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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor speaks on governance audit findings, recommendations

Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt says he welcomed the findings and recommendations identified… Continue reading

Kimberley/Cranbrook entertainment listings

Big festival weekends coming up in Kimberley and Cranbrook

Region’s judo dojos take part in Cranbrook training session

On Saturday, February 15, the Cranbrook Judo Dojo hosted the Kootenay Regional… Continue reading

Memorial Arena set to host high school graduation ceremonies

Western Financial Place expected to be unavailable due to ongoing construction during summer months

PHOTOS: Taking in the action at Winter Blitzville

The second annual Winter Blitzville was bigger and better this year as… Continue reading

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Police narrow down timeline in death of woman in West Kootenay

West Kootenay Traffic Services and BC Coroners Service working on the case

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read