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Former Corner Brook Royals defenceman Brian Gruchy looking forward to seeing Lanny McDonald and his bushy moustache

Zach Coley gets his shirt autographed by National Hockey League Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald during the gala on Thursday night.
Zach Coley gets his shirt autographed by National Hockey League Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald during the gala on Thursday night. - Dave Kearsey

Brian Gruchy had a brief conversation with National Hockey League Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald back in the day at O’Reilly’s in St. John’s but he figures the Stanley Cup champion wouldn’t remember him.

Gruchy is looking forward to refreshing McDonald’s memory when he suits up for the NHL Alumni/Corner Brook Royals Classic tonight 7 p.m. at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.

Gruchy, a Grand Falls-Windsor native, was a steady defenceman for the Corner Brook Royals squad that won the 2002 Herder Memorial Trophy — the last time the storied Corner Brook senior hockey franchise snagged the big piece of hardware.

Gruchy is a member of Team Darcy Tucker for the big game so he will be trying to defend the cage against members of Team Lanny McDonald.

The draft for the game was held Wednesday night at Marble Mountain as the 2018 Hockey Day in Canada festivities got underway in a city that’s been a buzz all week with some of hockey’s great legends of the past on hand to share their wisdom with budding hockey players from the region.

The big red moustache was part of McDonald’s popularity as one of the game’s best leaders and the fact he played with the Leafs during his career was the other reason Gruchy listed McDonald as one of the players he wanted to meet most.

He’s looking forward to seeing some of his old teammates too.

‘It should be a great bit of fun. I’m looking forward to playing,” he said.

Gruchy has played some recreational hockey over the past few years, but he’s like a kid in the candy store getting a chance to share the ice with some of the game’s heroes of the past.

He was on his way to purchase a new helmet for the game when The Star caught up to him Thursday morning in central Newfoundland.

Maybe he heard rumblings that he would have to play the protector role for teammates Chris Neil and Wendel Clark.

NHL Alumni/Corner Brook Royals Classic

Rosters

TEAM DARCY TUCKER

1. Kevin McCarthy

2. Alex Blanchard

3. Rob French

5. Ed Kearsey

6. Ralph (Shack) Dunne

7. Ron MacLean

8. Cal Dunville

9. Cyril Walsh

10. Rocky Bromley

11. John Hayes

12. Angus Head

13. Alan MacDonald

14. Bruce Campbell

15. Mark Roberts

17. Wendel Clark

18. Harold Druken

23. Greg Schell

24. Brian Gruchy

25. Chris Neil

30. Jeff Murphy

16. Darcy Tucker

TEAM LANNY MCDONALD

1. Chris Grant

2. Craig Kennedy

4. Chris Phillips

5. Todd Stark

6. Ashley Coles

8. Ken Reid

10. Byron Rideout

11. Mark Robinson

12. Jamie Brake

13. Dwayne Evoy

14. Dave Toms

16. Blair Kelly

17. Dave Bidini

18. Scott Mosher

19. Colin Carroll

20. Rodney George

25. Darren Colbourne

30. Peter Parsons

31. Mark Napier

9. Lanny McDonald

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