Mickey Renaud remembered on anniversary of his death
This is not an easy Family Day for friends and family of Mickey Renaud.
The former Windsor Spitfires captain passed away suddenly eleven years ago today at the age of 19.
The Ontario Hockey League team celebrated his legacy on Monday like they have every year since Feb. 18, 2008, when Renaud suddenly collapsed and died from what was later determined to be a rare heart disorder.
This year, his story prompted a special donation that will touch the youth in the community.
On Monday, $20,000 was donated to the Spitfires Foundation through the Duncan And Michelle Sinclair Foundation to be used for scholarships.
“It's very nice that people are still reaching out and in Mickey's name making contributions and donations to help other young people and that's just a great great thing,” said Mark Renaud.
Tom Webster represented Spitfires alumni at Monday afternoon's game against Owen Sound. Webster scouted Renaud for the Calgary Flames, who chose him in the 5th round of the 2007 NHL draft.
“It's really hard to talk about,” said Webster. “It's just unfair how life sometimes treats you.”
Webster said after watching him play and showing the character he had, he knows Renaud would be playing in the NHL.
“He would be wearing a letter because of his leadership and desire to make it to the big times. That's what sold me on him,” said Webster.
Renaud's memory still lives in the Windsor dressing room.
“We see him everywhere,” said Spitfires captian Luke Boka. “He's all over the room and it's something really special to our hearts.”
Former teammate and current assistant coach Mike Weber has the same fondness for Renaud.
“Every day he'd find a way to show up late with a bagel and a coffee and started asking the teacher at one point ‘Do you want me to bring you something too?’” said Weber. “Those things, he was just a really sly guy, so calm and cool.”
Owen Sound assistant coach Joey Hishon played against Renaud as a member of the Attack. Renaud scored a hat trick against the Attack in his last game.
Hishon has nothing but respect for Renaud as a player and a person and made it a point to display that during the NHL prospect game in Windsor in 2010.
“They gave me number 18,” remembered Hishon on Monday. “I just felt like I wore 18 in Owen Sound and I felt with the game being played here and Mickey's history I didn’t want wear it and let them know. I think I ended up wearing 19 for the game, which was perfect and I just thought it was the right thing to do.”
More than 5,000 fans attended Monday's game in Windsor.
The Spitfires defeated the Attack 2-1 for their third win in a row.