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KIJHL  

Chiefs remember Sheridan

It will be a bittersweet night when the Kelowna Chiefs open up their home season tonight at Rutland Arena.

The usual buzz associated with any home opener will be quelled somewhat as the team says its public goodbye to longtime owner Grant Sheridan.

Sheridan lost his brief battle with bacterial meningitis July 28. He was only 47.

"It's sort of a balancing act. We're attacking it as a tribute to Grant, celebrating what he's done for us, for the league, for the team and for the community, and the legacy he's left behind," said Chiefs GM Jason Tansem.

"It's going to be emotional, for sure. But, it's going to be a big night for opening night that he was always ramped up for."

Scotty Berg, who sang at the memorial service will sing Hallelujah and the national anthem.

"(That's) going to be pretty emotional."

All the players on the Chiefs will wear name bars reading Sheridan for the game. That is in addition to the GS stickers each team in the league will wear on the back of their helmets to honour Sheridan.

Tansem expects the tribute to run about 30 minutes.

Sheridan's wife Cherie and son Tanner will drop the ceremonial puck.

"The tribute is great ... everybody wants that tribute for Grant, but once that puck drops, they want to get the season going and have our best season yet in memory of Grant," said Tansem.

It will take a lot to top last season's record-setting year, in which the Chiefs won 43 games, and lost just three in regulation time.

But, Tansem said, success is not just about wins and losses.

"Overall, the fan experience is what we're about, and the community relationship and involvement...

"As players, they're going to remember their experience in Kelowna and their experienced time with the Kelowna Chiefs far more than they are going to remember what our record is.

"That's really what we focus on, for the boys to be in the community, to be in school, and to be out there and recognized."

Friday's home opener against the Chase Heat begins at 7 p.m.



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