Ottawa

For Capital City Condors, Turris trade hits hard

An Ottawa hockey team for players with developmental disabilities is reeling from the news that honourary captain Kyle Turris and his wife Julie are leaving for Nashville.

Forward was honourary captain of team for players with developmental disabilities

Kyle Turris poses with members of the Capital City Condors after an Ottawa Senators game. (Supplied)

The Capital City Condors are reeling from the news that honorary captain Kyle Turris and his wife Julie are leaving Ottawa.

More than 100 hockey players play in the league established 10 years ago for people with physical and mental disabilities in the Ottawa area.

In 2012, the couple became the public faces of the organization, routinely skating with players and helping out at fundraising galas and tournaments.

With the news that the Turris family will be relocating to Nashville following a three-way, blockbuster trade with Colorado, Condors families are sharing their personal stories about how far the hockey couple went to support the unique league and its players.

Sandra Wallace's daughter Camryn, now 13, joined the Capital City Condors the same year that Turris became the team's honorary captain.

Julie Turris poses with Capital City Condors player Camryn Wallace. (Sandra Wallace)

Wallace said it was common for Julie and Kyle to visit families for dinner.

Julie had a habit of attending concerts and plays of students who played for the Condors.

But their support for Capital City Condors families went further.

This year, Sandra was diagnosed with cancer.

While she was recovering from serious surgery, the Ottawa Senators were battling the Boston Bruins in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

One day after a practice in the middle of that playoff series, Kyle Turris showed up at the Wallace home in Carp.

"Kyle came here, picked up both my girls and took them to Westboro to his place to hang out with him and Julie," said Wallace, with tears in her eyes.

"They went for lunch, then Julie took them shopping and then they brought them home."

Wallace broke the news of the Turris trade to her daughter last night.

"He won Camryn a teddy bear at the [Carp Fair] so she calls that bear Turrie," explained Sandra.

"So she had Turrie in her arms last night and when I went up to check up on her. She has a jersey that Kyle gave her and signed for her and it was draped over her.

"She had some tears this morning."

A signed jersey with a personalized note and a teddy bear, won at the Carp Fair by Kyle Turris, lie on Camryn Wallace's bed. (Stu Mills/CBC)

Condors co-founder Jim Perkins still remembers the two-and-a-half hour meeting he had with Kyle at a bistro back in 2012.

Departing Senator Matt Carkner, preparing to move to New York following his own trade, had suggested Turris as an able replacement as honorary Condors captain.

As the meeting between Perkins and the then 22-year-old Senator was winding down, Turris asked to borrow the Capital City Condors annual photo yearbook.

"'Can I take this home? I have to show Julie,'" Perkins recalled Turris saying.

Three days later, Julie and Kyle were at the rink for a Condors team skate.

And they greeted the players, whom they had never met before, by name.

"'So the kids are coming out and it's, 'Hi Ryan!, Hi Amy!'," recalled Perkins.

Turris poses with a player from the Capital City Condors. (Supplied)

"I said, 'Julie, how are you doing that?!'"

Kyle Turris called Jim Perkins moments after news of the trade broke Sunday night.

"I got the phone call I never wanted to get from him," said Perkins. "[The players are] very, very sad."

"It's not just about hockey for them, I think [Julie and Kyle] have really been truly touched by the Condors program," said Sandra Wallace.

"They truly are invested in so many of the kids' lives."