INDUCTION CEREMONIES HELD IN NIPAWIN AUG 3, 2019
Rejean (Rej) Stringer was born and raised in Gravelbourg SK in a bilingual family to parents Louis and Gloria.
He left home at the end of grade ten to play for the Swift Current AAA Legionnaires of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League for the 1989-90 season. In 1991, he came to Nipawin as a 17-year-old and ended up embarking on a four year career with the Hawks and he served the last two as team captain.
Rej graduated from Nipawin’s LP Miller High School in 1992 and in 1995 (his final season as a Hawk) he received a scholarship to Merrimack. He toiled in the NCAA from 1995-1999 finishing his degree in finance.
In 1996-97 he led all NCAA Division I players in assists and the very next year he helped Merrimack score an upset win over top seeded Boston University. He is the current all-time leading scorer at Merrimack and he capped his NCAA tenure with an NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks. He played one season for their AHL farm team in Kentucky and then moved on to the Fresno Falcons of the WCHL and then he played for the Columbia Inferno from 2001-03, losing in the ECHL finals. He made the league’s all-star team in 2002 by putting up 96-points.
He spent 2003-04 in Salzburg, Austria and his team won the league championship. In 2004-05, he returned to the ECHL and split the year between Las Vegas and Peoria.
In 2006, Stringer was retired when he was convinced to join the Cardiff Devils midseason and he scored the winning goal to win the Challenge Cup and it was the last ever goal scored in the Wales National Ice Rink.
Today, he lives in Swift Current and works as an investment advisor. He is married to Dr. Sasha Godenir and they have three children. Kade, Dior, and Veda.
Bruce Thompson’s playing career started at the junior level in the early 1980s with the Melville Millionaires where he emerged as team captain, showing his leadership traits even as a young player. After playing in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Thompson remained in Brandon and played five years with the CIAU’s Bobcats, where Bruce was part of the leadership group and culminated his career by being named the school’s Male Athlete Of The Year in his fifth season.
In 1989, he traded in his jersey for a track suit and received unparalleled guidance from legendary SJHL bench boss Dwight McMillan as he worked on the staff of the Weyburn Red Wings. After apprenticing for four years in Weyburn, Bruce’s 7-year legacy with Nipawin began. Overall, in eleven SJHL seasons, Bruce was named SJHL Coach Of The Year three times. He won four division pennants and twice guided his team to the SJHL’s best regular season record.
Bruce developed an impressive track record for turning out Junior ‘A’ graduates to the Canadian university ranks, so it was only fitting that he took over the University of Regina hockey program in 2000, coaching them for five seasons. He remains in Regina today, going into his 15th year educating special education students at Schaller School.
A Bruce Thompson coached team made it to the playoffs of either the SJHL or CIS levels in fifteen of his sixteen years.
With 299 career SJHL wins, he is the winningest coach in Nipawin Hawks history (current coach Doug Johnson enters 2019-20 one win back).
Bob Woods played for two seasons in NIpawin (1985-86 and 1986-87), scoring 70-points in 63-games in that second season before moving on to the Brandon Wheat Kings, where he averaged over a point per game at the major junior level. Woods was a WHL All-Star and team Most Valuable Player and that paved the way for the New Jersey Devils to select him in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.
A 13-year pro career included the American and International Hockey Leagues, the East Coast Hockey League, and Europe. The accolades also followed as he won the 1997 Calder Cup with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, the 1999 Kelly Cup with the Mississippi Sea Wolves, and in 2012 he was inducted into the ECHL Hall Of Fame. In 2018, Woods was honored as one of the top ten ECHL players of all-time.
HIs playing career ended in 2001 after three years with the Sea Wolves and then he, immediately, assumed the role of Head Coach for the next four seasons and won 40 games in each of the first three and 39 in his fourth. From there, he assumed control of the Hershey Bears and won two Calder Cups.
In 2009 when Bruce Boudreau was named head coach of the Washington Capitals, Woods was also named to the staff that would lead the Caps to the 2010 President’s Cup.
Since then, he’s had stops in Anaheim, Buffalo, and now he enters his third season as an assistant with the Minnesota Wild (a stop in the WHL with as Coach/GM of Saskatoon in between).