Stacey Wants Gold for Family
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
Laura Stacey usually wears a necklace with the No. 7 around her neck that matches the sweater she wears for Team Canada.
In her family, it’s much more a tradition than a number.
Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman King Clancy wore No. 7 playing for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. And the late Clancy, the man who has an annual NHL award named in his honor, is not just an old hockey name to Stacey. He’s her great-grandfather and is the reason why Stacey is hoping to add a new chapter to the family’s hockey history chasing Olympic gold for Canada .
“Being able to wear No. 7 here is just that special moment,” Stacey said. “When they came up to me and asked me if I wanted to wear it, it was like … I have the opportunity to kind of continue this legacy and kind of cherish what my great-grandfather started. I jumped at the opportunity, and I’m really happy I get to wear it, not only for myself but my family, too.”
Clancy, grandfather of Stacey’s mother Karen, died eight years before Stacey was born in Ontario. The defenseman won the Stanley Cup in 1923 and 1927 with Ottawa before being traded to Toronto where he won the Cup again in 1932. Clancy retired six games into the 1936-37 season, and he later rejoined the Maple Leafs as a coach and worked for the franchise for decades.
Stacey has never seen film or video of the 5-foot-7 Clancy as a player, and that’s why the name “King Clancy” doesn’t mean quite as much to other people Stacey’s age. But she knows him well from the photos around her family’s home along with some of his memorabilia they still have.
“It’s definitely like a cool tradition I guess, and the Maple Leafs are a big part of it,” Stacey said. “I’m a huge Leafs fan, so it’s kind of cool to be a part of that.”
Stacey played at Dartmouth in college where she was captain as a senior and scored 87 points in her career. She spent last season playing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League where she was rookie of the year, then won silver with Canada at the women’s world championships last spring. She’s now a member of her first Olympic roster.
Coach Laura Schuler calls Stacey a big, strong power forward for the Canadians at 5-10 and 156 pounds.
“Her size and strength is something that next to Jenn Wakefield that we don’t have, and so when she’s in the lineup she really is able to put pressure on opponents for us,” Schuler said. “But she’s still continuing to learn the game. But every time she’s been on the ice for us, she’s really helped us and she’s produced.”
Helping Canada to a fifth straight gold would make Stacey the first member of the Clancy clan to bring home Olympic gold. Her uncle, Terry Clancy, played in the 1964 Winter Games in Austria when Canada finished fourth.
“He created an unbelievable legacy for our family that’s never going to be forgotten, and I only hope that I can do as much as I can to fulfill that and make him proud,” Stacey said of her great-grandfather. “I think it’s more so not necessarily fulfilling something, it’s just doing the best I can whenever I get the chance to and playing the game I love and doing it with my full heart.”