Winnipeg Jets NHL Jets Home NHL Jets Facebook NHL Jets Twitter NHL Jets Instagram NHL Jets Official Youtube Page Sign Up for Jets Mail Mobile App Buy Tickets
Jets Gear Jets Gear Facebook Instagram Manage Your Account Jets Pass HQ

Dobson stunned to see NHL in his hometown

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 1:14 PM CT / Feature
By Brian Compton  - Deputy Managing Editor
X
Share with your Friends


Dobson stunned to see NHL in his hometown
Growing up in Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, Winnipeg Jets director of pro scouting Mark Dobson never thought he\'d see the NHL coming to his town. But thanks to the town\'s Hockeyville victory, that\'s what will happen this weekend.

Winnipeg Jets director of pro scouting likes to return home to his native Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, every summer. When his hometown entered itself into the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville competition, he couldn't believe his eyes.

"When I was there last year when they were going through the whole process, it was crazy," Dobson told NHL.com. "People had their yards decorated. It was really unbelievable. I drove through there one day going out to the Trent River just to check on my summer place out there and I'm going like, 'Holy mackerel, what is going on here?' I heard some rumors about Stirling working on the Kraft Hockeyville, but I had never really realized the extent and the effort that they put into it. It was incredible."

That hard work paid off in a big way. Stirling-Rawdon won the event, earning $100,000 in upgrades to the Stirling & District Recreation Centre, and the community now will host a preseason game in nearby Belleville on Saturday when the Jets and Washington Capitals will drop the puck on the NHL preseason (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC).

"It's huge for the town," Dobson said. "I think it's a great concept, especially in small towns like that. Even kids playing there, to have that access to an NHL game and NHL players, it's a real special thing. We never had that growing up, and you don't have the idea of the League being in a small town like that."

Dobson, who won an all-Ontario title while playing for the Stirling Juveniles in 1976, remembers how the rabid hockey town was divided when it came to the NHL. The Ottawa Senators didn't exist then, so it boiled down to rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens.

"When I grew up, we had an antenna and we got two TV stations," Dobson said. "We got Peterborough, and on some days we would get Kingston. ‘Hockey Night in Canada' on Saturday night, you were basically either a Toronto fan or a Montreal fan. That was before expansion in the early days and Ottawa didn't have a team. Little communities like Stirling, it was always they were half Toronto fans and half Montreal fans, and a few others sprinkled in. But those were the two teams and that's what you saw on Saturday nights. I was a Toronto fan. I don't know how that all took place, but that's the way our household went."

This Saturday night, Dobson will return to his hometown to witness something he never thought he'd be able to attend in his community -- a live NHL game. While in town, he'll undoubtedly reflect on his time as a youth hockey player and the memories created along the way.

"I spent all my minor hockey days in Stirling," Dobson said. "It's a tiny town, but it always had a great minor program there when I was growing up. They always had support from the region and they had a lot of really good people running it."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

Author: Brian Compton | NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 236 226 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 248 201 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 232 208 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 229 189 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 242 222 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 231 201 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 230 210 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 241 216 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 220 205 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 261 260 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 219 227 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 228 232 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 198 283 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 170 272 56

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Lowry 3 1 2 2 3
D. Stafford 3 1 1 0 2
J. Trouba 3 0 2 0 2
B. Little 3 1 0 -1 1
A. Pardy 2 1 0 -1 1
B. Wheeler 3 1 0 -2 1
T. Myers 3 1 0 1 1
L. Stempniak 3 1 0 2 1
M. Perreault 2 0 1 0 1
T. Enstrom 3 0 1 0 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
O. Pavelec 0 3 1 .893 3.61
 
2015 NHL BRACKET CHALLENGE