GTHL Awards 2017: Cooper Humanitarian Award

Rick (far right) with Steven Stamkos, Alex Pietrangelo, and late Jr. Canadiens GM Tyler Cragg

GTHL Awards season is here. To celebrate, we will be profiling each of the 12 award winners individually leading up to the ceremony on June 16.

Rick Crumpton can’t remember a time when hockey wasn’t part of his life. Growing up playing in the Toronto Hockey League (now the GTHL), Rick hit the ice for the first time at the age of 7 with the George Bell Tyke program.

With his father behind the bench, Rick quickly caught the coaching bug and stepped up as a bench boss for the first time in 1974. He’s been coaching in the League ever since.

Rick in his early GTHL playing days.
Rick in his early GTHL playing days.

With a coaching career now spanning over 40 years and counting, Rick has no shortage of memorable moments, pinpointing a particular provincial championship as a memory that stands out.

“Our  Bantam Jr. Canadiens team managed to defeat the Markham Waxers in the provincial championships in 2004-05,” explains Rick. “The Waxers had Steven Stamkos, Cody Hodgson, and Michael Del Zotto on their team.”

Despite the line-up of future NHL players on the Waxers, a young Jr. Canadiens defenseman named Alex Pietrangelo managed to shut the door – earning the team the title as provincial champs for 2004-05.

Crumpton continues to coach in the GTHL, with his players always quick to praise his coaching style.

“He always maintains an optimistic attitude for his players even when all of the odds are against them,” said Shaun Sabatini, a former player under Rick. “More than anything, his main goal is always to make the experience of playing hockey a positive and enjoyable one.”

Rick will be honoured with the Cooper Humanitarian Award on June 16. The Award is presented annually in recognition of lengthy and dedicated service to minor hockey.

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