Ed Chynoweth was a visionary in the Western Hockey League.
As a long time president of the WHL and director of the Canadian Hockey League, he was one of the most respected men in junior hockey.
Chynoweth died April 22, 2008, at the age of 66, but his legacy carries on with his sons Jeff and Dean, and now his grandson Ryan, a rookie with the Everett Silvertips.
Ryan and his Everett teammates currently find themselves on the losing end of a first-round series with the Tri-City Americans, who have 3-0 lead going into tonight's Game 4 at Comcast Arena.
"Obviously, we are playing a really good team," Ryan Chynoweth said. "We have to stay out of the penalty box, work hard, keep it simple and wear their skilled players down. If we can do that, I think we will have a chance."
Rick Doerksen, vice president of hockey for the WHL, said Ed Chynoweth was instrumental in making the WHL what it is today.
"I think some of his greatest accomplishments were the development of our education program, the expansion of our league -- it was 12 teams in the early going -- and working with the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) and the Q (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) to develop the CHL," Doerksen said. "He did so much for this league."
With a name like Chynoweth, there are big expectations, but Ryan doesn't let the pressure get to him.
"I just try to be my own player out there," he said. "Go out and prove myself and prove I'm here on my own merit. Every time I put on that jersey and see the last name, I think of my grandpa. Now we are in the playoffs. My dad won the (WHL) championship last year, and now it's my turn."
Ryan's dad Jeff is the president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, and his uncle Dean is a former WHL and NHL player, former WHL coach and GM and now is an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.
Ryan said ever since he could remember, he was holding a hockey stick. In 2010, the Everett Silvertips selected him in the second round (24th overall) in the WHL bantam draft.
"Anywhere but the Kootenay Ice," Ryan said, recalling draft day. "I didn't want to play for my dad. When your name is what it is, and your dad is big in the league, I just wanted to show he had nothing to do with it."
And Jeff agreed.
"We felt as a family that it wasn't fair for him to come to Cranbook and play for the Ice." Jeff said. "Not fair for him or the team. Everett drafted him and they have treated him first class since the day they drafted him."
Ryan said his mom, Michele, is very supportive of his career -- most of the time.
"She said she cheers for (Everett) 71 games a year," said Ryan, who had two goals and six assists in 66 regular-season games. "Except for when we play Kootenay, then she sides with dad. She wants me to do well. If it came down to Kootenay-Everett, I don't know what she'd do.
"Right now, she's at home trying to keep everything running with my dad on the road (Kootenay trails Edmonton 2-0 in their first-round series). With my dad gone a lot during the year, she came down and watched me play a few times."
Jeff Chynoweth gets to see his son play live a couple of times a year, but mostly on the Internet.
"It's awesome when he comes down," Ryan said. "I like to get his input on how I played. I know he watches when he can. I realize he has a job and he has to keep his team running."
"From our end, we are extremely proud parents," Jeff said. "I don't get a chance to be a dad much. We've seen maybe 10 games. We were down in October and again in February for parent's night. I enjoyed being a parent, meeting the other parents and the players. It goes by so quickly and we forget that.
"Ryan has improved a lot. He's focused and driven. He's grown up around our organization and he knows what's expected. We are hoping for bigger and better things as his career progresses."
While mom and dad keep a watchful eye, Ryan believes his grandpa does too.
"It sounds corny, but I always feel he's watching down," Ryan said. "He'd be really proud of what I accomplished."