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

School District 8 swears in new board

Four new trustees join the Kootenay Lake board of education

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Tigz Designs making Christmas merry for Swan Valley Lodge residents

Lori Cameron and her husband, Bill, expect to deliver 90 gift bags to Swan Valley Lodge residents.

Proportional Representation makes your vote count

We can lead the rest of the country with democratic reform.

Enhancing recreational opportunities on Basin Trails

This program is one of the ways the Trust is addressing its strategic priority to support recreation and physical activity in the region.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read