LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lane’s life both on and off the ice worth noting

I was thrilled when a relative e-mailed your article “Several Komets have won the Stanley Cup” as it was chock full of hockey history and reflects how the Komets have played a role in many Stanley Cups.

While the article detailed some of the outstanding personal histories of some of these 12 players who have used the Fort Wayne Komets as a launching pad to Lord Stanley’s Cup, I was surprised that there was scant mention of Islanders great Gord Lane, who was on that team’s four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. Lane was famous for being not only a tough player who defended the team’s many stars, but also was a solid stay-at-home defenseman when the Islanders had high-scoring flashy defensemen. While Lane’s ascent to stardom is inspirational, Lane’s life off of the ice is equally as compelling. Gord Lane is a PWS (person who stutters) and never let his speech hold back his career. While he was not able to do radio and television interviews like the other players on the Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders, he did something that was more powerful. During his six seasons with the Islanders, Lane gave interviews to the major New York newspapers in which he discussed his stuttering, as well as his attempts at speech therapy. Lane was among the very first pro athletes who spoke openly about their stuttering and did so in a way that would inspire other people who stutter not to let stuttering derail their dreams. The website of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) has a tribute article to Gord Lane entitled “Retired NY Islander Gord Lane is a Perennial All-Star.” Lane’s openness about his stuttering during the Islanders’ years of dominance in the NHL gave so many people who stutter in the U.S. and Canada reasons to revel in the Islanders Stanley Cup victories.

— Marinus Jensen, Iowa

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