If you’re an ice hockey fan and would like an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the game’s greatest legends, plan on being at Goddard Memorial State Park on Sunday, Aug. 5.
That’s when the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society, which continues to restore and preserve the 51-year history of the former American Hockey League franchise that provided thrills for fans from 1926-27 to 1976-77, will hold its 12th annual reunion.
“We’ve got a roster of 35 former pro hockey players and leading hockey executives who are expected to attend this year’s reunion,” Buster Clegg, a one-time Reds general manager who is the Society’s founding president, announced this week. “We’re excited about the reunion that again figures to be a complete sellout.”
Interest in the Aug. 5 event is running at such an all-time high, Reunion Chairman Bill O’Connor reports that 250 of the maximum 300 tickets have already been sold.
“The deadline to purchase (reunion) tickets is Friday, July 27,” said O’Connor. “We cannot emphasize enough that no tickets will be sold at the gate on Sunday, Aug. 5.”
The Reds’ reunion will begin at 12 p.m. in the famed carousel building located adjacent to the beach at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick. Clegg and O’Connor also noted that attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a myriad of hockey memorabilia as well as enjoy a specially catered dinner. Tickets are priced at $35 and may be purchased by calling (401) 247-2666.
Leading the pack of former Reds greats will be the trio of Johnny Bower, Ray Ross and Ron Attwell. All three players key roles as teammates on the Reds’ last AHL Calder Cup championship back in 1955-56. Bower is a member of the prestigious Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hartland Monahan, who in 1974-75 as a 23-year-old rookie, scored 28 goals and had 42 assists for 70 points with the Reds, is also included on what Clegg called “our roster of stars for the Aug. 5 reunion.” Monahan’s totals were also among the best offensive statistics for an AHL freshman that season.
Other new and special additions to the Reds reunion roster include Rhode Island native and one-time Providence College athletic director and coach Lou Lamoriello, who is currently the president and general manager of the three-time NHL champion New Jersey Devils. The list also includes ex-Boston Bruins defenseman Gary Doak, Eastern League star Johnny Hutton and former NHL/AHL referee Bruce Hood.
Clegg and O’Connor also announced that “we’ve got quite a few regulars coming back this year.” They are: Ian Anderson, Bob Beckett, Ray Clearwater, Gary Collins, Danny Lewicki, Yves Locas, Eddie MacQueen, Don McKenney, Howie Menard, Jim Morrison, Wayne Muloin and Ed Staniowski.
Former local pros like Stan Baluik, Serge Boudreault, Ross Brooks, Bob Leduc, Gil Mayer, the father-and-son duo of Don and Tom Mellor, Rich Pumple and Chuck Scherza who have attended the 11 previous reunions, will be on hand Aug. 5.
The Society has also added special guest list for the Aug. 5 bash. Those people are: Lou Pieri, son of the Reds’ late and legendry owner Louis A.R. Pieri; Teddy Shore, son of the famed Eddie Shore; ex-women’s Olympic medalist Sara DeCosta Hayes and Pete Demers, an RI-native born trainer who is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Trainers Division; plus George Patrick Duffy, former radio voice and public address announcer for the Reds during their glory days at the old Rhode Island Auditorium.
The Reds Heritage Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation whose membership is always open to fans. The annual dues are only $20. For more information please call (401) 247-6666.
While Clegg serves as the organization’s president, O’Connor is the secretary. Arnold Bailey and Lou Amitrano are the vice president and treasurer respectively. Board members are: Nick Azzarone, Arnold Bailey, Mike Bailey, Dick Bartlett, Dan Butler, Jim Clegg, George Patrick Duffy, Mal Goldenberg, George Landes, Andy Mayer, Tom McDonough, Rick Scherza, Bob Spaziano and. Len Tellier.
Also, Tom Army, Eddie Ellsworth, bob Leduc and Dick Raniere, emeritus.