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A Submitted by Kait Burgan. The Nanaimo Clippers Junior A Hockey Team is a significant part of life in Nanaimo. Since the franchise was founded in 1972, players, coaches, volunteers and fans alike have memories and never-before-told stories that contribut...

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A The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Lucas Bahn has signed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season. The 1999 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing this past season for the Skipjacks Hockey Club of the USPHL. During the...

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A Picture by Teksomolika / Freepik

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The Clippers Hockey Society wishes to announce some information regarding the society. First is a list of the current board members: Jim Olsen – has lived in Nanaimo for 26 years, working at Fairwinds Golf Course for most of that time. Is a CPA, CMA and...

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Minor Hockey Skills and Powerskating Camp The Nanaimo Clippers are holding a Skills and Powerskating Camp for Minor Hockey Age players with birth years 2002 to 2007. The focus of the camp will be skill development, powerskating, and conditioning in prepar...

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A Submitted by Kait Burgan. The Nanaimo Clippers Junior A Hockey Team is a significant part of life in Nanaimo. Since the franchise was founded in 1972, players, coaches, volunteers and fans alike have memories and never-before-told stories that contribut...

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A Submitted by Kait Burgan. The Nanaimo Clippers Junior A Hockey Team is a significant part of life in Nanaimo. Since the franchise was founded in 1972, players, coaches, volunteers and fans alike have memories and never-before-told stories that contribut...

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         The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired (97) forward Parker Colley from the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for (97) goalie Evan DeBrouwer. Last season in Prince George Colley had 12 goals and 15 assists in 56 games. In two years in t...

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The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired Sam Macbean from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations. The 19-year old defenceman was recently acquired by the Silverbacks from the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Th...

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The Nanaimo Clippers Junior A Hockey Team is a significant part of life in Nanaimo. Since the franchise was founded in 1972, players, coaches, volunteers and fans alike have memories and never-before-told stories that contribute to the fabric of the team we cheer for today. We will share some of those stories in what we are calling "Legends & Locals."

When people say "hockey is my life," they're usually referring to how much they watch, how enthusiastic a fan they are or how many games they get to attend in person but for Nanaimo's Michael Olson, that often haphazardly 'thrown around' phrase is taken literally.
Olson grew up in Tisdale, Saskatchewan and came to Nanaimo to play for the Clippers in 2002. He stayed with the team until 2005 when he received a Scholarship to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. From there, in 2009, he played for a year with Boise's Idaho Steelheads before returning to the Clippers as Assistant Coach, alongside Head Coach Bill Bestwick. He continued as Assistant Coach until 2013, under Mike Vandekamp.
"I was able to experience wonderful things because of the game of hockey," he says on the phone. "I've been overseas. I've travelled all over continental North America, and now I live in Nanaimo. I'm married, and I have a one-and-a-half-year-old son. Hockey was a tool for all of this."
In addition to hockey being a vehicle to create a life he loves, Olson says hockey was an opportunity to instil a sense of pride in the community.
"When we played, we were definitely the draw in town," he recalls. "I remember going to the grocery stores or the movies and being recognized by young fans and being asked for autographs." Olson continues to explain that the team saw themselves as ambassadors not only for the team but the city. "We had a gigantic sense of pride in the jersey and the colours we wore. There would be 2200 people at Frank Crane Arena on a Friday night, and that was a reflection on us. It's more than a game; it's a responsibility." He noted that the crowds at Frank Crane were equal to the entire population of his hometown of Tisdale. "People loved going to Frank Crane on Friday night. It was the place for the community to come and end their week.
Although the game paved the path of life for Olson, it didn't turn into a career for him. He always played the best game he could, and once you join the elite players in the collegiate leagues, he says it's as competitive as winning the lottery.
When I asked him if he follows hockey today, he laughs and reminds me he has a one-and-a-half year old. He does say that he finally gets to watch Hockey Night in Canada on a Saturday night and that as his son, Ellis, gets a little bit older, he's looking forward to introducing him to the live hockey experience at Frank Crane, and instil that sense of pride in his son.
Thank you, Michael Olson, for not only playing and coaching a great game of hockey but for being an ambassador for our city.

(written by Kait Burgan, photos by Michael Rhode)

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For more information on the Nanaimo Clippers, and to become a member of the Nanaimo Clippers Society, visit www.nanaimoclippers.com. "Suddenly, it’s not out of reach to own a hockey team!"

Michael Olson St. Cloud State University Idaho Steelheads #legendsandlocals #goclippers Hockey Night in Canada Frank Crane Arena BCHL Live JuniorHockey.com
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Your Nanaimo Clippers would like to wish you a Happy Father's Day! www.nanaimoclippers.com/happy-fathers-day ... See MoreSee Less

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C-dog was so excited Lucy placed him in the South End Community Association Miner's Day Pet Parade at the picnic today. C-dog even saw his good friends from 106.9 FM THE WOLF! ... See MoreSee Less

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