Former Ghostrider embraces new role as father

Brendan Burge knew in his heart it was the right thing to do.

  • Dec. 18, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Becka

By Matt Laurin

 

Brendan Burge knew in his heart it was the right thing to do.

As the due date for his first child grew nearer, the 20-year-old forward for the Fernie Ghostriders found it increasingly difficult to focus on playing hockey.

With his girlfriend Becka expecting any day, Burge found his mind wandering from the ice in Fernie to his family in Invermere.

On December 2, everything changed.

Shortly after 4 a.m. Bodene Raleigh Rogal Burge entered the world – and Brendan became a father.

“She’s just the cutest thing I’ve seen in my whole life,” Burge said of his new daughter. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”

And while Burge has embraced his new role as a dad, it came with another tough decision – to part ways with the Fernie Ghostriders, his hockey team for the past three seasons.

Burge will play the remainder of the season with the Columbia Valley Rockies, so he can be close to his family.

“Playing in Fernie in the last couple of years has been one of the better times in my hockey career. I’ve been treated better there then anywhere else in my life,” Burge said. “Things came up in my life where family became a part of it, and I have a little baby girl now. The way I look at it is family is everything, and hockey is a game.”

While the decision was not an easy one, in the end it was the right thing to do.

“The closer we got to her due date, the more my gut just couldn’t leave. I wanted to go back, but I didn’t,” Burge said, sounding wise beyond his years. “I felt like I had to make a decision based on my gut, and in the end it was right.”

Heading into the season, Burge had every intention of finishing his junior career with the Riders. His billets in Fernie were aware of his situation, and more than willing to help.

“I know people have done it, and I probably could have done it in Fernie, but I feel like I would have wanted to be at home with them too much. I really appreciate everyone who offered to help try to make it work.”

Making the decision easier for Burge, Ghostriders head coach Barry Wolff fully supported the move. And while it wasn’t easy for Wolff to part ways with his best player, it reflects on the coach’s emphasis on a family-first mentality.

“It was really the best way anyone could have handled it,” Burge said. “He was very upfront and very forward, and I understand that I was a big part of the team in Fernie, but Barry was very understanding of the decision I made.”

Burge said it was an honour to play for Wolff, who even made a point to send a gift to the new family.

Teammates were also supportive of Burge’s decision.

“When I broke the news to them, they were so understanding. Obviously they didn’t want to see me go, which made it that much tougher, but they were all very supportive,” Burge said. “It was a really tough thing to do, but I couldn’t ask for better guys to have my back.  I’ve made some of my best friends playing hockey in Fernie.”

Josh McKissock, the Ghostriders captain, echoed Burge’s sentiments.

“At the end of the day, hockey is just a game and family comes first,” McKissock said. “We’re all very supportive of his decision.”

McKissock acknowledged that Burge’s departure leaves a hole on the roster, but said it opens the door for other players to increase their role.

“It’s something we’re definitely feeling. But guys are starting to step up, and we’ve got a lot of character on this team.”

The Ghostriders will have the opportunity to see their old friend, when they head to Invermere on Tuesday to play the Rockies.

Burge admits it will be strange to play against his former teammates. But at the end of the day, he knows he made the right decision.

“Looking back on it, I don’t have any regrets. I get to see my baby girl every day, be with my girlfriend, and most of all, we get to be a family the right way.”

Just Posted

Komatsu announces plans for $40M, 85k-square-foot facility in Sparwood

Komatsu Mining Corp. has announced plans to develop a new 85,000-square-foot sales… Continue reading

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

An individual has died after the dump truck they were driving went… Continue reading

Fernie chainsaw carver wins big at Logger Days

Michael Penny placed 3rd at Powell River Logger Sports, last weekend

UPDATED: RCMP confirm one death in accident

Two motorcycles ran into the back of a vehicle towing a boat trailer on highway near Cranbrook

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

B.C. removes personal limits for bringing home out-of-province alcohol

Previous relgulations placed limits on the amount of liquor that B.C. residents could bring home

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read