Former Broncos Captain Taylor Vause hasn't played in Swift Current since 2012, but he still enjoys coming back to catch up with the team and the friends he made while playing.
"It's good to come back," Vause said. "Slowly, the group that I've been playing with is weeding out, guys are moving on and getting a little older, so there are less guys around but it's just awesome to come back and see my billets. I had great billets during my career and I just really had a great experience in Swift Current. It's always fun coming back and reliving it in a small way."
The Calgary product spent four full seasons with the Broncos from 2008 to 2012, and scored 79 goals and 190 points during that time. He has since played pro hockey with the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads and the AHL's Texas Stars, where he won a Calder Cup championship this past summer.
"It was a great experience... I didn't play a lot down the stretch but it was still amazing to be a part of," he said. "You feel every win just as much as the guys that are playing... in the Finals, we had three overtime games, so all the Black Aces up top were going crazy trying to deal with that. It was just an awesome time, being able to lift the cup and say that I was a part of that is a really good feeling and something that I'll always remember."
Vause adds it was also fun to share the experience with former Broncos teammate Justin Dowling, and with coach Willie Desjardins, who was named the new Vancouver Canucks' head coach shortly after the Calder Cup win.
"What are the chances that something like that could happen?" he said. "Credit to Willie for making the best of the team that we had, we had a great group but he was a huge part of that, and he definitely deserves the job in Vancouver, and I think we're all happy for him... Dowling played amazing in the playoffs and he was fighting through an injury, so to see him come back and battle through that too was pretty good to see, so sharing it with those guys, and the rest of the team, was a good feeling for sure."
Vause adds he feels good about this season after signing with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL, who are affiliated with the NHL's Calgary Flames and the AHL's Adirondack Flames that recently moved from Abbotsford to upstate New York.
"I'm going to be going to Adirondack Flames camp and going in there hoping for the best," he said. "Hopefully there's a couple of spots open and I can go in and show what I can do, and do something similar that I did this year with Texas and Idaho... I feel really good about going into Colorado, it's from what I've heard, a first-class organization, and from the start, they've been on top of everything and really helpful with getting the process going for me getting down there."
The Broncos, meanwhile, will be opening the regular season on Friday when they host Moose Jaw.