20 legendary figures in the history of Basingstoke Bison

Basingstoke Gazette: 20 legendary figures in the history of Basingstoke Bison 20 legendary figures in the history of Basingstoke Bison

IN CELEBRATION of Basingstoke Bison winning the EPL Cup in their 25th anniversary season, here is a run-down of 20 players who have achieved legendary status among Herd fans.

Curtis Cruickshank 

Basingstoke Gazette:

This giant Canadian shot-stopper has had three spells at the club and has never disappointed. If there was a poll for the best netminder ever to play for the club, he would surely win it hands down.

Neil Peters 

The British goalie was the starting netminder in the club's first season, when he was only 16. He stayed for a total of six years and was back-up in the league-winning season. He ended up playing over 6,000 minutes between the pipes.

Russ Parent 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The silky smooth skating player was the lynchpin of the defence for four years, including in the league championship-winning year. As well as being strong around his own net, he also chipped in with his fair share of goals.

Tony Redmond

Basingstoke Gazette:

Originally joined the team as a forward, but in recent years proved to be just as adept in defence. He played in three of the club's trophy winning sides, and Mr Basingstoke, as he is affectionately known, has played over 700 games for the club.

Kurt Reynolds 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The Basingstoke-born blue liner has spent the last six years playing with the Bison, making him currently their longest-serving player. It was a big loss last season when he got injured. A smart player in his own zone, he also has an offensive flair.

Rick Strachan

Rick was player/coach in the club's first Benson and Hedges Plate success. The Canadian had an excellent shot from the blue line, making him one of the top-scoring defencemen on the team.

Eric Braff 

Basingstoke Gazette:

This giant Canadian was a solid stay at home defenceman who was as dependable as they come. He took over mid-season as player/coach in the toughest year in the club's history - their final year in the Elite League.

Kevin Conway 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The Canadian was the first player to have his shirt retired and leads the all time scoring list by miles, with over 900 points to his name and over 400 goals. A natural goalscorer and a key player for many seasons.

Don Yewchin 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Built the very first team and then set about scoring 302 league goals in just 99 games. He was the second player to have his shirt retired and his hard work and enthusiasm for the sport pulled in not only sponsorship but some of the real die-hard hockey fans too.

Tim Salmon 

The famous curved stick was the trademark of this Canadian playmaker who ripped up the record books playing alongside Kevin Conway. The pair proved a lethal combination.

Greg Chambers 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The all-time leading Elite League goalscorer for the club. Always able to play that telling pass, he was consistent in the scoring charts despite the team's slide down the table.

Nicky Landoli

Basingstoke Gazette:

One of only two Brits to have scored over 100 league goals for the club. A feisty small forward who was always in the thick of the action, and was an important member of the league championship-winning side.

Doug Sheppard 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The current Bison player/coach has guided the Herd to their best-ever finishes in both the Elite League and English Premier League. A great defensive forward and penalty killer who quietly goes about his business in a professional manner.

Steve Moria 

Basingstoke Gazette:

This Canadian had two spells at the club as player/coach and proved to be a pinpoint finisher. He built the early foundation of the current EPL team.

Brad Cruikshank

Basingstoke Gazette:

The team's best-ever power forward. He was never afraid to stick up for his team-mates and has picked up more penalty minutes than any other player. A leader both on and off the ice, which made him an ideal club captain.

Greg Owen 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The Reading-born forward certainly played his part in the Bison's top Elite League forward line alongside Brad Cruikshank and Greg Chambers. A very astute player who read the game really well.

Merv Priest 

Not the most sharp dressed man, but certainly a sharp shooter who won back-to-back Supporters Club Player of Year awards for his solid performances. He grew up in Canada after his family emigrated from England when he was aged two - hence he was classed as an import.

Mario Belanger 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Super Mario was a big part of the Heineken Division One championship winning side. The French/Canadian was a lethal finisher and top point scorer in the team's first season in the top flight.

Mike Ellis 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The first-ever import from arch rivals Bracknell Bees to play for the Bison. The Canadian's non-stop work-rate soon won over his new fans, and he played a big part scoring twice in their first-ever Benson and Hedges Plate success.

Dru Burgess 

A great Canadian playmaker who formed a great understanding with Jeff Daniels and Wayne Crawford on the BCD line. They scored goals as easy as ABC, helped the Bison to their second runner-up spot in the British National League.

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