Canadian father upset son’s hockey team not allowed to wear memorial patch

Neil Lascelle’s son Ash took his own life in January

The father of a young Saskatchewan hockey player who committed suicide calls a decision to remove a memorial patch from his son’s team’s jerseys a slap in the face.

Neil Lascelle’s son Ash took his own life in January and his Battlefords Barons teammates had been wearing a patch on their sweaters in his honour.

The circular crest reads: ”In loving memory Ash, 2002-2018.”

The Battlefords Minor Hockey Association recently ruled the patches cannot be worn next year.

“It wasn’t very tactful. It was all about a power struggle versus what was in it for the kids, the team, whomever it really mattered to,” the father said. ”It should never have been about a struggle.”

Ash was 15 years old when he died.

His father described him as a social butterfly who loved sports, especially hockey, but also excelled at football and track and field. His favourite teams included the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

Ash enjoyed the outdoors and was musically talented. He talked about having a career in policing and had recently considered joining the military.

His father said that he excelled in school and achieved 97 per cent in his Grade 10 science class.

There were nearly 1,500 people at his funeral.

“I stereotyped him to not have any issues,” Lascelle said. “It seemed to me like he was the popular kid, he was athletic.

“We thought some of the things he was going through were just teenage things.”

Teammates wanted to keep the patch on their jerseys until 2021, when Ash would have moved on from midget hockey.

But the minor hockey association ordered the crests be removed at the end of this season and reaffirmed that stance at an April meeting.

The association’s board said that all jerseys need to be the same.

“If 10 kids would want it and 10 kids didn’t, you can’t have 10 that want it,” said Kyle Kellgren, president of the Battlefords Minor Hockey Association.

“There’s a possibility that kids don’t want it. There’s a parent that spoke against the patch at the meeting. It’s not all just one-sided.”

Kellgren said players are still permitted to put the crests on hockey pants, helmets and bags.

Lascelle attended the meeting and said that it felt orchestrated. People tried to ask questions about the crest, but they weren’t taken seriously, he said.

“Never provided any proof or substantial evidence that this was a negative thing for the crest on the jersey and they never provided anybody that they talked to in regards to this,” said Lascelle, who stayed up until 3 a.m. after the meeting to take crests off the jerseys.

Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, suggested anything that “people can come up with that can help them build that resiliency” is a helpful way to cope.

Every day since Ash’s death has become a little more manageable for Lascelle, his wife, Michele, and their two other sons Mitchell, 18, and Dion, 23, he said.

But “you can’t explain the loss of a child.”

He said he attended every game after Ash died and was proud of the team for wanting to remember him.

Lascelle said more than a dozen children have reached out to him when they’ve felt down.

“I had one parent call me up and say you saved my daughter, and from this point on, we’re family,” he said.

“If I save one person, then my son will be proud of me.

“Maybe I’m kind of having my son live through me in a sense that I’ve adopted or I’m trying to be that person that Ash was.”

— By Ryan McKenna in Regina. Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Lacombe County to hold cannabis public meetings

Cannabis in Your Community meetings is aimed to encourage an open, respectful community dialogue

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake elects its new MLA

The by-election was held in the riding on July 12

Town of Blackfalds approves parental leave bylaw

The bylaw follows the Provincial Government’s commitment to updating its Municipal Governance Act

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Horse euthanized after fracturing leg in chuckwagon races at Calgary Stampede

B.C. animal rights group says that 60 horses have died in the event since 1986

WATCH: Lacombe Community Market selling local all summer

Wednesday Market coincides with Music in the Park

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Artists from all over come to RDC’s Series Summer Arts School

Steven Havens travelled to Red Deer from Texas to take part in antler carving

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

France and Croatia will play in the final on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Police arrest Indigenous pipeline protester occupying B.C. park

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

Most Read