Dick File holds up a copy of the Vancouver Province sports section with Canucks GM Jim Benning hailing first-round draft pick Quinn Hughes as a promising puck-moving defenceman.
“I’m just going to call Benning and ask when the Stanley Cup parade is going to be next year,” laughed File, a former City of Vernon alderman now in his golden years. “They’ve always needed a guy who can carry the puck out and it looks like they got him.”
On his kitchen table in a downtown one-bedroom apartment is a mini hockey stick full of intriguing autographs. Some are easily recognizable as Toronto Maple Leaf stars like Busher Jackson, Hap Day, Syl Apps, King Clancy, Red Horner and Buzz Bell. Others like Ross Hunt and Neil Morrison don’t appear anywhere in the hockey database. File’s youngest son, Murray, helped decipher the autographs.
“It looks like it may be the West Toronto Juniors, a bunch of kids,” said File, 84. “I was in Armstrong at a committee meeting for Kindale and Kevin Campbell gave me the stick. He told me he grew up in Toronto and his dad was a cop who was a hockey nut and he gave him the stick. Kevin said, ‘It meant nothing at all to him, here, have the stick.’ I saw Syl Apps and I thought ‘Holy sh*t, this is interesting.’”
File, a huge lacrosse fan who ran Shamrock Books in Armstrong until three years ago, figures somebody from one of the hockey families may want the stick.
“If any of them (players) were alive, if they saw this, wouldn’t they ever want it,” smiled File, who is recovering from a broken hip suffered when he was hit by a truck while walking near the post office last March in Armstrong.
File, who worked several years in the city traffic department, is one of the four founding fathers of the Squires Four pub. He, Douglas Gee, Jim MacGillivray and Rick Reichelt opened the neighbourhood pub doors in 1986.