Dan Cormier brought a blend of skill, size and toughness to the Newfoundland senior hockey league during the 1980s that many people believe has never been matched.
During his five seasons with the Corner Brook Royals, the six-foot-three, 225-pound power forward collected three Herders and an Allan Cup.
Cormier patrolled the left side, providing space for his teammates with a physical brand of hockey that was complemented with amazing passes and blistering drives from the top of the circle, as he found himself among the league’s top scorers throughout his career with the Royals.
He was also among the most penalized players, standing up for all of his teammates when somebody took liberties against them and willing to dance when somebody wanted to fight him.
Cormier’s contribution to senior hockey in this province will be duly recognized when he is inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame in June.
A native of Bathurst, N.B., Cormier received a telephone call Monday from a member of the selection committee notifying him of his induction, and it made his day.
“I feel pretty good. I was surprised, but it’s a really good honour to be voted in,” Cormier said Tuesday morning from Bathurst.
Cormier has fond memories of his time in Corner Brook. He enjoyed how the fans in Corner Brook put out the welcome mat for the players and showed so much respect for them not only as hockey players but as individuals.
He had some great moments, scoring a big goal, making a great pass or turning the tide in a game by winning a scrap against the other team’s tough guy.
He has some of the best friends in the world who he remains connected with 30 years later, and that’s what he views as special about his time spent trying to help the Royals achieve success in an era when all teams had some pretty potent lineups with guys who had potential to play professional hockey at the time.
“I loved my four years there. It was like my second home and I enjoyed the experience,” Cormier said.
He had lots of fun on and off the ice. He was a fun guy who was loved and respected by his teammates.
What’s really important to him is how people remember him now that the glory days have faded. It’s a safe bet he can take pride in knowing his presence was felt and appreciated by those who followed the team faithfully during a time when rinks were jammed because of exciting players like himself.
“I want to be remembered as a fair player who played up and down the ice,” Cormier said. “I could fight when the moment came, but I could score, too, so I want people to remember that I was a hard worker.”
There were so many good parties. The guys bonded together on and off the ice because they spent a lot of time together.
It was always a fun time after winning the Herder. He’s thankful he got to celebrate those good times on several occasions with a great group of guys he was happy to share the ice with for as long as he did.
“People stayed all night and people even slept outside on a couch. That was really fun and a great time,” he said.
Cormier still keeps in touch with all the guys, and Corner Brook will always be a special place for him, he said.
The fans loved him like one of their own and he felt welcomed.
He will always be grateful for that special time in his life.
Regular season stats with the Royals
Season GP G A PTS PIM
1984-85 25 23 30 53 67
1985-86 40 38 42 80 127
1986-87 44 53 55 108 121
1987-88 41 46 57 41 155
1988-89 28 22 19 41 155
Totals 178 182 203 385 566
— 27th all-time in regular season points
— Playoffs – 31G, 35A, 66PTS (26th all-time in playoff points)
— Allan Cup — 18G, 23A, 41PTS, 178 PIM (3rd all-time in Allan Cup points)
Source: Jerry Elliott