In Memory: Duncan Wray

(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.”

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