This season we have the opportunity of honouring three overage players. Today, we honour third-year defenceman, Kyle Gentles. Throughout his time here in Kitchener he has made an impact both on and off the ice. We couldn’t thank him enough for his dedication to the Kitchener Rangers these past three years. He will truly be missed.
“It’s not so much a friendship in this dressing room, it’s more of a brotherly thing,” said Kyle.
Talk to anyone in the Blueshirts dressing room, and you will get the same reaction.
“There are a lot of times people say that our friendships this year are really strong and I’ll say I don’t know what friendships you’re talking about because this is a family,” smiled Kyle.
Kyle Gentles is in his third and final season with the Rangers and looking back on his time, he does so with pride and a smile on his face.
“I was talking with Murray Hiebert about my time here in Kitchener and to be honest, if I were to start my three years over, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else,” said Kyle. “This organization takes care of you no matter what. Right from the organization all the way to the fans, it has been top notch.”
Kyle signed on as a free agent in 2016 and in his three years, where he played in 174 regular season games. For him, he knew he had to make the most of every opportunity—that he has.
You will never see Kyle come down high-five alley without a smile on his face or an outstretched arm waiting to make a young fan’s day with a high-five. This mindset is rare and is something Kyle worked on during his time here.
“Seeing the fans in high five alley with the signs no matter what the score is pretty humbling,” smiled Kyle. “The loyalty we get from fans is next to none and something I have never seen before. It is truly incredible.”
Kyle remembers back when he was a kid going to Oshawa Generals games and the feeling he got just being in the building. He never had the chance to meet any players, but he knew in that moment he wanted to play in the OHL.
Once Kyle signed in Kitchener, he and his mom had a conversation about that feeling he had and how he can help make kids experience that same feeling he had, if not more.
“My family raised me to be humble and remember where I came from. I have kept that with me for these past three years, and I plan on keeping that with me forever,” said Kyle.
“No matter how good or bad of a game I have had, I still try and make an effort to touch every single hand in high five alley and talk to as many kids as I can,” smiled Kyle. “At that point, it is not about me, or how I played, it’s about something bigger for these kids, and I take pride in that type of stuff. Remember where you came from. You worked hard to get here, so it is time to give back.”
Over his three years, Kyle has always been excited and happy to attend any community appearance or attend any event. He didn’t just go through the motions, he made sure he put his best self forward each and every time. Interacting with fans has been very important to Kyle.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout all three seasons, and no matter what, our fans continue to encourage us every day. That goes a long way for us,” said Kyle. “All I can say is thanks. We put in a lot of work and time into this game, and at the end of the day without these fans, there is no hockey. We love our fans, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
The Kitchener Rangers would like to share our appreciation to Kyle Gentles and all of our overage players including Cole Cameron and Connor Hall. Throughout the coming days, we will be sharing stories of these three and touch on their time here in Kitchener. We wish them the best and thank them for being a part of Rangers Nation.