Every ship needs a captain, and every captain needs a crew.
Cole Berg, 20-year-old forward for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, will wear the ‘C’ on his jersey for the 2021/22 season. He looks forward to the challenges that come with the role, and the leadership it takes to inspire his teammates.
“It’s awesome,” said Berg. “I like that the coach trusts me with that and I’m hoping I can pull through for everybody this year.”
In his role as captain, Berg hopes to act as a bridge between his teammates and the coaching staff, making the new and young players feel comfortable on the team.
Berg grew up in Chestmere, Alta., a small city of about 20,000 just outside of Calgary, where his family still resides.
Growing up, Berg used to play hockey in his basement with his cousins, Hayden and Cale Fleury of the Seattle Kraken in the NHL.
“It was funny to see them down there, they were so much bigger than we were,” said Berg about his cousins.
Berg played hockey in Strathmore and Okotoks before coming to Revelstoke at 18 years old to play for the Grizzlies.
He’s had the same billet family since arriving in Revelstoke, and they’ve taken him under their wing, making sure he never heads to games on an empty stomach.
“They make sure I’m always fed, they’re always nice, they always make sure I’m doing ok,” said Berg. “It really made it easy to move into their house with them.”
Berg puts in the work on and off the ice to improve his game and help the team.
“If I want to get out there early, I come early,” said Berg. “Get on the ice before everybody else, take some shots, do some skating, stuff like that. Go in the gyms, make sure I give 100 per cent. You get out what you put in.”
Besides captaining the Grizzlies, Berg is a member of the community in Revelstoke, working and enjoying the outdoors.
He works at Wearabouts Clothing Co. on his time off from the team, where he helps residents find trendy clothes for work and play. He likes hiking, one of his favorites is the trail to Begbie Falls.
To fuel his game, Berg enjoys the pizza from The Village Idiot.
“The crust sets them apart,” he said.
Growing up just outside of Calgary, Berg is a lifelong Flames fan, and looks up to Jarome Iginla, who captained the Flames for 16 seasons, including their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 when Berg was just three years old.
“He was the great leader for the Flames,” said Berg.
Standing at six feet two inches, Berg models his game after the same playing style as Iginla: a big two-way power forward.
“That’s how I see myself on the ice,” said Berg. “The way he worked, the way he presented himself as a person and a player, that’s what I take from him.”
After not having fans in the forum for about a year and a half, Berg says that having fans back in The Forum will be a big boost to the team, hearing them cheering and chanting their classic goal song.
“We probably have the best fans in the league,” said Berg. “Just seeing them back in the rink just gives us that extra boost, they’re always loud.”
According to Berg, the Grizzlies team is set up for success this season.
“It’s all good players, all good guys in the room, everybody wants to be here,” said Berg. “As soon as we all get in sync with our systems, I think we can be a contender.”