Paying tribute to Ralph Klassen


by KELLY FRIESEN

Journal editor

Roughly 30 years after he hung up his skates, Ralph Klassen remains a legend in St. Gertrude.

The community is set to pay tribute to the former local NHL player on June 28 at the St. Gertrude Hall.

"It will be a fun event and we hope to see a lot of people out there," said Brenda Zimmer, who's helping put on the tribute. "There will be a short program and we will unveil a sign that we made to pay tribute to Ralph."

Klassen rapped up his career in 1984 with 52 goals, 145 points, 120 penalty minutes and 497 games played to his name in the NHL. He spent time with the California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Blues. In addition, he posted three 60-plus point seasons with the Saskatoon Blades in the then Western Canadian Hockey League before making the jump to the pros.

Klassen, 58, holds the unique distinction of being the only player to be property of four NHL teams in one day. After being claimed in the 1979 expansion draft by the Hartford Whalers from the Rockies, he was traded to New York Islanders and then to the Blues in less than 24 hours.

The former centre currently lives in Saskatoon. He's enjoying retirement following working for Canada Post as a mail carrier after his hockey days.

Klassen's tribute kicks off at 3 p.m. on Saturday. It will include a program and a roast beef supper. Tickets have to be bought in advance for the supper. Contact Glenda at 306-231-6737 or Brenda at 306-682-3331 for more information .

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