Wednesday marked the 10th straight year that former Winnipeg Jets great Dale Hawerchuk hosted the Scotiabank Dale Hawerchuk Charity Classic. A decade later, Hawerchuk reminisced about how the Winnipeg chapter began.
"I had ran charity golf tournaments in Ontario for quite a while. When word came out that the Jets were going to come back we jumped the gun by a year," said Hawerchuk.
"We had a good feeling. I can thank John Webster from Scotiabank who said 'We want to take this (tournament) to Winnipeg, the Jets are coming back. Let's do it.' And here we are in our tenth year."
Dave Babych, Dave Ellett and Serge Savard were just a few of Jets alumni who teed off at the Elmhurst Golf and Country Club on Wednesday. In addition to the alumni, Hawerchuk added that lots of people who take part of his tournament in Muskoka, make the trek to Manitoba as well.
"You know it's friendly Manitoba. The people really feel that when they come out here," said Hawerchuk.
"Coming back to Winnipeg. It's nice to bring back some of the former Jets and it's a great reunion. We're raising money for good causes and at the same time people are having an incredible experience."
On the topic of raising money, the Hall-of-Famer is grateful to the people of Winnipeg for their generosity.
"They're very giving. I think more than anything they are just so down to earth," said Hawerchuk.
"Even the players, they really feel that from the people. We will have some players from some other (NHL) teams and they're really impressed how down to earth the people are."
The former first overall pick has been playing golf for a long time and during his playing days used it to escape the chaos of a long season.
"I broke in when fitness was just starting to take foot into the leagues so it kind of evolved as my career got going," said Hawerchuk.
"I always said golf was good for hockey players after they had done their fitness stuff to keep them out of trouble. There is nothing better than the people you meet on the golf course. You get to know a person pretty well. As a hockey player you are very competitive but you can't beat golf."
Hawerchuk then told stories about how competitive things got even on the golf course with his Jets teammates in the 80's. The worst loser was in his mind was Morris Lukowich.
"He wouldn't let it go, he would relive it and would say 'you got lucky here' and stuff like that," laughed Hawerchuk.
"We had some fun with it. I was always one of those guys who felt hockey season was hockey season, baseball season in baseball season and golf season was golf season. It was exciting to switch over."