May 29th, 2024

Arntsen leaves a lasting impression on and off the ice

By Lethbridge Herald on April 9, 2024.

Herald photo by JUSTIN SEWARD Lethbridge HurricanesÕ captain Joe Arntsen takes out Brandon Wheat Kings forward Caleb Hadland during Western Hockey League action at the Enmax Centre in October.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Joe Arntsen has now finished out his storied five-year WHL career and left an impact on his teammates and in the community.

“It’s meant everything,” said Arntsen.

“Coming in here, I didn’t really  know anything about Lethbridge and right from day one, Pete (Anholt), and the coaching staff and everybody in the organization made me feel really welcome. It was an honour and a privilege to play for this organization. I played with a ton of great guys and it wasn’t by accident that I got to play with so many great guys. That’s (an)attest to Pete because he’s all about character and I think that’s what made it so special to play here.”

Arntsen said to wear the ‘C’, it was a huge honour.

“I loved wearing it,” said Arntsen.

“I loved battling with these guys every night and to be a Lethbridge Hurricane is awesome. The fans are unbelievable here and through my five years we had unbelievable support every season no matter what we were doing.”

Arntsen saw the team as doing a great job of maturing their players.

“I felt I developed a lot,” he said.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about what I was like when I first got here to now, you know, how much your life changes and your responsibilities in the room and in the community. I was just so happy to come to the rink every day, it was a lot fun and  something I’m really going to miss.”

Arntsen spoke about what is possible legacy could be with the team.

“I mean obviously people  care about the on-ice stuff but I think it’s the off- ice stuff that means the most,” said Arntsen.

“In 10,15 years, I’m not going to be looking back and thinking about certain plays from certain games. I’m going to be thinking about the memories, the friendships, everyone I met along the way. You got to be a good person off the ice and I think if that’s how the room is,  (then) something you try and preach is you got to be a good person off the ice because that’s how you get the fans, that’s how you build good character.”

Arntsen took  pride in the off-ice work as he had been named the Community Relations Player of the Year twice.

“Doing that stuff is huge because without our fans, we’re not able to play and so any chance I got to interact with a fan, young or old, or sign up for community events, that’s something I always wanted to do because you meet so many great people,” said Arntsen.

“You don’t really think about it but a lot of people look at us as role models and young kids look at us as like we’re on top of the world. So to take time and interact with those kids is huge because I was in those shoes one time looking at Western League players and thinking how cool it was anytime anybody stopped. So I kind of always just tried to remember that, that it might not mean much to me or to the guys to stop and do stuff but to someone else it means the world.”

A career highlight was his first goal.

“It was an absolute graveyard shift I guess, didn’t mean much in the game, but it was cool to score that and have my family here for that was pretty cool,” said Arntsen.

“Arny is as good they come,” said Bill Peters, Hurricanes head coach.

“He’s a solid man; he was a great captain for us. He going to be missed, there’s no question, and the unsung work that he does on the ice, I don’t know if there’s somebody who blocked more shots on the PK than Arny. (He) did a lot of heavy lifting for us, was unreal in the community (and) was a good leader for us. So the coaching staff’s going to miss him and the boys are going to miss him for sure.”

G.M. Peter Anholt said he had a presence about him his whole time he was here.

“He was a Cane through and through, big strong guy,  hard to play against and tough and I think it really said a lot about the identity of the Hurricanes,” said Anholt.

“Fantastic captain for our team,” said defencemen Noah Chadwick.

“I mean just really resembled what it means to be a Hurricane on and off the ice. I mean just a really good guy, and I learned a lot from him and his leadership was tremendous for our team this year.”

In 268 games played in a Hurricane uniform, Arntsen amassed 27 goals, 79 assists for 106 points and had 321 penalty minutes.

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