Brandon, MB. — The defending Western Hockey League Champion Brandon Wheat Kings, in association with MANITOBA LIQUOR MARTS, will be giving away special 50th Anniversary Chris Dingman Bobbleheads to the first 2,000 paid admissions at tonight’s game against the Eastern Conference leading Regina Pats.
Tonight’s game will be the first of two home games for the Wheat Kings this weekend. The Wheat Kings, who return Thursday from a mini 2-game Saskatchewan road trip, will host the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday for what will be their final home game in February.
Dingman became a Wheat King as a 16-year old rookie in 1992 and in addition to being selected 19th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1994 National Hockey League Entry Draft, he was instrumental in Brandon capturing its second WHL Championship when the Wheat Kings defeated the Spokane Chiefs in 1996.
While he broke into the NHL with the Flames, trades took the Edmonton native to both Colorado and Tampa Bay where he captured two Stanley Cups – in 2001 as an Avalanche and 2004 with the Lightning.
During his 8-year NHL run, “Dinger” established himself as a dominating, physical presence, who accumulated 769 penalty minutes in 385 career games.
As a Wheat King, Dingman averaged close to a point per game, finishing his WHL career with 87 goals and 196 points in 201 regular season games. In 39 playoff games, he scored 32 points, including fourteen goals.
His best season came in 1994-95 when he teamed up with Marty Murray and Darren Ritchie to become of the league’s best lines, scoring 40 goals and 83 points in 66 games.
Dingman becomes the fourth Brandon captain to be immortalized with his own bobblehead, joining Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators in 2015, Ryan Pulock in 2013 and Nolan Patrick earlier this season.
“It’s pretty humbling and kind of scary,” Dingman recently told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun. “No, it’s cool. Everything they’re doing is very nice and very flattering.”
“I have some great memories and had some great times playing for the Wheat Kings,” he added. “Having a bobblehead is pretty cool…it’s awesome. I’ve never had a bobblehead before so I’m pretty excited.”
“Manitoba Liquor Marts is thrilled to sponsor the Chris Dingman Bobble Head as part for the 50th anniversary of the Brandon Wheat Kings,” says Liquor Marts Director of Communication Diana Soroka.
Manitoba Liquor Marts has been a proud Wheat King partner for over a decade and in addition to presenting this year’s Dingman Bobblehead, it presents the IMPACT Player of the Month Award.
Entering Wednesday night’s game in Prince Albert, the Wheat Kings occupy the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-21-6-2.
Saturday’s game against Prince Albert meanwhile is the Annual Player Card Giveaway, presented by Westside Plumbing and Heating. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will get a complete set of 2016-17 player cards.
Tickets to both weekend games are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com
ABOUT MANITOBA LIQUOR MARTS: With 55 full service locations across the province and seven Express locations in grocery stores in Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba Liquor Marts provide customers with modern shopping experiences, all conducted in a socially responsible manner. Revenue generated through the sale of beverage alcohol is returned to the Province of Manitoba to support government initiatives that benefit all Manitobans.