December 24, 2018 7:32 pm
Updated: January 15, 2019 2:18 pm

Former Peterborough Petes captain relishes new role as Humboldt Broncos coach

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When Scott Barney decided to retire from professional hockey this summer after a 19-year career that included stints with the Los Angeles Kings and Atlanta Thrashers, he felt like a move to coaching was the logical next step.

“Basically my degree is in hockey,” said Barney. “Hockey is what I know.”

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Barney finished his hockey career on a high note in Korea, winning the 2017–18 Asia League Ice Hockey championship with Anyang Halla. Afterward, the 39-year-old thought it was the right time to hang up his skates and turn his attention to coaching closer to home.

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When a coaching opportunity with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League came up, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass.

The Broncos franchise is still in the process of rebuilding, after a tragic bus crash took the lives of 16 players and staff and seriously injured several others as they travelled to a playoff game last April.

Barney saw the opportunity in Humboldt to not only help and give back to the game, but also to help support the players and the community that’s still reeling from the tragedy.

“I think the community is healing now,” said Barney. “For me as a coach, I’m just there to be a shoulder to lean on and we have an open door policy with the players.”

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With the break in the schedule during the Christmas break, Barney has the chance to get home to Peterborough for the holidays for the first time in nearly 20 years. His wife, Tara; daughter, Charlie; and son, Jack are still living in Peterborough and he expects they’ll join him in Saskatchewan next season.

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For now, he’s enjoying the time at home.

Barney is able to lace his skates up again while home with a group of local players who have had similar experiences with pro careers. They gather each Christmas for what they call the “Griswold Cup,” a charity game now in its 11th year which raises funds for local charities.

“We’ve made it into an annual fundraiser,” said organizer Chad Cavanagh and founding member of the charity organization HOPE, which stands for Helping Others Participate Equally.

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“Whether it was a toy drive or helping the homeless,” said Cavanagh, “we’re just trying to give something back at Christmas.”

The funds raised this year bought toys for children at the local hospital, while a donation will be made to the Peterborough Petes Pink in the Rink cancer fund.

Barney will return to Humboldt after Christmas when the Broncos open the second half of its season on January 2nd.

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