R.I.P. Capt. George Rettew
February 20, 1943 - July 14, 2012
The end of an era. Legendary hockey coach George R. Rettew passed Saturday, July 14, 2012. Capt. George coached players at the youth and junior hockey level for almost 50 years.
Growing up in West Springfield, George was a member of the Coliseum “rink rat” crew instructed by Eddie Shore. He played High School hockey at Trade, later played minor professional in the New York Rangers organization, and was recently inducted into the Springfield hockey hall of fame.
The man that the late Gary Dineen called “the best game coach around” had a positive impact on thousands of hockey players over the years, coaching countless high school, prep, junior, college and professional stars. Some accomplishments include 3 Sherbrook International Tournaments, 2 Georgetown Little NHL Championships, countless Metro Boston Hockey League Championships, New England Hockey League Championships and tournament championships.
Capt. George, who wore a gruff and loud exterior, was known by those who played for him to be a “marshmallow”. He always cared about “his boys” and closely followed their careers long after they left him.
When players left George, they did so with a PHD in hockey. They learned to play with pride and desire as George demanded this type of play. It was common to walk into a rink and watch George in the background watching former and future players. “Pepe” and “Pa” was especially proud of his grandsons.
His son Scott was groomed by George starting with the Springfield Pioneers (the predecessor to the Springfield Jr. Pics and New England Jr. Falcons), starring for Gary Dineen locally, then drafted into the QMJHL and later the Chicago Blackhawks organization.
Most players realized their hockey futures went through the George Rettew gate. His reputation as a straight shooter was respected by other coaches and scouts as he helped players into both prep schools and junior teams. Many a day George was seen alone in a room calling coaches trying to get his players into a school or program.
George loved to keep things light and use humor with his players. His frequent quips (“George-isms”) on the bench and in the locker room will be remembered by those who know him best.
He will be missed.