CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Forbes Kennedy was nervous during game days and he had the same feeling this week as nearly 300 people gathered to honour the man best known simply as Forbie.
You couldn’t tell once the show began.
During a question-and-answer session with Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada and Rogers Hometown Hockey, Kennedy controlled the room. The sold-out crowd of 275 watched as intently as if they were waiting for an overtime winner in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final while Kennedy relived stories of his professional hockey playing career and many years behind the bench coaching the next generations.
For Kennedy, Wednesday night was much like preparing for the game he loved, with the nerves rising as the puck drop approached.
“Once I put my foot on the ice for warmup I forgot everything,” he said. “I couldn’t eat the day of the game, even when I coached. . . Once you got behind the bench it was a different game.”
The nerves appeared to dissipate quickly Wednesday night as he settled into the chair on the stage in front of family, friends, former players, coaches, co-workers and those who revered the well-known team player’s career.
He shared stories from his early days, playing in the NHL’s Original 6, negotiating his contracts, Igor the pigeon and trading jabs with his brother, Jamie, who refereed when Forbie was coaching.
Kennedy coached in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League for both Charlottetown and Summerside. For the full story, visit the PEI Guardian’s website.