The Manitoba Junior Hockey League extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Cole Hamblin, who lost his battle with cancer. His family was by his side.
Hamblin, 21, recently accepted a scholarship to attend Guelph University and play for their CIS hockey program. Hamblin, who played AAA midget for Eastman Selects, played in the MJHL for Virden, Winnipeg Blues, Selkirk Steelers and Portage Terriers.
“We are extremely proud of Cole for what he accomplished during his time in Virden along with reaching his goal of attaining a hockey scholarship,” mentioned Dale Lewis, the organization’s President. “The team appreciates all the condolences and messages that we have received and right now our thoughts and prayers are with the Hamblin family.”
Cole entered his final season of junior hockey as a member of the Virden Oil Capitals and played a pivotal part in the team’s success.
“No one enjoyed playing the game and being around teammates more than Cole,” stated Troy Leslie, the Oil Caps Head Coach and General Manager. “He was a very kind and thoughtful person and was always easy to have a conversation with. He will be deeply missed by everyone here in Virden.”
“Cole was a pleasure to have around the rink each day,” added the Oil Caps’ Marketing Manager, Lindsey Gullett. “Any community related events we had, he never hesitated to get involved. His easy going personality and care for others is what made people gravitate towards him… he was just a big, loveable guy.”
Various fundraisers have taken place over the past two months for Cole and his family that have received an overwhelming amount of support from the hockey community across Canada and the United States. The Oil Caps donated the proceeds from a 50/50 earlier in the season during a game that featured his former team, the Portage Terriers. Meanwhile the Spokane Chiefs (his former WHL team) held an auction with the proceeds directly benefiting the Hamblin family. In addition, an online fundraiser called Stronger Than Cancer raised nearly $70,000. A message from the website states, “All remaining donations that have not been used will be generously donated to Cancer Care!”.
The Oil Caps players will have “CH18″ stickers placed on their helmets for the remainder of the season in memory of Cole.