As Hometown Hockey hits Airdrie this weekend (December 16-17), we look back at the players, coaches, trainers and unsung heroes that shaped Airdrie's Hockey history.
March 30th, 2007 is a day that Darcy Campbell and Airdrie hockey fans will remember for a long time. The former Airdrie Xtreme and Bisons player played one game for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they took on the Chicago Blackhawks.
Campbell became the first Airdrie player to play a regular season game in the NHL and although that was his only experience in he league, it's still his greatest hockey memory.
"A pretty big step for me. I think I had plans to do a whole lot out of college. I kind of just took the steps as they came."
Throughout his career from Junior to Professional, Campbell played for fourteen different teams in eleven leagues. He played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League before committing to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks from 2004 to 2007. That helped propel Campbell to the American Hockey League where he eventually signed with the Blue Jackets before his big debut.
When the NHL didn't pan out completely for Campbell, he took his talents to Europe.
"We lived in Finland, the Czech Republic and Italy and Germany. While we were there, got to go to a couple other countries on breaks and stuff like that. It's a pretty good way to travel and see the world."
Campbell retired from the sport following the 2013-2014 season where he played for Val Pusteria HC in Italy.
Regardless of where he played hockey one thing is certain: Airdrie was the best place for him to grow as a player, with his teammates eventually becoming his lifelong friends.
"The group of friends I have now are the people I grew up playing hockey with. You have your school friends, you have your work friends but the people I hang out with on a week to week basis come from this sport. I wouldn't trade it for the world."
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