It's a tough day for a local hockey team for special needs kids whose beloved honorary captain is leaving town.
The Ottawa Senators announced yesterday Kyle Turris had been traded to the Nashville Predators in a blockbuster three-team deal.
For the last five years, Turris has served as honorary captain of the Capital City Condors. His wife, Julie, sits on the team's board of directors.
Team cofounder and President Jim Perkins says both Kyle and Julie poured their hearts into their work with the kids, pointing to their first day with the Condors when they had memorized every player's name.
"They learned about each family," he said. "You should see Julie at the rink. She asks specific questions to each parent about how a certain child is doing or how a sibling is doing. It's remarkable."
Perkins says he's spoken with some of the players' parents who said they weren't sure how to break the news to their children.
"Some of the parents commented that they really need to pull their own emotions together first because they were so deeply saddened," Perkins said. "It's a real sense of loss for sure. It's more than just an NHL guy getting moved from his team. It's one of their very close friends that's moving away."
Kyle made headlines in May when he rushed to the Condors' end-of-year banquet, just 90 minutes after scoring a game winning playoff goal in overtime.
Perkins says he hopes Kyle takes his passion for working with the kids with him to Nashville.
"Kyle actually asked if there's a program in Nasvhille," he said. "I said 'Well, there's not.' He goes 'Well, alright I've got to bring you down and get one started then.’”