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Hall Of Famer Lanny McDonald Excited By Golden Knights Arrival

The former Calgary Flames captain attended the team's #VGKRoadTrip stop in Whitefish, Montana

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

In the moments before the #VGKRoadTrip's on-ice clinic got underway in Whitefish, Montana last Wednesday, there was a buzz around the lobby of the Stumptown Ice Den.

In this authentic mountain-themed ice rink - help built by Golden Knights senior vice president Murray Craven, coincidentally - the halls were starting to get crowded.

Perhaps overcrowded.

It's not every day that two active NHL players come to tiny Whitefish to skate with the areas youth hockey players, after all.

As Alex Tuch and Jake Bischoff arrived, as the crowds accumulated, as Murray Craven reveled in the franchise he's so passionate about visiting the town he's so passionate about, a good amount of chatter was being dedicated to an elderly man who arrived with one of the most perfect mustaches you could ever see.

"Oh wait, that's Lanny McDonald," one guy whispered to his friend.

Video: Hockey HOFer Lanny McDonald on the #VGKRoadTrip


And indeed it was.

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The Hockey Hall of Famer and hero of the 1989 Stanley Cup-winning Calgary Flames, McDonald had driven in from his home 40 miles away so his grandsons, Hayden and Calder, could skate with the Golden Knights.

Calder, as in Calder Trophy.

"When something big like this is happening (here), you know about it," McDonald told "It's a pleasure to come and hang out.

I think it's absolutely fabulous. This will pay dividends down the road. And to have Bill (Foley) and Murray (Craven), such a prominent part of the Golden Knights, to bring this back home here to Montana, I think it's fabulous.

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As McDonald talked with us, a crowd of other prominent former NHLers began to form.


Video: Tuch and Bischoff visit Whitefish, Montana


Doug Houda, an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings and former NHL defenseman, was on hand. David Booth, who played for the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs before playing in Russia's KHL in 2016-17, showed up.

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This is from a population in the Whitefish area that also includes former NHL players Shane Churla, Geoff Sanderson, Rob DiMaio and Rich and Ron Sutter.

As well as Craven, Bill Foley's right-hand man with the Golden Knights who played 18 NHL seasons before settling in Whitefish in 2000.

McDonald added that for as much as Whitefish's population is already devoted to hockey, that the #VGKRoadTrip will make strides to turn the area into Golden Knights country.

"What the Knights are doing here is absolutely fabulous," McDonald said. "Every team should have that logo on them, especially here in the Rockies.

"I think it's going to be a home run. And obviously, doing things like this in this neck of the woods, there's going to be this whole northwest corner cheering for Vegas.

"That's the way it should be."

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