King Richard is coming to town and will be celebrated at the Powell River Kings’ dinner and auction on Saturday June 1.
A goaltender in the National Hockey League for 19 years, Richard Brodeur played for the Vancouver Canucks during their famous Stanley Cup run in 1982, where in the final round they came up short against the powerhouse New York Islanders.
It was during that run that Brodeur was nicknamed King Richard by former Canucks radio announcer Tom Larscheid. Apparently, before the division finals against the Los Angeles Kings that year, Larscheid said: “We don’t care about the Kings, we have our own King, King Richard.”
Brodeur said he remembers that time fondly.
“Playing for the Canucks in the Stanley Cup playoffs was nothing but awesome,” he added. “As a team we were like a pack of wolves caring for each other when a teammate got into trouble. Coach Roger Neilsen was a big factor in the playoff run. He started the famous white towel wave in Chicago. He knew how to get the best out of everyone.”
Every child dreams of making the professional ranks, whether they come from Montreal, Boston, Toronto or Powell River. Players such as Brad Bombardir, Dean Malkoc, Robbie Gordon, Daniel Carr, Jeff Hogan and Gary Lupul all came from or through Powell River and have had a run professionally. Coming out of the Powell River minor or junior hockey system is a strong testament to the coaching, discipline, training and development given to them.
Lupul played in the NHL from 1979 to 1986, and alongside King Richard during the 1982 playoff run.
“Lupul was a good friend; he gave it his all every game and he was a boost of energy,” said Brodeur. “All you had to do was crank him up and let him go. He called me ‘Ricardo’ and I called him ‘Lupulism.’”
Brodeur started playing hockey on the ice ponds in Quebec and, similar to other young players, he worked his way up through the system through junior and into the NHL. But at the end of his NHL career, his other story came to life.
Richard Brodeur, the artist, started painting in high school. When he was drafted he continued to paint but never told anyone. He said he always thought it would be frowned upon by the other players.
When Brodeur had a rough game, he said he would come home and paint to relieve stress. Once his career came to an end he came “out of the closet” and painted with a passion. He is best known for his ice pond hockey paintings, of which he has generously donated two originals for the auction at the upcoming gala and dinner.
Tickets for the dinner and auction at Dwight Hall on Saturday, June 1, are available at the Kings office in Powell River Recreation Complex, Capone’s Cellar and the Powell River Peak office.