His is the 'best job in the world'

Jim Cressman -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Doug Stacey says he has the best job in the world -- and it's taking him all over the world. Stacey, who has lived in London since the summer of 2003 and who works at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, has been with Hockey Canada since 1999, when he joined the women's program as an athletic therapist. Stacey is currently with the Canadian team at the world junior championship.

"I've been quite fortunate. Anything that comes up, Hockey Canada calls me, and it's been a good ride," says Stacey, 37, who was with the women's team in 2001 when it won the world championship in Minneapolis, then in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympic Games as Canada beat the U.S. for the gold medal.

He has also been with the under-18 team and will be with the women at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

A "military brat," Stacey was born in Gimli, Man. The family then left when he was five for Alberta, then on to B.C., then Ottawa, where he went to high school.

He attended McMaster University and moved to London when his wife, Shelley McKellar, was hired by Western as a professor in the department of history and history of medicine program.

"We've been married 14 years and she's my little sugar mama," Stacey said, breaking into laughter.

"How else am I able to go off and work with two teams? She's fantastic in terms of giving me the opportunities and it's the same with the clinic."

Stacey contacted the Fowler Kennedy clinic when he knew he and his wife were coming to the city. He was hired.

"It was the same thing with the Knights. When I knew I was moving to London, because I'd worked with the under-18s, I really wanted to get involved with the junior hockey.

"When I talked to the Fowler clinic, they said the downtown clinic looked after the Knights. Once I got there I was taken over and introduced to Branks (Knights trainer Don Brankley) and told him I'd help in any way he wanted me to.

"I just wanted to be involved with the team and he's been great. The Knights are fantastic. I love working with the Hunters (Mark and Dale). I think they're running an incredible ship there, and the players are amazing -- each and every one of them."

Stacey also has experience with the national under-17 men's and senior men's soccer teams, senior men's rugby and the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders.

Stacey said Salt Lake City is the highlight of his tour with Hockey Canada.

"The Olympic final in Salt Lake was unreal because we'd lost to the U.S. eight times, the refereeing was completely against us and it was probably the most emotional game I had ever been through.

"You're quite a family by that point, especially after being together for six months, and to win that gold medal on U.S. ground against the U.S., who were the favourites, was pretty special I think."

Stacey hopes for another gold medal here, then in Linkoping, Sweden, in April at the world women's.

But there's another that he wants, and he hopes the Knights can deliver during the Memorial Cup in May at the John Labatt Centre.

"It's just amazing that they've let me be a part of their incredible season, and I'm really looking forward to that."


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