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Well Played

Beamsville’s Ryan Christie ended his competitive hockey career two years ago, but had his on-ice exploits capped with a Dundas Real McCoys jersey retirement

By Mike Williscraft

A shot at “the show”, the bigtime, the National Hockey League is a dream for many youngsters who lace up their skates.

Beamsville’s Ryan Christie got a shot.

Though brief, he recalls every instant of his seven NHL games – five with Dallas Stars who drafted him 112th overall in 1996 and two with Calgary Flames.

The NHL is part of Christie’s hockey past, but a small part. The vast majority of his professional career was spent in the minors and, in his 11 pro seasons, he covered a lot of ground, including Michigan, Utah, St. John, Las Vegas, Toronto, France and Italy.

After his season in Italy, Christie decided he had had enough. It was time to move back to Beamsville and help with the family business, Christie’s Dairy.

With that, he and his wife Julie moved home.

“It was time,” recalled Christie.

“My Dad (Bob) called and said my Uncle Bill was ready to retire. I thought I would come home and play pick-up with my buddies, but Dundas (Real McCoys) called and asked me to come for a skate.”

That skate resulted in six more seasons of competitive hockey, capped by an Allan Cup championship in 2014 as captain.

“That was just a great bunch of guys to play with. We were tight. It was very different from the pros, though. Everyone had a life outside hockey. We had a lawyer, teacher, construction worker, and furniture maker,” said Christie.

While he felt his time in Dundas was very special, he was surprised to find out just how much the organization thought of him as well.

“I was in Dundas making a delivery for the dairy and I called the general manager to see if he had time for lunch. That was when he told me they were looking to plan a number retirement for me. I was very surprised and honoured,” he noted.

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