Former Thunder captain remembered as a great person
When Airdrie Thunder president and General Manager Frank McEvoy found out that former team captain Kevin Boutilier was presumed to have drowned on Shuswap Lake in B.C. on Aug. 24, the news came as a shock.
“To hear that he had drowned was something that really stunned me and I just felt really bad for his family and friends,” McEvoy said. “He was a great all-around athlete, but more importantly, he was a great human being.”
Boutilier, a 25 year old from Calgary, was with a group of people on a houseboat in the lake’s Narrows area, according to RCMP, when five or six people dove into the water to recover a hat.
Boutilier failed to resurface after going under around 4:15 p.m., and his body had yet to be recovered as of press time.
Over the course of three seasons with the Thunder, Boutilier had 120 points in 81 games, and was the team’s defenceman of the year during his final campaign with the team in 2009/10, when he served as the team’s captain.
“He could have played anywhere, but he really enjoyed his time in Airdrie,” McEvoy said. “He contacted me while he was playing with the Chilliwack Bruins in the WHL (Western Hockey League), as he was looking for a new opportunity to play hockey.”
“That was the big thing with Kevin, as he wanted to play somewhere he really enjoyed suiting up for, and that was something that stood out when he played here in Airdrie,” he added.
The impact that Boutilier made was felt firsthand during his memorial service in Calgary on Sept. 2, which was held at a packed Abbeydale Community Association facility.
“There were a few hundred people there, and it was packed with his family and his friends,” McEvoy said. “It was pretty much standing room only in the facility, and it really showed the type of person that Kevin was.”