Regina native Chris Kunitz says his playing days for the Melville Millionaires played a big role in his hockey development. Kunitz was selected to be on Canada's men's hockey team for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
"It's definitely an exciting time," Kunitz told CBC News Wednesday, adding it was exciting news to share with friends and family. "A whole lot of emotions going on, but it was a obviously great news for the whole family."
Kunitz was in Vancouver when Team Canada officials phoned him, at his hotel, to tell him he was on the team. He then phoned home to tell his wife and children in Pittsburgh, as well as his parents who were visiting at the time.
Kunitz said his playing days for the Melville Millionaires in the late 90s was a key stepping stone to his professional career and now a slot on Team Canada.
"I could not have gotten to where I am if I didn't get to go to Melville," he said. "The memories of being in Melville and meeting such good people that we're still in touch with, makes it that much more special."
Kunitz said part of his preparation for the Sochi games includes staying sharp with upcoming matches for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"I just want to go out and work hard and maybe spend a few more extra hours throughout the week doing preparation," he said, noting that will involve physical preparation and studying the systems Team Canada's coaches will employ in Sochi.