The players and fans at a Golden Minor Hockey Association Atoms home game got a surprise visit when National Hockey League Hall of Fame player Lanny McDonald came to town as a guest coach for a team from Whitefish, Montana.
McDonald explained that his grandson, Calder Townsley, was a member of the team.
“My grandson was up from Montana and played in Invermere yesterday. We came up last night so we could play this team today. It was just a little bit of fun with the team.”
Even though he has many years of experience on the ice, McDonald is not the regular coach of the team
“I am not. I was called guest coach today. It was all about having fun with the kids on both benches,” he said
As for his time on the bench the NHL legend, who won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989, said he had a great time with all of the kids.
“It doesn’t get much better than that. When you love the game as much as I do. All I am trying to pass onto the kids is to just love the game. Whether you win or lose, the friendships are the most important thing,” he said.
After the game McDonald signed sticks, jerseys and even a set of goalie pads for the fans and very excited players in attendance.
“That’ pretty cool. It hopefully means I have done something right along the way and you just enjoy it.”
When asked if he was going to do anymore coaching McDonald simply said, “This is probably the end of my coaching career, but what a way to go. It was a great time.”