By Anthony Dransfeld
Dennis Schick came to the Kimberley Dynamiters training camp in the fall of 1971. He arrived based on a solid recommendation from Ed Babiuk, the Dynamiter’s all star goalie who had more than 10 years of professional hockey experience before signing with the Nitros.
Babiuk played for the Melville Millionaires for three years. He billeted with the Schick family while playing for the Melville team. Being 10 years older than Dennis, Ed Babiuk kept an eye out for the young Schick boy, and watched as Dennis’ hockey career developed.
The Kimberley Dynamiters at the time were like climbing Mt. Everest – many arrived, few succeeded. Most tryouts were sent home after three practices. How are you going to beat out players like Dick Vincent or Wally Souter to name but a few?
The Kimberley Dynamiters had seen Dennis Schick’s hockey resume long before he ever put on a Dynamiter jersey. He had been signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs farm system, and they looked for him to play in their junior team organization, the Toronto Marlboros.
The next season Dennis Schick jumped up to the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Senior League, where they pursued the prestigious Allan Cup. He played for the Terriers at age seventeen. It was in Yorkton that Dennis Schick got the break his hockey career needed.
In Yorkton he was part of a line with the very talented Gerry James, a NHL veteran of 184 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. James doubled hockey with football and played in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he rushed for 19 touchdowns and was a star kicker and punter for the team as well.
By the time Gerry James arrived in Yorkton to mentor his young line mate Dennis Schick, he had already won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dennis has always been grateful to have played that season of senior hockey with Gerry James.
In the 1968 season, Dennis Schick was captain of the Dauphin Kings and led the Manitoba league in scoring. He was voted the League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Dennis Schick, Bob ‘Butch’ Goring and goaltender Ron Low all played for the Kings. The trio was picked up by the Regina Pats to play in the Memorial Cup. They played against Gilbert Perreault, who played for the Junior Montreal Canadians and future all star with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, Dennis tore his groin muscle in practice and that ended his season.
The following season ‘Schicky’ as he is known around the local Kimberley golf courses, turned professional. He played for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League, producing an incredible 16 goals.
Ed Babiuk had often spoken to the Schick family about the Kimberley Dynamiters Hockey Club, so Dennis decided to sign on with Nitros. Dennis and his wife, Norma arrived in Kimberley in the fall of 1971. Dennis became an electrician with the City of Kimberley.
With the Dynamiter’s Dennis was named the Western International Hockey League’s (WIHL) 1st Team Left Wing All Star in the 1975-76 season. He also was the WIHL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) that year as well.
However, the injury bug reared its ugly head once more. The year the Dynamiters won the Allan Cup in 1978, Dennis was forced to the sidelines with a torn MCL.
In many, yes, many, years I have watched a bit of hockey, I have never seen a hockey player like Dennis Schick. He played one year of Senior AAA hockey, followed by one year of Junior A hockey, and he was a scoring champion and team captain, and then followed that up with one year of professional hockey – all played before the age of 20.
Once Dennis’ hockey career came to an end, he switched his focus to the sport of golf. Over the years on the course he has had some good luck and good times with the boys. Dennis has been part of several winning Boyd Cup teams. Golf has brought Dennis a sense of satisfaction by continuing to have fun and still be competitive at times with team mates.
Dennis has also given back to the golf community in Kimberley. He has over 30 years of serving on non-profit board of directors for both the Kimberley Golf Club and Bootleg Gap Golf Course.
Dennis Schick was a very talented hockey player much like Kimberley Dynamiter alumni Bill McLelland. Today you will often see them golfing together on one of Kimberley’s great courses.
On the family side, Dennis and Norma Schick have two children. Daughter Denai Schick Bell is the jewelery designer of Ginjerjar Jewelery line. Denai owns and operates the Arrow and Axe General Store in Kimberley Platzl along with her husband Jarret. They have two children, Noah 13 and Pieta 11. Son Lonnie Schick lives in Medicine Hat where he owns a financial business and is an advisor/portfolio manager with RBC Financial. His wife Lyvonne is also from Kimberley and they have 2 children Keira 17 and Kaylee 12
The term “class act’ gets thrown around a bit too lightly these days, but that is precisely what Dennis Schick is – a class act, start to finish.