|(Image: Vernon Vipers)|
When news broke on Thursday about the passing of Vernon Vipers owner and BCHL Chairman of the Board Duncan Wray, tributes began to flood in from around the league from players and coaches to fellow owners and people around the hockey world.
I didn’t know Duncan really well, but I had interacted with him enough times to know what type of person he was. Although I was with the Centennials and Merritt radio station at the time, Duncan was always respectful and friendly. He exuded a passion for junior A hockey that very few have and his impact on the BCHL will reverberate for many years.
“We were shocked and saddened to receive word today about Duncan,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale in a release from the league. “He was the lifeblood of the Vipers franchise for a very long time and he leaves a huge void in our league and in our hearts.”
“We had the same type of attitude and mentality towards the game,” West Kelowna Warriors owner Mark Cheyne told Castanet News. “Our goals were very similar, that’s why we became pretty good friends away from the game.”
Salmon Arm Silverbacks President Troy Mick shared his thoughts on Wray with Roger Knox of the Salmon Arm Observer. “This is the saddest day of my life. Part of my heart feels ripped out. I haven’t stopped crying since this morning. He was an unbelievable owner. He never had a hidden agenda. He wanted the kids to play hockey and get an education. That’s all he wanted. He wasn’t in it for the money and for a guy who never played the game, he had so much love for it.”
Shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Duncan Wray. The BCHL lost a great leader. Condolences to the Wray family and those closest to him in the hockey world.
— Rob Boyd (@robboyd27) January 12, 2018
Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Duncan Wray, always took the time when I ran into him to talk hockey & photography. Condolences to the Wray family and @VernonVipers organization.
— Damon (@Damon_james91) January 12, 2018
So very sad to hear of the passing of Duncan Wray, owner of @VernonVipers . He was a mentor and a friend to me. I thank him for his endless energy and passion for the game and the Vipers. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to the entire Wray family. #4timenationalchamp
— Hunter Zandee (@Zandee40) January 12, 2018
Terrible news this morning with the passing of Dr. Duncan Wray. It was always a pleasure to bump into him at the rink and talk hockey for a few minutes. Condolences to his family and the Vipers organization on a very sad day.
— Jeff Dubois (@jdubois_bc) January 11, 2018
Heartbroken to hear of the passing of my good friend Duncan Wray who gave me and my family a wonderful opportunity to join the @VernonVipers in ‘01 and our friendship continued from that day fwd. Always cherish those daily 8am coffees and the 1st photos of both my children. RIP
— Mike Vandekamp (@kamper72) January 11, 2018
Devastating news losing our leader Duncan Wray. Such an amazing man that gave his heart and soul into the hockey world. Made my childhood dream come true. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Wray family. #RIP 🐍
— Jagger (@jags_williamson) January 11, 2018
Terrible news. Duncan was an incredible advocate of junior hockey and such a humble person. Thoughts go out to the Wray family and those in the Vipers organization, especially good friend @vipersvoice who has worked with Duncan for 15 years. https://t.co/khNOoKwKGu
— Keegan Goodrich (@Keegan_Goodrich) January 11, 2018
While we are in different leagues, the Saints share some amazing memories with the @VernonVipers. All of which would not have been possible without the great man Duncan Wray was. The Saints would like to send their deepest condolences to whole organization at this time.
— Spruce Grove Saints (@sgsaints) January 11, 2018
BC Hockey @bchllive @VernonVipers saddened with the death of Duncan Wray. He was one of the best junior owners ever. He had many friends. Condolences to the family #RIP
— Bernie Pascall (@berniepascall) January 11, 2018
Sad to hear about Duncan Wray. He was the reason I had the chance to play for my hometown @VernonVipers in my last 4 months of junior hockey and live out a childhood dream. Nothing but a class act owner and person. #RIP to a legend in the hockey community.
— Dylan Chanter (@dylanchanter) January 11, 2018
Not sure I can describe in a tweet how sad it is to hear of Dr. Duncan Wray’s passing. From my time at the RBC Cup, to being a visiting broadcaster, and last season a fan, I’ll always remember him. “I guess they’ll let just about anyone in” is what he always said.
— Kyle Anderson (@KCAndo23) January 11, 2018
Sad day today. Lost a great friend in Duncan Wray, owner of the Vernon Vipers. He was one of the best people that I have ever worked for / with. Learned a lot from him and respected him greatly. A truly great man. Rest in peace and God Bless. @WrayDuncan
— Mark Holick (@coachholly68) January 11, 2018
Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Duncan Wray. He was an amazing man who will be extremely missed. He gave so many of us the opportunity to chase our dreams which we are all so grateful for.
— Jason Williamson (@jwilliamson39) January 11, 2018
Very sad news today to hear about the passing of @VernonVipers owner Duncan Wray. A big loss for the Vipers organization and the community of Vernon. An owner who truly cared about everyone he came into contact with. His legacy will live on forever #BCHL
— Todd Skirving (@ToddSkirving) January 11, 2018
Just in shock hearing about the passing of @VernonVipers owner Duncan Wray. I will miss our visits so very much. The BCHL lost a cherished member today. Condolences to Duncan’s family and the entire Vipers hockey community.
— danmarshall77 (@danmarshall77) January 11, 2018
The world has lost an amazing human. Rest in Peace Dr. Duncan Wray, he will be forever missed & forever appreciated. Thank you for inspiring my love of the game, namely the @bchllive and the @VernonVipers – he was true idol to many, especially myself.
— Dustin Scafe-Pozzobon (@ScafePozzobon) January 11, 2018