Dr. Sid Sheard is living proof there is hope for everyone on this planet, even sports writers.
The Canucks’ team chiropractor for the past 30 years financed his way through college as a hockey reporter for the old Vancouver News-Herald and later the Portland Oregonian.
Sheard, the longest-serving member in franchise history of the Canucks’ medical staff, has made his retirement official. He and wife Joan are now residents of North Saanich and plan to spend their future years together on Vancouver Island’s gorgeous golf courses.
Sheard was an original Canucks season ticket holder when they opened the Pacific Coliseum as a member of the Western Hockey League in 1968-69. He was called out of the stands one night to treat captain Daryl Sly and that led to occasional visits from NHL players to his chiropractic clinic in Burnaby in the early 1970s.
“I’d been treating Darcy Rota for a neck injury during the 1982-83 season and the team’s medical trainer, the late Larry Ashley, invited me to join the Canucks as their on-staff chiropractor,” Sheard was relating Friday. “Harry Neale gave me a hand-written contract that said I would be a member of the family for as long as he was employed by the Canucks.”
Neale was fired in April of 1985; Sheard hung on for another 27 years.
“I could write a book about my 30 years with the Canucks,” Sheard says, “but I’d probably wind up on a ‘Most Wanted’ poster if it was ever published.”
HERE ‘N’ THERE: It didn’t take long for B.C. Lions president Dennis Skulsky to bring Jamie Pitblado into the fold. After serving 19 years with Pacific Newspaper Group (PNG) as vice-president of promotions and community investment, Pitblado was named this week 2014 Grey Cup Festival general manager to work with co-chairs Bill Weymark and Michael Graydon.
In the fifth paragraph of the announcement, it is mentioned Pitblado will also be joining the Lions’ management team. Hopefully, somewhere in this mix, the Skulsky group will find room for Scott Ackles, who did such a masterful job running the Lions’ 2005 and 2011 Grey Cup Festivals.
SHORT HOPS: The FlyOver Canada virtual flight ride that opens today at Canada Place in Vancouver is the brainchild of Stephen Geddes and Andrew Strang of Soaring Attractions. After a series of auditions in local media broadcast circles, they opted for local sportscaster Jeff Leyland to be their on-camera “flight supervisor.” Leyland was an original member of Team Radio 1040 before leaving for a television gig with CHCH in Hamilton.
He’s back home freelancing and the FlyOver Canada assignment is a major stepping stone in his new career.
END ZONE: Colin Brown of Canadian Direct Insurance and original Canucks’ captain Orland Kurtenbach co-hosted the BC Sports Hall of Fame Tournament of Champions golf event at Morgan Creek this week that raised $40,000 for its Hero In You Youth Education Program.
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