Paul Dyck latest inductee to Moose Jaw Warriors Hall of Fame
When Paul Dyck received a phone call from a former teammate he simply relished the opportunity to catch up with an old friend. Instead, after chatting for 15 minutes the current head coach and general manager of the Steinbach Pistons received the news he was going to be inducted into the Moose Jaw Warriors hall of fame.
“It was a real pleasant surprise,” Dyck said, laughing.
Dyck’s playing career included nearly 150 games for the Saskatchewan-based Western Hockey League franchise across two seasons, where he racked up 68 points before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991, becoming the first Steinbach player ever to be drafted to the NHL.
From there, the defenseman embarked on a 15-year professional career across the International Hockey League (IHL) and German top division.
It wasn’t the quickest start for the now 51-year-old. After spending a season on the Dauphin Kings, he joined the Moose Jaw Warriors to start the 1989/1990 season. Dyck was able to see action in 72 games that season, chipping in five goals and 10 assists, before a metoric rise in year two, scoring 53 points across another 72-game season.
“First year I was just trying to make the team, things went pretty well, and obviously in the second year, the thing kinda took off,” Dyck said, noting in his second season he got the chance to play on the powerplay and be a part of the team’s leadership.
“I was real grateful to my coaches just for that opportunity. The year just kind of took off, and the next thing I knew I was getting drafted, and had the opportunity to stay in the minors as a 20-year-old.”
In a fitting coincidence, the current captain of Moose Jaw is also from the region, as Dominion City’s Denton Mateychuk has the captain’s ‘C’ for the 2022/2023 season after being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL draft in 2022.
Dyck became a mainstay in the IHL, playing over 700 games in the now-defuct professional league. The IHL included some of the best players and prospects in North America, playing just below the NHL level, similar to today’s American Hockey League.
“I was fortunate to do something I really loved,” Dyck said on his career.
“The game never really seemed like work to me. I loved going to the rink. I loved all the facets of the game including working out in the summers. Being a part of a team is something I really relished.”
After finishing his North American career, Dyck spent five seasons playing in the German first division. A highlight of his time in Europe was getting the chance to participate in the Spengler Cup while playing for the Krefeld Pinguine in 2003.
“That’s one of my greatest memories,” Dyck said of playing in the Swiss-based holiday tournament.
“The atmosphere is just electric. I was so excited when I found out we were going to have an opportunity to play. It’s a tournament that has so much prestige and history. The building is just incredible, and the fans are amazing, and the setting — it’s one of the more beautiful places in the world.”
Dyck will enter the Warriors’ hall alongside teammate Kevin Masters, who is the sixth-highest scoring defenseman in Moose Jaw’s history.
“I’m super excited to go back, and see some of the people that I got to know while I was there,” Dyck said.
The duo will be inducted on Feb. 16 at a banquet, before being acknowledged before the Warriors game on Feb. 17 against the Winnipeg Ice.