of the OHA and he played professionally with the Maine Nordiques of the North American Hockey League. Terry was the first Newfoundlander drafted by an NHL team. He was also selected by the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the 1972 World Hockey Association and that was the first draft in WHA history. He played for Memorial University and played with the Cataracts in 1968-1969 and was the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1969. Terry won a Herder Memorial Trophy with the Cataracts in 1972 and played in the Allan Cup Tournament.
Photos below courtesy of Amanda Marie Photography.