Sports community mourns loss of 'true leader'

Dave Stewart
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Drew Power, 31, of Charlottetown perished in house fire on Kent Street on Sunday

Drew Power was described Monday as a true leader, someone who went out of his way to make people feel better about themselves.

The sports community on Prince Edward Island is struggling with Sunday's death of the 31-year-old Charlottetown resident.

Power was pronounced dead at the scene of a fire in his home on Kent Street. The preliminary post-mortem examination results indicate he died of smoke inhalation. The fire was called in at 2:54 p.m. Sunday.

Tim Mayme, Charlottetown's deputy fire chief, says the fire originated in the kitchen. Further details will be released when they get results back from the autopsy.

"It's hard to talk about,'' said an emotional Kenny MacDougall, who coached Power with the Summerside IceFox senior hockey team. "He was the type of person who made people feel like they mattered and he took the time to tell people things that were important.

"That was the biggest lesson that I'll take from my time with him,'' MacDougall said, struggling with his composure.

Power played with the now-defunct Charlottetown Abbies of the Maritime Junior Hockey League from 1999 to 2002. He also suited up with the UPEI men's hockey Panthers in 2002-03.

Gordie Whitlock, who coached him during his time with the Abbies and Panthers, said only his skating ability kept Power from making an impact as a professional.

"I am close to the (Power) family so this hits home a bit more. He was a gifted athlete, not just in hockey, but in baseball and golf as well,'' Whitlock said Monday.

"I saw him develop as a player and as a person. His dad died early in his life and it was a tremendous challenge for him but he got through it. He was just a good guy who had a lot of friends.''

Lynn Palmer, co-owner of the Charlottetown Crunch senior hockey team Power served as captain on, said grief counsellors have been brought in to help teammates cope.

"He was beyond instrumental in getting (the team) going from the start. When the team was being formed it wasn't even up for discussion who the captain was going to be,'' Palmer said. "He was amazing. The best leader anybody could have. He really was born with the 'C' on his heart.''

Jeff Squires, who coached Power briefly with the Abbies, said "he was a solid guy and a good example for the young guys. I'm just struggling to get my head around it.''

"(Power) was amazing. The best leader anybody could have. He really was born with the 'C' on his heart,'' Lynn Palmer, co-owner of the Charlottetown Crunch

Mike James, general manager with the Abbies, said Power was an unbelievable kid.

"Listen, this kid was great to coach, a great kid to play. He led by example,'' James said.

Power had just graduated last year from the Atlantic Police Academy.

Paul Smith, police chief with Charlottetown Police Services, said Power worked with city police during his on-the-job training in 2011 and worked with the force again last summer.

"He was a well-known, well-liked individual in the community,'' Smith said. "This is a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.''

Power served as assistant coach of Holland College's men's hockey team last year.

Albert Roche, athletic director at Holland College, said Power saw the value in giving back to sport and community.

"Drew has made a lasting impact on many young players here at Holland College,'' Roche said.

Clement Arsenault, a teammate of Power's with the Abbies and Panthers, called The Guardian on Monday from his home in Edmonton, Alta., to offer his condolences.

Arsenault said he and Power grew up together in Sherwood, playing pond hockey in Terry LeClair's backyard as children.

"There were a lot of times I shared with Drew on the outdoor rinks and on the driveways and streets of Sherwood,'' Arsenault said. "From a very young age there were a lot of us who were close in that area and we remained close as we became adults and played junior hockey together and went to university for a short time.

"He was a brother. I grew up with Drew since we were eight years old. I am shocked. You didn't want anybody else on the ice when you were out there. He took care of you; he led the way.''

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

 

Organizations: Holland College, Abbies, Maritime Junior Hockey League Atlantic Police Academy Charlottetown Police Services The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kent Street, Prince Edward Island Sherwood Edmonton

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  • Dave reynolds
    December 21, 2012 - 19:16

    Drew was a great teammate, one that was a ultimate competitor on the ice. Off the ice he was a friend to everyone . He will be deepły missed and we are saddened by the loss of his life.

  • Chico
    December 18, 2012 - 16:26

    ONTARIO While I have only known Drew for 3 years as a coach with the Charlottetown Fawcettes, I will always remember him fondly as a great Guy and Teammate willing to do whatever his team Needed to be done no questions asked and always with a big Smile , Coaching the Fawcettes will not be the same without you RIP MY Friend !! Chico.

  • BlakeM
    December 18, 2012 - 11:35

    RIP Drew , your great character and a big heart will be deeply missed, you were a better man than most. My thoughts and prayers go out to Brittany and all Drew's family. I pray that you will all have strength during this time of loss.

  • Shawn Kennedy
    December 18, 2012 - 10:13

    I am still shocked and saddened at this horrible tragedy. Drew was a very close friend to not only myself but many other members of my family for years. He was always someone who I looked up to on and off the ice. I have nothing but great memories of him as a friend and as a role model to others. He always had a smile on his face and that was a reflection of his ability to make others feel special. He was well on his way to becoming a great police officer and my father was also very proud of him for his accomplishments. To Raeanne, Cole, Cody, the Thomson and Power families, and the rest of his close friends, my deepest sympathies. He was a true friend to many people and he will never be forgotten. Rest in pece Drew #DP14

  • Brodie Coffin
    December 18, 2012 - 09:04

    When I got the call and heard that you passed, I didn’t believe it was true My heart sunk into my stomach but my hope stayed alive, there is no way that this could be Drew. As reality hit hard and the hope quickly faded, my thoughts turned to you and yours And the unbearable pain that is now left for family and friends as you skate through heavens doors. I have known you since you were young and watched you grow up from a skinny little Sherwood lad, into a man with a heart of gold and warmest of smiles; your passing leaves me so angry and sad. You are in my every thought, your loved ones are in my prayers and your memory will never fade I promise to smile more, enjoy every day and keep making fun of you wherever you are laid May you begin new memories with your dad, keep on smiling, and watch over your heartbroken mother I’ll miss you Gazoo and the times that we shared; RIP my little Sherwood brother.

  • Robbie George
    December 18, 2012 - 08:39

    Drew was a true community guy, a great leader and could always make you smile. He will be greatly missed. RIP! Robbie George

  • David
    December 18, 2012 - 06:28

    From all the comments it appears Drew was a great role model in hockey as well as his duties as a Police Officer. This is such sad situation, my condolences to the Power family at tyhis difficult time.

  • Trent Birt
    December 17, 2012 - 22:05

    A true friend, that will be greatly missed, Kenlea Drive, and all your friends from Sherwood growing up will miss you brother. RIP.... Thought's and Prayer's Raeanne, Cole, Cody and Family.xo

  • Donna
    December 17, 2012 - 19:54

    My Condolences to his friends and family....May God be with you at your time of sorrow....

  • Brad Wall
    December 17, 2012 - 19:00

    I had the incredible experience of playing with Drew with the Abbie's from 99-02 and he was also my roommate. From the first day at training camp till the last day I had on the island he was always the one guy I could count on. Words can't describe the loss I am experienceing. I can say with great pride , Drew was one of my true best friends.... RIP Drew will always miss yea xoxo Brad Wall

  • Pei
    December 17, 2012 - 18:59

    Well said. Was a great guy. Tragic