Raised in rural Saskatchewan, Laurie Boschman grew up on outdoor hockey rinks like many typical Canadian kids. He also spent a good portion of his life in the province of Manitoba. Playing his junior hockey career for the Brandon Wheat Kings (1976 -1979), and playing professionally with Winnipeg Jets from 1982-1990, Boschman has nothing but good things to say about Winnipeg. Currently, Boschman and his family reside in Ottawa, where they decided to settle after his retirement in 1993. For the last 23 years Laurie has dedicated his time to working with a Christian-based organization called Hockey Ministries International, a program that runs hockey camps for athletes ages nine through 17.
The program runs in six countries around the world, and teaches high-level hockey skills in conjunction with Christian-based faith principles. In addition to his work with Hockey Ministries International, Boschman has been a part of the Ottawa Senators Alumni Association since retiring, and has recently taken on the role of president of the association in the past year. Even with his strong ties to the Senators' Alumni, Boschman is thrilled to now also be a proud member of the Winnipeg Jets Alumni. Away from hockey, Boschman is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, hunting and going to the lake, as well as spending time with his growing family.
Reminiscing about past days with the Winnipeg Jets, Boschman recalls some of his fondest memories playing in our city.
"Playing with some of the great players we had there in Winnipeg, and of course the playoff series we had with Edmonton, were truly very epic series." When the White Out happened during the playoffs he says, "It was just an incredible feeling as a player to come out of the tunnel and see so many people wearing white and supporting us."
Although they couldn't find a way to get past Edmonton, they came very close on numerous occasions, and Boschman remembers the amazing memories and fun times he spent alongside his fellow teammates. He expressed how much he loved that although Winnipeg was a big city, it had a small town feel.
"Everywhere we went in the community we ran into people who were fans of the hockey team and fans of us," Boshman says. "People in Winnipeg really care about hockey, they support their team and I think that's something I'll always remember about my seven years in Winnipeg."
Winnipeg had the opportunity of hosting the Heritage Classic this past October and Boschman remembers it as a truly great experience.
"It was a real celebration of hockey, which was so fun to do in the province of Manitoba, and the fans just really embraced us as former players," says Boschman, "It was great to get reacquainted with the guys you played with and competed against for all those years."
Although playing outdoors in plus ten-degree weather was a first for Boschman, he was impressed with how the beautiful stadium was transformed for hockey. Overall, he says that "it was a real special time, a real special memory for all of us."