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FUTURE WATCH | Ty Rimmer

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers

“I had no symptoms, but found a lump.”

How many times have we heard this story? A young athlete, the picture of health, being diagnosed with cancer. Ty Rimmer had to come to terms with that reality, and quickly.

“It was a game day, so I had an appointment in the morning and didn't go to the rink. The guys were pretty concerned, and obviously so was I.”  Rimmer explains the moment he found out about the mass,  “The team doctor told me the ultrasound uncovered a tumor in my left testicle, and basically the process was to have surgery as soon as possible.”

Photo by Bakersfield Condors.

Rimmer, one of Edmonton’s goalie prospects (who plays for the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL), had weeks, more accurately, days to process the news and prepare for a life-saving procedure.

“Well, the first day was probably the toughest,” said the young Edmonton native, who was as shocked as everyone to hear that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

“It was a tough day because I was on my own for most of the day,” Rimmer said. “The guys were getting ready for the game, and I had to make some tough calls to family members and loved ones.”

Once Rimmer had informed his family about his diagnosis and expected course of action against the disease, his next move was to pick up the horn and speak with the Oilers general manager.

“I talked to Craig (MacTavish) and he got me on a plane the next day and flew me back to Edmonton, which is where I'm from. After that it was all real positive.”

But MacTavish wasn’t the only person whose support would help ease the mind of Rimmer, who was facing a good prognosis but a frightening scenario nonetheless.

Brandon Davidson also spoke with Rimmer after he got wind of the news. The Oilers prospect and defenceman who plays for the Oklahoma City Barons, is a former WHL opponent of Rimmer, and was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012.

“We've been to camps together, Rimmer said. “We exchanged a few messages and you know, nobody would know what it's like better than he would. As far as what to expect with your surgery and recovery, we talked a little bit. Whenever you go through something like this it's always good to have great people in your corner.”

But MacTavish and Davidson, weren't the only ones who've donned the Oilers sweater to offer encouragement. An Oiler great has also been standing in Rimmer’s corner from the very beginning.

Grant Fuhr, who inspired Rimmer to pursue goaltending after coaching him in peewee, made it a point to send well wishes and some positive words prior to the operation.

“He found out right away and he reached out to my dad and he just wanted to wish me the best,” Rimmer said.

Fuhr and Rimmer’s dad, Barry, grew up together in Alberta.

Rimmer received advice from Fuhr.

“You know at the time there was some scary stuff going on, and he just told me, ‘Just try and stay positive and keep a clear mind and just keep yourself in a positive state and good things will happen.’”

After undergoing successful surgery, Rimmer has been recovering at home with his family by his side.

Photo by Steven Christy.

“They've been great,” Rimmer said. “I’ve been staying with my parents for the past month and they've taken really good care of me. My girlfriend flew down the day after I had my surgery and she took care of me (too). Everybody has been really supportive with anything that I need.  If I’m having a tough day they're there for me so that means a lot.”

Although his parents are happy to have him around the house again, (Rimmer hasn’t played in hockey in Alberta since he was with the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the AJHL) they obviously wish it was under different circumstances.

After coming to terms with what he’d been through, a whirlwind, Rimmer published four tweets sheding some light on the ordeal and thanking everyone for being there.

“It just felt right to me. The surgery actually happened a week after I was diagnosed, so it was a pretty hectic time,” Rimmer explained the timing of the social media announcement.

“I thought after the surgery I kind of wanted some people to know and I got a lot of really amazing supporters out there in the hockey community and all the feedback I've been gotten is really helped a lot.”

Now, the 22-year-old netminder (who turns 23 on March 23) is looking to be back on the ice by that milestone.

Rimmer is back in the gym with the Oilers training staff here in the Capitol City working on getting into game shape and preparing for action with the Condors, who are 7-10-3 since January 16— the date of the last game Rimmer appeared in prior to his diagnosis.

“I've got a bit of a timeline. I started working out last week, just working on some core strength, because that's where the incision was. (Just) making sure everything is firing in the right order. I started in the gym this week with Joel (Schneider) doing some strength stuff. And hopefully this weekend I can get back on the ice,” Rimmer said.

Back on the ice. Those words are music to Rimmer’s ears after his tumultuous last few months.

This season started off very strong for the undrafted prospect.  He preformed well in Penticton, B.C. at the Young Stars Tournament and also made it to main camp and was evaluated longer than some of his counterparts in the system.

The feedback at the tryout was as follows.

“From talking with the goalie coaches they wanted me to work on some positional stuff and some consistency.” Rimmer said. “To move to the next level that needs to be consistent every night,” said Rimmer. “But that's something I always try and work on. So the feedback was all really good.”

Consistency.  At the beginning of the year it was used to define a facet of Rimmers game, now the goaltender is just glad to have some back in his life again.

Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, March 11, 2015  | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 8 0 1 1 -6 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 45 3 6 9 +9 39
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 55 3 4 7 -20 89
MATT FORD* F 30 52 16 23 39 +2 26
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 49 1 8 9 +2 32
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 23 53 11 16 27 +1 32
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 32 15 14 29 +11 6
BRAD HUNT D 26 45 14 27 41 -1 8
CONNOR JONES*
F 24 29 3 4 7 -3 12
KELLEN JONES*
F 24 32 5 8 13 +1 8
KALE KESSY
F 21 17 3 3 6 -7 61
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 51 4 6 10 -7 62
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 29 9 22 31 +8 20
KELLAN LAIN F 25 2 0 0 0 0 4
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 17 1 4 5 -1 36
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 23 27 0 7 7 -4 20
ANDREW MILLER F 26 55 22 29 51 +13 10
MITCH MOROZ F 20 49 2 3 5 -10 123
DAVID MUSIL D 21 52 1 8 9 +4 27
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 49 6 15 21 +5 6
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 39 17 11 28 +17 20
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 21 1 10 11 +4 76
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 14 3 6 9 +2 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 54 2 12 14 +3 12
C.J. STRETCH*
F 25 6 1 2 3 +3 8
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 56 19 26 45 -2 26
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 54 10 15 25 +6 16
JOSH WINQUIST*
F 21 29 5 5 10 +3 9
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 44 4 5 9 +2 49
CONNOR JONES* F 24 27 10 16 26 +3 29
KELLEN JONES* F 24 27 7 18 25 +3 12
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 26 3 11 14 -7 21
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 18 5 18 23 -6 11
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 59 5 23 28 +22 59 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 20 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
40 18 22 40 +1 33 victoria (whl)
LEON DRAISAITL
f 19 26 16 27 43 +12 23 KELOWNA (WHL)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 61 22 28 50 -7 79 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 20 33 9 22 31 +12 56 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 62 29 43 72 +10 46 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 55 24 22 46 +3 41 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 32 10 15 25 +6 27 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 54 20 40 60 0 31 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 40 1 12 13 +13 77 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 32 12 23 35 +12 41 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 31 4 8 12 -8 28 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 33 6 8 14 +7 4 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 34 7 14 21 +10 2 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 53 18 13 31 -3 24 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 25 56 6 19 25 -22 34 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 58 15 10 25 0 12 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 46 10 10 20 -2 89 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 9 0 0 0 -1 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
39 4 5 9 -11 22 HK SAROV (VHL)
1 0 0 0 0 0 Nizhny Novgorod (MHL)
2015 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
DARNELL NURSE
D 19 7 0 1 1 +8 6 CANADA
WILLIAM LAGESSON
D 18 7 0 1 1 +1 8 SWEDEN
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 22 14 4 3   3 2.30 .921 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 33 13 12 5   1 3.97 .869 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 37 20 13 2   2 2.52 .918 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 17 6 10 1   2 2.97 .890 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 20 10 8 0   1 2.65 .908 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 25 8 11 3   1 3.20 .889 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 33 11 15 4   0 3.28 .876 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)

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