How did a guy who grew up playing road hockey in this prairie province end up being on the board of the World Nuclear Association? Joe O’Connor has the story
Tim Leier’s phone lit up at 6:19 a.m. on April 1. It was “Gitty” texting him from the Prague airport to let him know he would do his best to get to Leier’s cottage on Emma Lake north of Saskatoon the following evening.
They had been planning a get-together of old hockey buddies who have been running around as a pack ever since they met at North Battleford Comprehensive High School 45 years go.
Gitty, also known as Gitzy, is Tim Gitzel, the chief executive of Saskatoon-based global uranium mining giant Cameco Corp. Leier describes his friend as a “heart and soul” hockey player.
A team guy, in other words, who always wore an assistant captain’s letter, and who could also “chuck the knuckles” when required, which was clearly the case with the Battleford Barons in 1979-80 as Gitty racked up 147 penalty minutes.
“Those are the best buddies in the world,” Gitzel said of his hockey mates during an interview from Saskatoon. “It is two worlds I live in: that one, and my daily gig.”