A popular retired member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and a former scorer with the Winnipeg Jets, were among the speakers at the Estevan Bruins' Sportsman's Celebrity Dinner on May 25 at Spectra Place.
Long-time Riders defensive tackle Scott Schultz regaled the audience with stories from his CFL career, while Morris Lukowich discussed his time with the original Jets in the World Hockey Association and the NHL.
Schultz discussed his time with the Riders, the teammates that he encountered, and the Riders' 2007 Grey Cup championship.
People often ask him about his most memorable moments. The 2007 Grey Cup was a highlight, but he also fondly remembers the 2007 Western Final victory over the B.C. Lions a week earlier.
"It was a tough game, there were 55,000 fans in the stadium screaming, and you couldn't hear the person next to you," said Schultz. "It's really weird what happens, and it's such an event to win. You fly home, there was an 11-hour or 12-hour turnaround, and then we were back on the plane, to the other side of the country, to go to Toronto for the Grey Cup."
Players scrambled to get tickets for family members and coaches needed videotape of the opposing Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Green-clad Rider fans flocked to Toronto for the Grey Cup.
Schultz also reflected on his experiences with players like Mike McCullough, who was his roommate on the road for many years, and Marcus "Chunky" Adams, who played alongside Schultz on the Riders' defensive line.
He's thankful that the Riders encouraged him and other players to be involved in the community and to make appearances across the province. He has been in Estevan several times in recent years.
Schultz has been selling insurance since he retired from the CFL in 2009. He remains busy thanks to his business, and his family, which includes three children.
Lukowich noted that his cousin, Bernie, played with the Estevan Bruins in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. He believes that the only reason he had a chance to play with the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers was that his cousin played in Estevan, and the Tigers' brass recognized the Lukowich name.
"Without that connection, I would have been just one small guy that would have got cut, so I would have never been able to experience the really great dream of actually being able to play in the NHL," said Lukowich. "So Estevan, I'd like to say 'Thank you very much.'"
Lukowich is also the brother of two-time world champion curler Ed Lukowich. Morris said he introduced the sport to many players on the Jets. Some of the players became tremendous curlers, but curling also resulted in an injury for Jets' great Dale Hawerchuk, so the Jets' brass banned players from curling.
Lukowich shared stories of many of the players who were teammates and opponents, including his hero, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull.
He also noted that the Jets' entire team payroll in their first season in the NHL in 1979-80 was less than what Andrew Ladd – the captain of the new Winnipeg Jets – earned in the 2011-12 season with Winnipeg.