Ace Burpee–Humanitarian, humorist, community advocate, media personality, skateboard enthusiast, friend to many, HOCKEY LOVER! The Believe in the Goal Foundation is honored to consider amongst its special friends, Mr. “Ace” Burpee of HOT103 FM. Always at the ready when called upon to emcee or host a B.I.G. event or fundraising activity, Ace is now going public with his “Favourite 34 Hockey Players of All-time!” Come back each week throughout the year for a sneak peek into the mind of a true Canadian hockey afficianado, prognosticator and historian... and soon to be, new GM of the returning Winnipeg Jets!
"Luke" was only 5 foot 9 and tipped the scales at 170 pounds in his prime... but when I was 10 years old... he was the biggest rock star in the world. Morris Lukowich was my first favourite Winnipeg Jet. Think of these stats in terms of the contracts given out to players in 2010: In his first three years in the NHL with the Jets, "Luke" notched 35, then 33, then 43 goals in the regular season patrolling the left wing. For this he was probably paid about 90-grand a year. How much is a guy worth today that can average 35 goals a year? 3 to 5 million-ish would be the answer. But that's not why I like him. The reason I rank him in my top 34 players of all time is because he came to visit us. By us, I mean my hometown of Cooks Creek, Manitoba. We have an annual "Heritage Days" in Cooks Creek, and in 1983, my mother, who was helping with the tiny celebration, thought it would be a good idea if we invited a Winnipeg Jet to come sign autographs. My mother had only been in Canada for around 15 years and knew nothing about hockey, so she asked me who to invite. I told her to invite my favourite player, Morris Lukowich. Now check this out... the year is 1981... and how do you possibly track down somebody who just scored 43 goals in the NHL? Well, she just phoned the Jets office and asked for his number. They gave it to her. Awesome. She called. He came. I remember it like it was yesterday. My favourite player in the world, Morris Lukowich, was in my hometown of Cooks Creek - population 93. He signed my mini Jet stick with his classic "Luke. 12. Jets". Best signature ever. I still have it.