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An event for Jack

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Long-awaited return of a renamed Special Olympics event came Saturday

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It was a morning of chilly conditions but warm hearts at Cundari Field Saturday.

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After a three-year absence, the regional Special Olympic Games returned with a very emotional touch.

The competition has been renamed in honour of Jack Lyons.

Lyons, who passed away a few months ago at the age of 17, was a passionate and beloved Special Olympian. The event is now called the Jack Lyons Memorial Track Meet

His father Mark choked up about the event renaming, and said he did not know who suggested the change.

“It is a special day. We have always been involved in special needs-related events and especially the Special Olympics. Jack was always part of the equation in Special Olympics.”

Mark Lyons says Special Olympics made everyone involved a better person.

“You have kids that come last, and they are always happy. You just learn and grow from stuff and see this, and realize this is a true inspiration for a lot of people”
You can count Carley Tucker as one of the inspired. Tucker is a competitor who called Jack one of her best friends. She competed for him Saturday.

“I met him in 2015 and he was one of my closest friends and I am running for him today.”
Tucker was also relieved to be competing again.

“It is really emotional today, I am really excited, it has been a long three years.”
Rob Saunders, the event coordinator, had to manoeuvre through some emotional moments when asked about Jack Lyons’ impact on these types of competitions.

“It has been tough; he has been around for many years. He was always happy, in all his races. I do not know how many pictures I have of Jack. In every race he had a grin on his face. Even swimming, he had a smile on his face.
Sixty-five athletes were registered to compete in a wide variety of track and field events. They came from as far off as Manitoulin Island.
Insp. Jeff Warner of the North Bay Police Service was also at Cundari Field. Special Olympics is the No. 1 charity support target for police departments across Canada. Warner loves to see the athletes having fun.

“It is just a great event to take part in, to see the smiling faces of the athletes.”

North Bay police are hosting the annual torch run for Special Olympics Monday at 10 a.m.

This may have been just a one-day competition, but it will be forever known as the Jack Lyons Memorial Track Meet.

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Jack Pine Brewery seeks approval for special events

Jack Pine Brewery seeks approval for special events

BAXTER — Both the Baxter City Council and Patrick Sundberg, owner of Jack Pine Brewery, look toward future drafts as the council unanimously decided Tuesday, April 5, to deny his special event requests.

Sundberg had sent a letter to the council requesting approval for 12 special events between Memorial Day and Labor Day, seeking to utilize an area outside of his approved outdoor seating area to host concerts.

Instead, there will be fewer such events allowed at Jack Pine while the city looks at changes to city code regarding special events.


City Code

gives permission to the city to consider the issuance of a special event permit to a business, organization, or individual to host a special event requiring use of special services, use of public property or right-of-way, or temporary exemption from compliance with applicable local and state regulations. Such events would not threaten the health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors of the city.

Jack Pine Brewery exterior

Jack Pine Brewery at 15593 Edgewood Drive in Baxter.

Submitted photo

Earlier this year, the Jack Pine Brewery received administrative approval for four special events in 2022.

“We kind of inadvertently found out that our outdoor space is just a phenomenal venue for live music and we really took advantage of that last year, in the summer,” Sundberg said.

At a time when people were itching for something to do, after all the activities were canceled for a year and a half, Jack Pine Brewery kind of fell into putting on live music outside as a way of working with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, Sundberg said.

“I think this is really special but I don’t know how far that’s going to go,” Sundberg said. “So I’m not to the point and the business isn’t to the point where we can build-out … and really, really go that far.”

Jack Pine’s four busiest days of the year, Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, Labor Day weekend and their fall festival weekend were covered by their initial request, which equated to 12 days or about 3.2% of total operational days for the year.

As he closed up his statement to the council, Sundberg said he respected the council’s decision, adding that he was “looking for that line, ‘Where’s that line for special events? And where can we go?’”

With most of the council familiar with Sundberg since his garage brewing days, council member Connie Lyscio asked if 12 was the “magic number” for the max number of special events an organizer can host.

Council member Zach Tabatt added how the city’s code did not match with what was being discussed.

“I think what happened here was that the form that gets filled out, doesn’t match the code and it just kind of slipped through,” Tabatt said. “I’m also saying, I don’t think we have the ability or authority to deny a special event based on a number, based on how I read the code.”

The council ultimately fell back on the number of requests and felt adding more events moves farther from “special” and more toward a standard operating procedure.

A unanimous vote to deny Sundberg’s request for 12 additional special use permits was passed at the meeting. With the vote, the council also formed a committee to review the code as written and advise the council and city on potential changes.

“We’ll still figure out a way to do live music somehow, but it’s going to change the look and feel of the patio,” Sundberg said after the meeting. “So our live music for the summer isn’t dead, it’s just going to have a scaled-back appearance. … We’re always trying to come up with new and fun ideas or different ways we can do things. At Jackpine, we’ll kind of run through the summer and see what the future brings for us.”

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter


, call 218-855-5859 or email


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Jack Eichel returns to Buffalo: A timeline of his events as a member of the Sabres | Sporting News Canada

Jack Eichel returns to Buffalo: A timeline of his events as a member of the Sabres | Sporting News Canada

It was just a few short months ago in November that Jack Eichel’s time in Buffalo came to an unceremonious end, with Eichel getting dealt to the Golden Knights. For the first time since the trade, Eichel will step back into the KeyBank Center, the place where he called home for the first six seasons of his NHL career. 

Eichel was supposed to be the piece to get the Sabres back over the top. While the center did his part on the ice, the Sabres continued to be a bottom-tier team, failing to reach the postseason in any season Eichel was there. Tension rose with disagreements over treatment for a herniated disk, boiling over with public comments of displeasure and turning what was supposed to be a bright future in Buffalo into an ugly bruise on the franchise. 

While both sides were happy to put the Eichel saga behind them, the two meet up once again, as the Golden Knights travel to Buffalo on Thursday. Eichel will get back in front of the home crowd that cheered him on vigorously since he entered the league as an 18-year-old in 2015. 

With Eichel’s return, here’s a timeline of the events during his time with the Sabres. 

MORE: NHL MVP Ladder: Auston Matthews taking the lead for the Hart Trophy

Jack Eichel timeline as a Sabre

Sabres draft Eichel No. 2 overall in 2015 NHL Draft

In any other draft class, Eichel likely doesn’t fall to the Sabres at No. 2. He was fresh off a sensational freshman year at Boston University, becoming the second freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top player. He was first in the NCAA in goals (26) and points (71), earning Hockey East’s Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

But a player by the name of Connor McDavid was also in that class and was selected by the Oilers at No. 1. There was some debate going into the draft if the Oilers would elect to take Eichel instead of McDavid, but Edmonton selected the 18-year-old from the OHL’s Erie Otters.

As a result, the Sabres landed Eichel with the No. 2 pick, considered to be a generational talent. 

Eichel scores in his NHL debut

After signing his entry-level contract in July of 2015, Eichel made the team out of camp and was expected to immediately play a big role for the Sabres. 

Eichel and the Sabres could not have asked for a better start from the 18-year-old. Eichel made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 2015, in the first game of the season for Buffalo. He scored his first goal in the second period of the game, roofing a shot over Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.

He became the youngest player in Sabres history to score his first goal.

Eichel signs an eight-year, $80 million extension

The first two seasons were very successful for Eichel in Buffalo. He finished his rookie season with 56 points in 81 games and ended up fourth in voting for the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. In his second season, he missed the first two months of the season with an ankle sprain, but concluded the season producing at nearly a point per game clip, 57 points in 61 games. 

The summer heading into the 2017-18 season, the Sabres rewarded Eichel with an eight-year, $80 million extension, looking up their young superstar to a long-term deal. 

At the time, Jim Botterill had just taken over as general manager and viewed Eichel as the centerpiece of the team. While the Sabres as a team were not finding success, they had their young stud to build the club around. 

Eichel scores his first NHL hat trick

It took over two seasons, but Eichel finally secured his first career NHL hat trick on Dec. 15, 2017, against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

The Sabres forward scored Buffalo’s first goal of the game in the second period, cleaning up a rebound in front. He cut the Hurricanes lead to one halfway through the third with a shot from the slot before showing off his patience with the puck, out-waiting Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and beating him to tie the game just 10 seconds after his second goal to complete the “Jack-trick”.  

Sabres name Eichel captain

Before Eichel began his fourth season with the Sabres, the team announced him as the 16th captain in franchise history in October of 2018. 

He was just 21 years old when the club gave him the “C”, following Brian Gionta as the next Sabres captain.

Eichel suffers a neck injury in a collision with Nico Hischier

While the team was not finding success, Eichel continued to play at a high level, recording a career-high 82 points in the 2018-19 season and setting a new career-high in goals with 36 in 2019-20. 

However, just 21 games into the 2020-21 season, Eichel collided awkwardly with Nico Hischier during a game on March 7, 2021, against the New Jersey Devils. Ralph Krueger, coach of the Sabres at the time, announced less than a week later that Eichel would be out “for the foreseeable future.”

It later was announced that Eichel had a herniated disk and that would keep him out of the remainder of the season, as he was placed on long-term injured reserve. 

Eichel voices his displeasure with the Sabres’ approach to his injury

This is where the drama starts. 

In May of 2021, Eichel met with the media to discuss the injury, where he expressed a “disconnect” between himself and the organization over the treatment of his neck. 

“I’ve been a bit upset about the ways things have been handled since I’ve been hurt. I’d be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. There’s been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization. It’s been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing is just trying to get healthy, figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be.”

Eichel wanted to get disc replacement surgery for his neck, while the team’s doctors were advising against it, suggesting he go for fusion surgery instead. The disagreement created a rift between the two sides. 

Not only was Eichel voicing displeasure with the Sabres, but also insinuating for the first time that his future may not lie in Buffalo. At the time, he did not confirm or deny that he had asked for a trade. 

“There’s a lot I have to consider. But for now, I’m here. I’m the captain of this hockey team. My goal is to be available and to try to help this organization to win hockey games. I’ll do that as long as I’m here.”

Sabres strip Eichel of captaincy after failing training camp physical

Having gone the whole summer with no surgery to heal the herniated disk, Eichel failed his training camp physical in September. The team also decided to strip him of the “C”.

General manager Kevyn Adams met with the media to discuss the decision, in addition to the future of Eichel in Buffalo. 

“To this point, Jack is not willing to move forward with the fusion surgery that our doctors are suggesting. So we’re going to continue to work towards solutions … If we have an opportunity to (improve our team), and we feel it’s the right thing for the franchise, then we’ll do it. But if there was a solution over the summer, and we thought it made sense, then we would have done it. Obviously that’s not the case.”

Sabres trade Eichel to the Golden Knights, ending the Eichel saga in Buffalo 

After months of speculation and rumors, the Sabres finally pulled the trigger, trading Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick to the Golden Knights for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, conditional 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick in November of 2021. 

The Golden Knights got a top center in the league to solidify an already deep top-six group while the Sabres acquired a promising prospect in Krebs, a bonafide NHLer in Tuch and two draft picks that will help the team long-term. 

Vegas was welcoming of the disc replacement surgery for Eichel, as GM Kelly McCrimmon stated the team would allow Eichel to get the surgery of his choice. 

“The decision of the surgery is one that we respectfully defer to Jack and his representatives. Why wouldn’t his people want what’s best for him?”

Eichel discusses ending his time in Buffalo and the months leading up to the trade

Outside of the May press conference, Eichel had kept things quiet about what was going on in Buffalo. He didn’t waste much time after the trade was done to dissect the situation

“It’s been a long process. It’s been dragged out. Quite honestly, I feel a little bit embarrassed. As a hockey player, you want to be in the media, and have people talking about you for your performance and…your team winning games.”

Eichel confirmed what many had speculated — that he had in fact requested a trade from the Sabres. 

“It just seemed that we were heading towards another…I don’t want to say rebuild but, we weren’t really in a position that we were going to try and win. I went to the team and said I wasn’t really happy with the idea of that. If that’s the route they wanted to take, maybe it would be better to move me, to use me as a jumpstart.

“Obviously that didn’t go over well. I’m a competitor, I want to win and obviously we hadn’t won. This is a business. (That’s) pretty apparent to me over the last eight months. I looked at that as a decision I was making strictly because I thought that was the best business decision for me as a hockey player.”

Surgery and Eichel’s time in Vegas

Eichel underwent successful surgery on Nov. 12, getting an artificial disk replacement procedure done at the Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic. It was expected that he would need about three months to fully recover from the surgery. 

He began skating in a non-contact jersey with the Golden Knights on Jan. 11. Just over a month later, Eichel made his season debut with Vegas on Feb. 16. Since returning to the ice, Eichel has recorded seven points in 10 games, potting his first goal as a Golden Knight on Feb. 20. 

The Sabres remain near the bottom of the standings while Eichel is now playing top minutes on a contender. It was a bitter way for the relationship between the two to end, but it’s one that both teams are looking to put behind them. 

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Gassy Jack statue toppling denies Squamish Nation planned reconciliation event

Gassy Jack statue toppling denies Squamish Nation planned reconciliation event

The toppling of a Gastown statue honouring Vancouver’s first saloon keeper was done without the consent of the Squamish Nation, which had already reached an agreement with the City of Vancouver to remove the statue because of troubling details about the man’s life.

John “Gassy Jack” Deighton was 40 years old at the time of his wedding to a 12-year-old Squamish girl named Quahail-ya.

The two had one child together before she found the courage to run away from the relationship after less than three years.

On Monday, during the annual Women’s Memorial March through the Downtown Eastside, a group of people pulled the statue down and attempted to behead it, as hundreds of others roared in approval.

“I’m into it. I’m all for it. I love it,” said a woman named Daisy, who works at a nearby Gastown restaurant.

“He was a really bad, bad person. And to be in this neighbourhood, in particular, to be some kind of symbol to be looked at or admired is archaic,” added Nicole Lefaivre, who attended the march honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Deighton’s marriage to Quahail-ya is a story that has been told by Squamish Nation elders through the generations but was not well-known in the broader community.

In the past few years, calls for the statue’s removal have grown louder. One petition has garnered more than 23,000 signatures.

“I can’t imagine the empowerment that everyone felt in that moment,” said march attendee Ria Kisoun about the statue coming down.

But in acting unilaterally, the group of activists have undermined the reconciliation work already underway.

“Mayor Kennedy reached out to the nation and opened the dialogue,” said elected Squamish Nation councillor Wilson Williams. “Ever since then, we’ve taken leadership on this file and the city was fine with that.”

Wilson said the Squamish Nation needs to be at the forefront of reconciliation initiatives related to its ancestors.

The nation and city had also been in consultation with Quahail’ya’s living descendants who would have been offered the opportunity to participate in an event around the statue’s removal when details had been finalized.

“We want to be mindful and respectful and really walk softly. I always say this in my walk of life, if you don’t know, please ask. Our doors are open as Squamish people,” Wilson said.

“I know we have a lot of activist groups in First Nations circles, but you know, we’re all responsible for reconciliation and it is our duty to reach out and ensure that we are doing the proper thing in the lands where we are.”

Vancouver police have opened a mischief investigation into the toppling of the statue but no arrests have been made.

The Squamish Nation says it plans to continue working with the city and Quahail’ya’s relatives to come up with a plan for a more appropriate monument at the site where the statue stood.