Perry Pappas (1973 – )

Sport: Hockey
Position: Forward
Year of Induction: 2018

About

Perry Pappas was born in Chatham in 1973 and began playing travel hockey in 1982 in the Chatham Minor Hockey Association. This was the beginning of a hockey journey that saw Perry, because of his size, his aggressive nature, and his hard shot, become a major contributor wherever he played.

Career Highlights

  • 1987 – Perry’s major pee wee team won the Ontario Hockey Zone Championship qualifying them for the All Ontario AA tournament where they competed against the other three regional champions – Chatham beat Toronto Aeros 5-4 in the finals by scoring two goals in the last 1:16 of play to become All-Ontario Champions
  • 1988-89 – at age 14, played Jr. C with the Dresden Kings winning the league championship by beating the Mooretown Flags in five straight games after being down four games to zero in the best of nine series
  • 1989-90 – played Jr. B for Chatham Mic Macs who, won the Western Jr. B Championship
  • after the season, Perry was drafted in the 3rd round, 36th overall, by the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
  • 1990 to 1993 – with the Greyhounds – team won 2 consecutive OHL Championships and played in 3 Memorial Cup tournaments for the Canadian Major Junior Championship – won the Cup in 1992-93 by beating the Peterborough Petes 4-2 in the final – General Manager Sherry Bassin praised Perry by saying, “His leadership was everywhere on our Memorial Cup teams. He was a significant contributor to those teams because hard work and loyalty was in his DNA right from the beginning.” – was assistant captain in the final 2 years at the Soo
  • after the season Perry went undrafted by NHL teams – was invited to training camp by Boston Bruins in the fall of 1993 – was assigned to Providence in the
  • American Hockey League but chose to attend the University of Western Ontario to avoid losing his educational grant provided by the Greyhounds
  • 1993 to 1996 – played at UWO for three years – in second year, Mustangs won the OUAA Championship and competed in the CIAU Championship – was assistant captain in the final two years
  • 1995 – during the Mustangs’ off-season, was invited to join the Canadian Inline Hockey team for the first-ever World Championship – captained the team which won a silver medal – scored the first goal in Inline Team Canada history and the ball and stick were submitted to the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • 1996 – was invited to try out for the Team Canada Hockey team – while on the ice got invited to go directly to Vancouver Canucks’ training camp – played in his first NHL game, a pre-season game against San Jose Sharks – was sent to Syracuse in the AHL and eventually to Wheeling and Baton Rouge in the ECHL where he played for Coach Pierre McGuire and scored 20 goals over the season
  • 1998 to 2000 – played for the Slough Jets in the British National League – in first season led his team in scoring and won the BNL Player of The Year Award – Jets won the highly regarded regular season championship and then lost in the playoff finals – in second season, was named an assistant captain but half way through he tore his ACL for the third and final time – Perry retired from hockey at the age of 27

On March 10th, 2007, while living in Mississauga, Perry fell ill and was rushed to the hospital where it was determined that he had a cancerous tumour in his brain. He fell into a coma that night and was taken by helicopter to London. He survived three shunt operations to relieve pressure on his brain and remained in a coma and on life support for a month before he woke. He then had to face months of chemotherapy. The tumor is now gone and Perry has rehabilitated himself back to 100% health.

Chatham-born journalist and author, Dwight Wakabayashi, wrote a book about Perry whom he has known ever since their minor hockey days together. The title of the book is “The Toughest Guy in Here”. Whether it was on the ice or in life, Perry Pappas was one tough guy.

Perry lives in Oakville with his wife Megan and their three sons Tyson, Ashton, and Blake. He works as a Senior Consultant at Aecon Construction.

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