Former Natives captain enjoying new gig with Oil Capitals


By: Lanny Stewart

Former Neepawa Natives captain Lindsey Gullett is back in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. However, this time his role is a bit different than it was when he strapped on the skates several seasons ago in the junior 'A' league.

The 26-year-old from Wawanesa, who spent approximately two and a half seasons with the Natives during the mid-2000s, recently joined the Virden Oil Capitals as their sales and marketing manager.

"It's a new challenge I guess you could say," said Gullett on Monday Sports Talk on 880 CKLQ. "I used to play junior [hockey], so I kind of know what guys appreciate and stuff like that. I've kind of taken that angle and make them into rockstars if I can. I really kind of give the fans a bit of an experience. Hopefully, the fans have been enjoying what they've been seeing so far."

Known for his feisty play while in the MJHL, Gullett fondly remembers the 2006-2007 season with the Natives where he helped lead the club to a Sher-Wood Division final appearance against the Dauphin Kings. A forward during his playing days, he ended up playing a key role with the club that year, netting 10 goals and 29 points while accumulating 122 penalty minutes during the regular season.

"We had a pretty special group," he said while looking back.

Gullett said several of his former Neepawa teammates attended his wedding social in July -- several of which came from Alberta and B.C.

"I love the town [Neepawa]. "The people there put so much time into that group [Natives]. "They're kind of competition to me now, but I'd love nothing more than to see that team have some success and get back into the playoffs. They're going to always have a special place in my heart for sure."

After his time with the Natives, Gullett had a short stint with the Kings prior to joining the Castleton State Spartans college team. It was at Castleton that Gullett graduated with a communications degree in 2012. He then added a business administration minor to his resume which gave him the necessary tools to join the Oil Capitals where he now works with Troy Leslie, the club's head coach and former bench boss of the Southwest Cougars midget AAA team. Gullett played for Leslie and the Cougars for three years prior to jumping to the MJHL.

"It's been a treat really. I've always looked up to Troy," said Gullett. "Everything I know about the game that I've taken on to the junior and college levels … I really credit him. Now I get to pick his brain on a daily basis as an onlooker watching him deal with the players and stuff like that. I really enjoy it."

Gullett has high aspirations while with the Oil Capitals staff. He says he is an avid NHL fan watching games all the time on television and recently attended an NHL game in Boston.

"I see that [in Boston] and I kind of want to replicate that into a [smaller] scale in Virden as much as I can. I honestly want to set a pretty high standard for the league and make other teams want to have our level of entertainment and experience. I want other guys on other teams in the league to come in and say this is awesome. I want to play for them," he said.

Gullett says some of the things that have recently been implemented in Virden include a new goal horn as well as player introductions prior to puck drop for Oil Capitals games, which he hopes will be a nightly tradition at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.

Photo courtesy of Virden Oil Capitals