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HOT CORNER: City of Summerside should consider naming streets after Gallant, Thompson

['Joe MacIntyre']
['Joe MacIntyre']

Local slo-pitch team has strong showing at nationals

Summerside City Council is wrestling with the idea of what to do to honour one of Summerside's most famous sports celebrities, Gerard (Turk) Gallant.
There was a lot of social media talk this past spring about naming a street after Gallant, and now council is considering a statue in his honour.
A lot of North American cities have streets named after famous athletes, and some have statues to honour their greats. Larry Bird Blvd., Pat Quinn Way, Wayne Gretzky Drive, Joe DiMaggio Drive would be examples of street names. Gretzky also has a statue in his honour in Edmonton.
Bathurst, N.B., has Sean Couturier Drive that leads to the KC Irving Regional Centre, where Couturier played his major junior hockey. Summerside already has Heather Moyse Drive, and maybe it is time to add to the list.
Gallant is certainly deserving of at least a street named in his honour, and maybe council should consider adding the name of Errol Thompson as well. Thompson had a very solid NHL career that spanned 10 seasons from the 1970-71 season through 1980-81. He recorded 393 points, including 208 goals, and one has to remember that Thompson played when there were far fewer teams – and far fewer jobs.
The NHL had 14 teams when Thompson started, and 21 teams when he finished. To make the NHL then, you had to be good and Thompson was one of the better left-wingers in the game at the time. He was known to have the best backhand shot in hockey, and many of his goals were scored that way.
The late John (The Realm) McNeill often referred to Thompson as the St. Eleanors Flash in his popular Journal Pioneer sports column. When one thinks about where Thompson grew up, it would only be fitting to name a street in the former community of St. Eleanors. How about Notre Dame Street that leads to South Drive becoming Gerard Gallant Street that passes off to Errol Thompson Drive?

Baseball
The Canada Cup of baseball in underway in Moncton, N.B., and it features most of the best 17-and-under baseball players in this country.
The P.E.I. Youth Selects are representing Prince Edward Island, and have a strong contingent of players and coaches from Prince County. Dylan McCormack, Duncan Picketts, Dylan Noonan, Ben MacDougall, Chase Gaudette and Josh Myers are all part of what appears to be a very competitive team.
This team is very well coached under the very capable hands of Rob McCormack, with Dale McDougall, Blair Christopher and Blair Creelman providing assistance. Coaching is everything at this level, and I will not be surprised if this team does very well in Moncton under the guidance of this very capable staff.
The Selects took a 1-1 (won-lost) record into Friday afternoon’s game against Nova Scotia.

Slo-pitch nationals
The Doolys Dodgers from the Miscouche Legion-sponsored Summerside league had a great showing at last weekend’s Slo-Pitch National softball championships in Niagara Falls, Ont. This is the fourth trip to the nationals for the Dodgers, who finished the round robin with a best-ever 2-2 (won-lost) record.
One of the Dodgers’ losses was by only two runs, and the other loss was to the eventual E Division winner from Cambridge, Ont. Their round-robin record earned them double life on Championship Day, but the Dodgers lost both games to two of the top five teams in the 22-team division.
Overall, the Dodgers finished ninth in the division, and that was a best-ever finish by any local team at a national championship. It was a bit of a moral victory for the Dodgers as they realized they can compete with best in that division.
There is very little difference in the D and E Division, according to Dodgers coach Brad Craig, who had his team playing smart ball by putting the ball in play instead of the customary home run fest we see locally.
It is great to see a local team compete nationally, and congratulations to the Dodgers on a fine showing.
Have a great week!

Joe MacIntyre is a local life insurance broker. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to joe macintyre18@gmail.com.

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