(WKTV) - Early this morning we lost one of the all-time great Clinton Comets, Ian Anderson. Ian passed away after a long fight with multiple health issues.
“I have all kinds of respect for Ian as a player, and even moreso as a person,” said Comets teammate Dave Armstrong, Sr. “I spoke with teammates all over the country today…it’s a very sad day, we will all miss him. Ian was a great guy.”
After an “early retirement”, Ian headed overseas to play in Europe with a touring team from Ottawa. During the tour’s 1964-65 campaign, Ian was introduced to Wren Blair, the General Manager of the Minnesota North Stars. At the time, the North Stars were affiliated with the Clinton Comets. After a meeting with Comets mogul and founder, Ed Stanley, Ian was convinced to rejoin the professional hockey ranks, and end his retirement by signing with the Clinton Comets of the EHL.
Ian played five memorable seasons inside the Clinton Arena with the Clinton Comets from 1965-1970, and collected 212 points (33-179-212). More than just what he produced on the stat sheet, Ian was a physical presence that refused to be intimidated. Former Comets players stated that Ian was the key piece of the puzzle that resulted in winning back-to-back Walker Cups, the EHL Championship trophy.
“Today truly is not only a sad day in the hockey community, but a sad day for the Mohawk Valley as well,” said Utica Comets President Robert Esche. “Ian was an ambassador for hockey in our area. He was a personal friend of mine, and I will miss him deeply.”
Ian was selected as an EHL All-Star twice in his career, during the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons.
Early in the 1969-70 season, Ian suffered an unfortunate injury that effectively ended his hockey career. During a game at the Clinton Arena, Ian shattered his knee after he skated over a coin that found its way onto the ice. Despite rehab efforts, Anderson couldn’t work his way back into the Comets line-up and officially retired from professional hockey.
In 2002, Ian was inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Kirkland Lake, ON, Ian decided to stay in the Mohawk Valley after his hockey career, calling Clinton, NY home. Ian’s love for the game of hockey stayed with him, as he remained a great ambassador of the sport by coaching youth hockey and staying heavily involved in the community.
The Utica Comets will honor Ian Anderson with a moment of silence before Saturday’s game against the Rochester Americans on Nov. 23. We would also like to send our condolences to Ian’s family, friends and teammates. He will be deeply missed.