LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — “Hockey is for Everyone,” is one of the mottos for the NHL and there is a local hockey club that proves it’s true.
“We get on the ice,” said Elder Skatesmen President, Bill Zabelny. “And guess what we turn into kids again.”
For more than two decades, the Las Vegas Hockey Club, The Elder Skatesmen, have proven age doesn’t matter on the ice. And with the Vegas Golden Knights back in the Stanley Cup Final, the team says the spirit continues to grow.
“We got to see the evolution and the growth of the game and with the NHL and VGK having more people get interested in this beautiful game that we’ve loved all of our lives,” Zabelny said.
The team of players, all 50 years and older, is led by a former Team USA hockey player.
“It’s what we love, it’s what we’ve grown up and if you want to say born to do,” Zabelny said.
And don’t worry about these guys getting hurt. They’re tough.
“It’s hockey, you brush it off, you get back on the ice,” he said.
“As long as you put in the time and the effort to get out there and skate and practice anybody can play,” said team forward Patrick Quinn, who hits the ice three times a week with the team.
“I’m 58 now, I hope to be doing it when I’m 78,” he said.
He would be in amazing company, the oldest player is 82.
“I feel so lucky to be part of this group because the guys are just great, hockey is fun, the exercise, you can’t do any better than that,” Quinn said.
With the Knights on the way to the Stanley Cup, there’s more than black and gold on the team’s jerseys, it’s in the Elder Skatemens’ blood.
“When I watch the Golden Knights play and they make a certain move or they make a certain play, I’m like oh I want to try that when I get out on the ice, it doesn’t always work out as well as it does for the Knights but it kind of promotes that creativity,” said Quinn.
“We might be a little bit higher, a little bit grayer, and probably a little bit slower, but still ultimately we enjoy this game,” said Zabelny.
The team plays at the Pepsi Ice Arena at the Fiesta Rancho Hotel & Casino.
For more information on skating at the Pepsi Ice Rink, click here.