September 1, 2022
Forty years ago, a 20 year old started the season in minor pro and ended the season as a CCAA Tournament All Star. By the end of the decade, the three time OCAA first team all star selection would be the only hockey player to receive CCAA individual awards in four different seasons.
Gerard Peltier laced up the skates for the first time when he was eight. It didn't take long before he had refined his skills as he sometimes spent six to eight hours a day on the pond behind his grandparents' Wassegijig house. At the age of 14, Peltier left home for North Bay to pursue his passion of playing professional hockey.
After a stint with the North Bay Trappers of the Ontario Provincial Junior 'A' Hockey League, Peltier joined the reigning Memorial Cup champion Cornwall Royals for two seasons starting with the 1980-81 campaign. With nine players on the team who would later don a NHL jersey including future Hockey Hall of Fame members Dale Hawerchuk and Doug Gilmour, the Royals would repeat as Memorial Cup champions in his first season with the team.
The 1982-83 season was a roller coaster of emotions. Peltier's professional aspirations ended abruptly following 17 games with the Muskegon Mohawks of the International Hockey League. After returning to his hometown, he made the decision to continue his education at Conestoga College in preparation for a life after hockey.
Once at the North Bay campus, he reluctantly joined the Canadore College Panthers collecting four points in four regular season games and capped the campaign as a CCAA Tournament All Star Defenseman at the 1983 CCAA Hockey National Championship. Peltier led the 1983-84 edition of the Panthers in regular season points with 41 earning him OCAA First Team All Star and CCAA All Canadian honours.
Peltier started a family prior to enrolling at Humber College in the fall of 1986 with no intention of playing again as he was hitting the books and holding down a job. It took some convincing, but he joined the Hawks for two seasons in which he was chosen an OCAA First Team All Star and a CCAA All Canadian on back-to-back OCAA champions. Peltier accumulated 22 points in the 1986-87 regular season and 38 points in 1987-88 regular season. The Hawks brought home silver from the 1987 CCAA Hockey National Championship and bronze from the 1988 CCAA Hockey National Championship.
Over the years, Peltier received a number of honours from Humber. After being named to the All Century Team, he was selected to Humber's 50 Top Athletes and inducted into the Humber's Hall of Fame.
Peltier is also a member of the Little Native Hockey League Tournament Hall Fame. He was a part of the event's first hall of fame class in the alumni category which recognizes former participants who advanced to play hockey at a higher level and advocated hockey development in their communities.
Thirty years after his final game in the CCAA, Peltier captured gold at the inaugural 2018 Masters Indigenous Games in the Men's 55 Plus Golf Competition.
Peltier is currently the Recruitment and Retention Officer in the First Peoples' Centre at Canadore's North Bay campus.