WICHITA, KS – On the ice, there wasn’t much Adam Calder couldn’t do and didn’t win.
The top-end forward for the South Carolina Stingrays and Wichita Thunder dazzled fans across the ECHL & the former Central Hockey League for five seasons with incredible vision and a very underrated shot. He put up 335 points (106G, 229A) in 307 games at the double-A level and won a Kelly Cup championship in 2000-01 with the South Carolina Stingrays.
“He was a gifted hockey player with a knack for getting to the front of the net and scoring the big goals,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “He wasn’t afraid to give it back, either.”
After a 35-24-5 record and trip to the second round of the CHL playoffs in 2003-04, Calder left North America to play overseas and continue his career.
“Adam was a tremendous hockey player and a first-class guy,” said Wichita Thunder General Manager Joel Lomurno. “The Wichita Thunder organization will certainly keep him in our prayers and we look forward to helping with some fundraising efforts that are underway to assist Adam with his treatment.”
Across the pond, his career took off. He was the first player in Elite Ice Hockey League history to score 200 goals — did that in 2009 — and won four more championships over six seasons as a player and coach. His best year as a player came with the Coventry Blaze in 2007-08, when he racked up 125 points (67G, 68A) in 68 games.
“As well as his achievements in the game, Adam was also a leader, a friend, a funny guy, a winner, a Captain, and was always there for his friends and teammates,” said former Blaze assistant coach Luc Chabot.
Former Blaze head coach Paul Thompson said Calder’s offensive ability was boundless. “There was more to his game than people realise. He was a very good passer and he saw the ice very well. He was cool, calm and collected and he was a clutch guy. In the last season Coventry won the league, the amount of goals he scored was unbelievable. He was a one-man wrecking machine. The game changed during his time with us but he was able to adapt. He was also a quiet man – until you owed him a tenner (a 10-pound British note)!”
But now, Calder is in the fight of his life.
For the last two years, he has been battling cancer and is in need of another round of treatments, medication, and travel which are not covered by Britain’s National Health Service. Calder’s former club, the Coventry Blaze, announced Thursday they will be holding a benefit game to raise funds for Calder’s fight.
The #SUPPORT25 game, between the Blaze and Sheffield Steelers, will be played October 25th at 7:30 Britain time. It will feature two three-on-three periods, followed by a skills competition with both teams. In addition, both teams will be wearing special commemorative jerseys that will be signed by the respective player and then auctioned after the game. There will also be a raffle and other money raising initiatives. All proceeds from the event will go to Adam’s benefit fund.
“We know Blaze fans and hockey fans in general will want to contribute in any way they can,” said James Peace, Blaze Director and a close friend of Calder’s. “‘Calds’ is a special guy, and we will be doing everything we possibly can to help him beat this.”
The Blaze have also set up a Just Giving site, where fans can make donations. The goal is £10,000 British Pounds, which equates to almost $13,000 American dollars.
In a phone conversation with The Sin Bin Thursday afternoon, Concannon said the Stingrays are working to put together a fundraising event to help Calder with the expenses. We will have more information on that when it is announced.
Fans on both sides of the pond are pulling for Adam in his fight.