2018 Special Olympics Festival Celebrity Guests
We wish to thank our celebrity guests for helping to enrich lives by donating their time and talents for the 2018 Special Olympics Festival.
Jamie McLennan - Co-MC
Analyst for TSN
Jamie McLennan is an Analyst on TSN often seen on the desk with Gino Reda. McLennan is also a colour commentator for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. McLennan spent 11 seasons minding the nets in the NHL with New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames where he played with a young defenseman named Dion Phanuef. McLennan won the NHL Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy in the 1997-97 season.
Paul Phillips - Co-MC
Special Olympics PEI Athlete
Paul Phillips has been involved with Special Olympics PEI for more than 20 years. He’s participated in Track & Field, Floor Hockey and Bowling, and he’s competed in seven National Games, most recently as a member of Team PEI 2018. Paul represented PEI in the sport of 10-Pi Bowling in front of a hometown crowd at the 2018 National Bowling Championships. His true passion, however, is Curling, and in 2008, his rink represented PEI at the National Winter Games in Quebec City.
L.A. Kings Defenseman
Dion Phaneuf was drafted 9th overall in the 2003 NHL entry draft. Having previously played for the Ottawa Senator, the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he served as Team Captain, and the Calgary Flames, Phaneuf now plays for the L.A. Kings. Phaneuf is a three-time NHL All-Star. On the international stage, Phaneuf has been a member of Team Canada five times winning silver at the 2004 World Juniors, gold at the 2005 World Juniors, and gold at the 2007 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships.
Canadian Actress & Model
Elisha Cuthbert is the recipient of several film and TV industry awards, including a Gemini, 4 Teen Choice Awards, and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her films include The Girl Next Door, Old School, Love Actually, and most recently, Goon: Last of the Enforcers. Cuthbert’s TV credits include playing Kimberly Bauer on the television show 24 and Abby on Netflick’s The Ranch.
Retired NHL Player and Coach
John Chabot spent 20 years playing professional hockey, 9 years in the NHL with Montreal, Pittsburgh and Detroit then another 11 in Europe (Germany and Italy) while playing international tournaments with Team Canada. Since retiring from hockey in 2001 he has spent the majority of his time working with Indigenous youth in Canada’s north. With his time split between teaching hockey skills at the arena and visiting schools to speak to students on goal setting, perseverance, hard work and persistence, all with the aim of implementing an Education/Sport program designed to ensure the success of graduating students. John helped create an NHL Indigenous Alumni team that travels to communities across Canada playing games and encouraging the youth to work towards their goals. First in designing the PLAY program (Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth) and then hosting on-ice hockey clinics in Northern Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.
Chris Wideman, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, was drafted 100th overall, in 2009 by the Ottawa Senators. In 2014, after his third season with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL, Chris Wideman tallied up 61 points, the most by a defenseman. This performance earned him a spot on the Eastern Conference Team for the All-Star Game, as well as the prestigious Eddie Shore Trophy, awarded to the top defenseman in the AHL. He made his NHL debut on October 17, 2015, in a home game versus the Nashville Predators.
Professional Ice Hockey Player
Darryl Boyce, Summerside, has most recently played with EG Duesseldorf and ERC Ingolstadt in Germany. Before playing overseas Boyce played junior hockey for the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, University hockey with UNB, in the AHL, predominantly with the Toronto Marlies, and in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Professional Hockey Coach
Originally from Charlottetown, PEI, Dave Cameron was drafted by the New York Islanders in the eighth round of the 1978 NHL Entry Draft. During his tenure in the NHL Cameron also played for the Colorado Rockies and New Jersey Devils. Behind the bench, Cameron has an extensive coaching record in the OHL, AHL, and in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames. Cameron is now heading to Vienna where he was named head coach of the Vienna Capital in the Austrian Hockey League.
New York Islanders
Ross Johnston, of Charlottetown, PEI, played in 24 games this past season with the New York Islanders and earned three goals and three assists. Johnston joined the New York Islanders when he signed a three-year contract in March 2015, after playing a season with the Missouri Mavericks of the East Coast Hockey League.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Brett Gallant, Summerside, signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders, in February of 2013. In 2015, Gallant then moved on and signed a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he is currently playing for their American Hockey League team the Cleveland Monsters. Before joining the American Hockey League, Brett played with in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Charlottetown Islanders, Victoriaville Tigres, and Moncton Wildcats.
Tampa Bay Lighting
Alex Gallant, Summerside, first began playing in the American Hockey League with the San Jose Barracuda’s in 2016, and now plays with the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate. Before he started playing in the American Hockey League, Gallant played in the East Coast Hockey League, Southern Professional Hockey League, and locally in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Summerside Western Capitals and Prince Edward Island Rockets respectively.
Professional Hockey Coach
Gordie Dwyer, originally of Dalhousie, NB, spent time in the NHL as a player with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, and the Montreal Canadiens. As a coach Dwyer first began coaching with the Summerside Western Capitals, and the PEI Rockets/Charlottetown Islanders. Dwyer won a Gold medal as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2016 Spengler Cup. This past season Dwyer was head coach of the Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.
Special Olympics PEI Female Athlete of the Year
Ellen MacNearney, Montague, has been involved with Special Olympics for 9 years. Following an outstanding showing at the 2017 Special Olympics New Brunswick Summer Games, in which Ellen won 6 Gold Medals, out of 6 races, Ellen was named to Team PEI 2018.
Special Olympics PEI Male Athlete of the Year
Jeremy Wall, Summerside, has been involved with Special Olympics for 11 years. After a very successful performance at the 2017 Special Olympics New Brunswick Summer Games Jeremy was named to Team PEI 2018.