June 13th, 2024

Parsons thankful for his time in Medicine Hat

By JAMES TUBB on April 10, 2024.

NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman Rhett Parsons stretches out ahead of a 2-0 loss March. 3 to the Calgary Hitmen at Co-op Place.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Tigers’ sheriff has hung up his hat and is moving on to new pastures.

Defenceman Rhett Parsons was a mainstay on the Tigers’ blue line the last four seasons, earning his sheriff nickname from broadcaster Gino De Paoli in a nod to his willingness to drop the gloves for his teammates.

Parsons hopes he can be remembered in Medicine Hat and by former teammates as a protector on the ice and as someone they can always talk with away from the rink.

“Guys can just call me 20 years from now and have a conversation, I just hope I left my mark on them like that,” Parsons said. “Just being a mentor for the younger guys and being friends with them.

“We have a really tight-knit group in there, so anyone can call me and we can have a chat. But I mean, I’m kind of a guy that is pretty easy going and likes to joke around a bit.”

The 20-year-old Cremona product played 219 games with the Tigers, putting up 17 goals and 52 points. Parsons says there are a lot of memories to sort through in his time with the club but he’s thankful for the organization for giving him a chance.

“I have a lot of memories, just all the teammates and staff and people I’ve met in the community for the past four years playing here has been pretty special,” Parsons said.

“The way they develop their players here in Medicine Hat, they’re really loyal to their players. Calling Medicine Hat home for the past four years has been pretty special and I wouldn’t rather have played anywhere else.”

He remembers his first training camp like it was yesterday and says he’ll never forget all of the friends he made along the way. Parsons says his four years and any of the success he had wouldn’t have been possible if not for his coaches, billets and family’s support.

“A thank-you to the Masers, the organization they run right from the top down and all the staff members upstairs, the coaches like Willie (Desjardins), Joe (Frazer) and Josh (Maser) have been awesome,” Parsons said. “Then Mikki (Lanuk) and the trainers have been unreal to me.

“On the personal side, my billets and teammates I’ve met, the mentors I’ve had and friendships I’ve made. Thank you.”

For any Tigers fans wondering if they’ll see Parsons take part in anymore fisticuffs, the sheriff isn’t hanging up his skate blades anytime soon. While he played coy, Parsons says the goal is to find a pro contract and hinted that there are opportunities ahead.

“Just trying to earn a pro contract, there are a few things going on but we’ll just take it one day at a time right now,” Parsons said. “We’ll get back in the gym as soon as possible.”

If he could time travel back and meet a 14-year-old Rhett Parsons, the defenceman says his younger self would be proud of the WHL career he’s amassed.

“I just tried to stay in the league as best I could so I took on any role I could to help my team to win and be there for my teammates,” Parsons said. “That was a big part of it, showing up to the rink everyday with the mindset of making my teammates and myself better would help me through my whole career.”

Wherever his path may lead him and his hockey career takes him next, Parsons says he’ll always remember the Gas City and what it’s meant to and provided for him.

“A thank-you for the fans, a thank-you to everyone in Medicine Hat for the last four years,” Parsons said. “It’s a place I will always call home.”

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