If one were to go past City Hall recently then they would have noticed a different flag waving in the wind.
Along with the usual Canadian, Saskatchewan and City flags, a L.A. Kings flag would have been seen flying some 2,923 kilometres from Los Angeles.
But why, in a city where many support Canadian teams like Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, is a flag that represents the sixth most southern USA-based team in all of the NHL blowing in the Saskatchewan breeze?
The reason is really quite simple. Jason Gordon, a long-time resident of Yorkton, simply asked the city’s Mayor, one Bob Maloney, if a Kings flag could be flown in support of Yorkton’s hometown hero Jarret Stoll. The Mayor, Gordon quickly found out, was more than happy to oblige. “He (Jason Gordon) asked if we would fly a Los Angeles Kings flag at City Hall to celebrate Jarret Stoll, who is from Yorkton and plays for the Kings,” mentioned the Mayor. “I said I knew somebody who could make that happen, but we needed a flag. So Jason got a hold of some buddies, got a flag and dropped it off in my mailbox at home.
“I came in on Sunday and we had our Recreation and Parks flag up because June is Parks month, but I didn’t think they’d mind, so after finding the right keys I replaced it with the L.A. Kings flag.”
So it took just a matter of days, on a weekend no less, for the Kings flag to be raised in Yorkton. Asked if he was surprised about the speed of which Mayor Maloney utilized in getting the flag, Gordon said, “Not too surprised. I think Bob Maloney was eager to do it.”
In fact, the Mayor was very eager to get it done. So eager, in fact, that he didn’t consult anyone with the decision. “I didn’t consult anybody at City Hall about it, I changed the flag on my own,” said the chuckling Yorkton Mayor, continuing, “I hope I haven’t offended any Ranger fans but when you’ve got a hometown man playing on the team it’s not a difficult decision as to who to cheer for.”
Maloney also said he felt that Stoll has been a great ambassador of the City of Yorkton, as evidenced by his willingness to fly to Vernon, BC, and pay for the meals of the Yorkton Terriers during their run to the 2014 Royal Bank Cup while his Kings were in the thick of their Round One playoff battle with the San Jose Sharks and that raising this flag was just one small way to show how much the community appreciates what he does. “He’s been involved with the Terriers for a while. I think he knows most of the guys playing on the team and he’s an inspiration to these young men (on and off the ice),” offered Maloney, continuing, “It takes quite a guy to dig into his own pocket to do what he did for the Yorkton Terriers while they were in Vernon at the Royal Bank Cup and I don’t think we can repay him for that.”
As for if Stoll is aware of the Kings flag at City Hall, the quick answer is: yes he is. “We sent him some pictures of it,” offered Gordon. “Yorkton is not only his home town, but his brother and sister are businesspeople in Yorkton and I know it puts a big smile on their faces knowing the entire town (minus Ranger fans) are behind Jarret.”