Sask. Huskies men’s hockey team retires No. 24 in honour of Cody Smuk

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team paid tribute to late athlete Cody Smuk on the weekend. Tyler Shroeder / Global News

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan men’s hockey team paid tribute to a late athlete at a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league game. On Saturday, the memory of Huskies alumni Cody Smuk was honoured by retiring his No. 24 jersey at Rutherford Rink.

Smuk played with the Saskatchewan Huskies for four seasons and studied at the Edwards School of Business.

This year’s hockey team is a young one but Huskies head coach Dave Adolph says it’s his duty to make sure the new players know who Smuk was and the impact he had on the program.

“He was old-school, he was relentless, passionate and he was a hard worker,” said Adolph.

“He worked just as hard off the ice, whether he was working for his father’s carpentry company or he was working in school. He worked real hard in relationships too, there wasn’t a guy that he didn’t have his back.”

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A 10’ x 48’ banner in Smuk’s honour will go up in the upper corner of the rink.

“We’ve never had a situation where we’ve lost an athlete to a situation like this. So our respect to the Smuk family, certainly out of the respect of all our players both present and past had for Cody, it was a natural thing to do,” said Adolph.

“That banner will go in Rutherford and stay there and if and when they build a new rink, we’ll transfer the banner over,” said Adolph.

He was also a large part of building the player’s lounge in the campus rink which is called ‘Smuker’s Lounge.’ There are photos that depict his meaning to the team in it, according to Adolph.

Smuk passed away in June after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 26.

READ MORE: Former Huskies athlete wins dream wedding after cancer diagnosis

Adolph says Smuk was instrumental in Huskies Athletics’ fundraising efforts to fight cancer prior to his diagnosis.

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“Cody is one of the guys that led the charge for quite a few of the things that we did for cancer fundraising, they grew their hair out like a lot of sports teams do,” said Adolph.

“It was just too early for Cody to go. He had a lot left to give. Unfortunately there are a lot of families that are affected by this disease and Cody unfortunately was one of them.”

Smuk grew up in Saskatoon’s Lakeridge neighbourhood and played minor hockey in the Flyers zone. During his WHL career, he played a total of 271 regular season games with the Chilliwack Bruins, the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Moose Jaw Warriors.

On Oct. 24, the Huskies beat the University of Regina Cougars 6-2. Saskatchewan is undefeated this season and will host the Alberta Golden Bears Friday and Saturday.

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