225 South Dogwood Street,
Campbell River, BC V9W 8C8
ARENA WEBSITE - https://www.strathconagardens.com/arenas/
YEAR BUILT - 1971
SEATING CAPACITY - Rob Brind’amour Arena (Arena #1) seats 742 and Arena #2 seats 150.
DESCRIPTION - Strathcona Gardens is a recreation complex with two NHL regulation ice surfaces, a leisure ice sheet, an aquatic centre and a fitness facility. In 1996, Strathcona Gardens underwent a major expansion adding two ice sheets, a leisure pool and a new lobby.
Rod Brind’amour arena (Arena #1) is the home of the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Hockey League (VIJHL).
Campbell River Storm
The Campbell River Storm is the most successful franchise in the VIJHL. They consistently play in front of large home crowds and captured more trophies than any VIJHL team. Since joining the league in 1997, they have won the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy (VIJHL championship) ten times with seven consecutive championships from 1998 to 2004. In 2015, the Storm won the VIJHL Championship, the Cyclone Taylor Cup (BC Junior B Championship) and the Keystone Cup (Western Canada's Junior B championship) - the only VIJHL team to achieve this accomplishment.
FYI, here is the 2018 Licencing Agreement between the Campbell River Storm and the Strathcona Regional District. Page 12 has an interesting table comparing the costs and amenities of each arena in the VIJHL.
British Columbia Hockey League
On November 17, 2019 the Alberni Valley Bulldogs defeated the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-2 in front of sold out crowd at Rob Brind’amour Arena. The Bulldogs were forced to move from their home rink at the Weyerhauser Arena on November 3, 2019 after it was temporarily closed because of an ammonia leak. Two of the Bulldogs regular season home games were played in Campbell River and Parksville while the leak was being repaired.
Rod Brind’Amour is the most famous hockey player to come from Campbell River. He was born in Ottawa, but grew up playing minor hockey in Campbell River where his parents still reside. In 1986, when Brind’Amour was fifteen, the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League acquired his rights in a five player trade with the Kamloops Blazers. Instead of joining the Cougars, he decided to play for the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where he was drafted in the first round (9th overall) by the St. Louis Blues. After one year at the University of Michigan, he made his pro debut with the Blues in the Stanley Cup playoffs against Minnesota, scoring a goal on his first shot.
Brind’Amour went on to appear in 1484 NHL games, winning back to back Frank J Selke Trophies (awarded for the best defensive forward) in 2006 and 2007. He won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002 and the Hurricanes retired his number 17 in 2011.
After retirement, Brind’Amour remained with Hurricanes as an assistant coach for seven seasons before being promoted to head coach in 2018.
In 1995 he started the Rod Brind’Amour Golf Classic (Now known as the Brind’Amour Nugent-Hopkins Golf Classic) as a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. It is held annually at the Stoney Creek Golf Club in Campbell River.
Rod’s son, Skyler Brind'Amour, was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2017 and currently attends Quinnipiac University.