By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
TIMMINS – What do you do when you lose a four-time Stanley Cup champion, with a Conn Smythe Trophy to his credit?
You replace him with a four-time Stanley Cup champion, with a Conn Smythe Trophy to his credit.
New York Islanders goaltending great Billy Smith had been scheduled to take part in the second-annual Timmins Rock Golf Tournament at Spruce Needles Golf Club on Thursday, July 20, along with Toronto Maple Leafs legend Wendel Clark, but he has been forced to withdraw.
“We are sorry that he had to withdraw, but we have managed to replace him with another Islander great, Butch Goring,” said Rock president Ted Gooch.
“Like Billy Smith, Butch won the four Stanley Cups and he also won a Conn Smythe Trophy.”
Goring played 1,107 games in the NHL, scoring 375 goals and adding 513 assists for 888 points, while spending just 102 minutes in the penalty box. In 134 playoff games, he added 38 goals and 50 assists, good for 88, while spending 32 minutes in the penalty box.
The St. Boniface, Man., native broke into the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, but his greatest fame came following an NHL trade that sent him to the Islanders in exchange for Billy Harris and Dave Lewis on March 10, 1980.
Goring went on to finish his NHL career with the Boston Bruins after being waived by the Islanders during the 1984-85 campaign.
In addition to winning four Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy, Goring won the Bill Masterton Trophy and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, both during the 1977-78 season.
“He accumulated a lot of hardware, including the four Stanley Cups,” Gooch said.
Goring served as an assistant coach while playing his final three seasons with the Islanders, and went on to become head coach of the Boston Bruins for two seasons after hanging up his skates.
He later coached in the Western Hockey League, the International Hockey League and the American Hockey League, as well.
Goring currently serves as colour commentator on Islanders broadcasts with Brendan Burke.
“During a 2010 episode of TSN’s Off The Record, his former teammate Mike Bossy stated Butch Goring was quite likely the originator of the NHL’s tradition of growing a playoff beard,” Gooch said.
“And, of course, he wore his helmet that he wore when he was 12 years old right through his entire NHL career. I believe it is hanging up in the Hockey Hall of Fame right now.”
Fans will have an opportunity to interact with Goring and Clark during a meet and greet at Kia of Timmins prior to the start of the golf tournament.
“They are one of our major sponsors for the golf tournament and we are encouraging fans who can’t make it out for the golf tournament to come down, get an autograph and meet Butch and Wendel in the showroom at Kia,” Gooch said.
There are only a few spots left for the golf tournament itself.
“Registrations have been going very well and we expect to have at least 100 to 110 players taking part,” Gooch said.
“That will be a significant increase over last year. I am happy to see the tournament is gaining momentum in the community and we are gaining the support we need.
“We might have room for five or six more teams. Anybody interested in participating should contact the golf club, or reach out to us via our Facebook page or by email at email@example.com.”
In addition to the two NHL greats, the tournament will also feature at least three members of the 2016-17 NOJHL club.
“We believe Stewart Parnell, Alexandre Brisson and Wayne Mathieu will all be playing,” Gooch said.
“In addition, Evan Kentish-Stack (who played in 12 regular season games and three in the playoffs as an affiliate player) will also be playing in a foursome with his grandfather, Mike Kentish.”
Fans who just want to attend the prime rib dinner scheduled to follow the golf tournament can purchase tickets at either CORE Business Solutions, or at the NAPA South End Auto Parts store.
The prime rib dinner at Spruce Needles Golf Club will be at 7 p.m., with cocktails at 6 p.m.