Howie Yanosik has lived quite a life. These days the 82-year old’s mornings start with a walk with his dog Cassie around his quiet neighborhood in south Lethbridge, but life wasn’t always so calm.
“The manager is standing there watching the doctor and making sure he doesn’t take too long and saying let’s go, let’s go. So you’d get your stitches and most times there was no anesthetic and they’re you go back on the ice.” chuckled Yanosik.
Yanosik played 10 seasons in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears from 1957-1967. And they haven’t forgotten about their former star defenceman, as they recently inducted him into their Hall of Fame.
“I said what? That’s the last thing I ever thought of,” Yanosik said with a laugh.
It might not have been top of mind for Howie, but the Bears know what kind of player they had in the Lethbridge-raised Yanosik. He played over 600 games and ranks second in club history in points among defenceman.
“It was 10 enjoyable years. I was a regular, I made the all-star team, and I enjoyed Hershey,” Yanosik said.
Yanosik was one of the best hockey players in the world at the time. Thriving in the American Hockey League at a time when the NHL and AHL, had just six teams each.
“Tough league. The American hockey league was a tough league,” he said. “There was really great rivalries because you played each other so many times.”
He went on to a decorated career as a coach, but to be recognized for what he did on the ice more than half a century ago, means the world.
“I really consider this honour that they’re bestowing on me to be just fantastic, it makes my life,” said Yanosik.