NHLers at home in Valley

Madison Erhardt

More NHLers are calling the Okanagan home.

Current and former pros are migrating to the Valley for its great weather, golf – and plenty of buddies to scrimmage with. 

"During my playing days, I spent most of the summers here.... When the lockout happened in 2013, I spent the first half of the winter here and then I retired that year. We've stayed ever since," said Former Ottawa Senator Wade Redden.

Redden believes as many as 100 former pros live around the Valley – "I don't have a definite answer, but I know there are a lot of guys."

Todd Simpson, who played for the Calgary Flames, gushed about the Okanagan.

"I have been fortunate to live all over North America, and I just keep coming back to Kelowna. It's just the right size, the lake the mountains, everything about it we just love," he said.

Tyler Bouck played three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. He says he knew right away he wanted to live in Kelowna when he first visited.

"My girlfriend and I flew out, and we actually bought that weekend because we saw how nice it was," he said. 

Quentin Laing travelled around the NHL for 15 years, most notably with the Washington Capitals. His reasoning for coming to Kelowna was simple.

"My wife is from here, and she and her family have been here for a long time, so that was the biggest reason," he said. 

"When you have so many NHL players around, guys want to go to a place where the facilities are there and the competition is there as well. A lot of other cities don't have the (hockey) talent that Kelowna does."

Redden, Simpson, Laing and Bouck all say they don't plan on leaving anytime soon. 

"I'm here forever. I made the decision about 10 years ago and haven't regretted it for a second," said Simpson. 

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