Former NHL players to take part in benefit game in Yarmouth Friday

Published on April 6, 2017

YARMOUTH – Former National Hockey League stars will be in Yarmouth Friday, April 7, for a hockey game that will benefit the Gilles Boudreau & Friends Cancer Help Fund and the Lodge That Gives.

Hall of Famers and former Stanley Cup champions Ray Bourque and Stéphane Richer are among the NHL alumni slated to take part in the game.

Other confirmed participants include Chris Nilan, Al Iafrate, Ron Duguay, Gary Leeman, Darren Langdon and Ken Linseman.

The opening faceoff is scheduled for just after 7 p.m.

The game is part of a weekend of hockey in memory of Gary J. Surette, a Yarmouth County resident who died in late 2015 of cancer at the age of 53.

Surette was a big hockey fan and had coached local minor hockey in the 1990s and 2000s with Brian “Sumo” Comeau.

Among those who will take the ice Friday against the former NHLers is former Yarmouth Junior A Mariners player Renel Deveau, who says he recalls watching Ray Bourque win the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. Bourque had played over 20 years with the Boston Bruins without winning a cup, finally achieving the feat with the Avalanche in his last season as an NHL player.

“That was really special,” Deveau said, “so it will be nice to meet him.”

Deveau, a 27-year-old from Clare, played with the Junior A Mariners in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

When he plays Friday against Bourque and the other former NHL stars, Deveau will be joined by a couple of his former Junior A Mariner teammates: Tyler Williams and Cody Lefrancois.

Playing in this kind of game will be a new experience for Deveau, who says he’s looking forward to it, a feeling shared by RCMP Cst. Kayla Landry, who also will play in Friday’s game.

Originally from Bathurst, the 26-year-old Landry took part in a game involving another group of former NHL players a couple of years ago in Yarmouth and said it was a lot of fun.

A member of the RCMP’s Yarmouth County detachment, Cst. Landry recalls growing up watching hockey with her father. Both cheered for the Montreal Canadiens.

Referring to Ray Bourque, Cst. Landry said, “I remember seeing him play when I was really young. I would have heard my dad talking about him.”

Like Deveau, she’s glad to play in Friday’s special game in Yarmouth. Both say they welcome the chance not just to play with the former NHLers but also to help support a couple of good causes.