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Release | The CCHL Remembers Leapin’ Lou Nistico

Release | The CCHL Remembers Leapin’ Lou Nistico

Ottawa, ON – Early Friday morning, the Central Canada Hockey League learned of the sudden passing of Hawkesbury Hawks Assistant General Manager Lou Nistico. The news filtered throughout the hockey community and without surprise, social media was flooded with many heart-warming condolences and past stories of interactions people had with Lou.

Leapin’ Lou, a nickname he earned back in his early playing days for his energetic goal celebrations, was as passionate and charismatic as they came. From Thunder Bay, ON, Lou was known as a fast and feisty player who fed off of the crowd. He wasn’t a big player, but he played big, in a rough-and-tumble era. During his junior hockey career with the OHL’s London Knights, Lou totaled 179 points (67G, 112A), to go along with 485 PIM in 183 games.

He would go on to be a seventh round pick of the Minnesota North Stars in the 1973 NHL Draft, and was also chosen in the fifth round by the WHA’s Toronto Toros the same year. He went on to play five professional seasons, suiting up for the NHL’s Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 campaign.

He cared about his teammates and the communities he played in. He cared about the players he went on to coach and manage, always going above and beyond to help young players enjoy their time at the rinks and reach their potential. Anyone who was lucky enough to strike a conversation with Lou, would ultimately find themselves smiling and laughing at some point. Most importantly, Lou was a family man who was very devoted to his kids and grandkids.

Lou will forever be remembered by everyone he came in contact with, and his laugh and energy will be sadly missed at all the local hockey rinks we would all see him at.

Rest easy Lou, keep leapin, swing for the fences, hit that fairway, and enjoy your never-ending NASCAR ride.