Burton 40: Oliver Koth-Kappus
The most beloved player in all of Burton Hockey.
You could just end the article there and say all that there needs to be said about Oliver Koth-Kappus. Besides, once you start writing about him, you may never get the chance to stop, for his legacy in this game is impossible to contain in one write-up. No one has shown more commitment year in-year out than Ollie.
Hailing from glorious Brouse, BC, Oliver began his roller hockey journey nearly two decades ago on the Glenbank pavement alongside younger brother Bernie and the Orr siblings. It was Oliver, Bernie and Lee Orr, along with Justin Gordon, who came south from Nakusp to pair up with the old Burton School crowd to form Burton Hockey back in 2000. And from that very first session, Oliver established himself as Burton's most reliable defenceman (for many years, most would say he was Burton's only defenceman). In fact, you could pretty much name the most outstanding defenceman award after him; he's won it in eight of the first nine seasons of the league's existence. He is absolutely as solid as a rock. The most valued teammate ever, Oliver is the perennial ironman of Burton; no one has played more games than he has. Oliver holds the record for most consecutive sessions with 40 and counting (he's also the owner of the second-longest streak at 34). Only he and Lee can claim multiple 300-point campaigns. And although he switched to VRH in 2008, he still comes back to McCormack quite regularly. In fact, he's the only person to score 100 points in both leagues in the same season.
Until the 2009 surge from Lee Orr, Oliver was the perennial all-time scoring leader in Burton Hockey, having taken the position at the first session of 2001 and holding onto it until November 2009 at over 1,600 points. And he's a defenceman! That just demonstrates his refusal to miss a session. Games played is the only statistic Oliver cares about; he's in it for the love of the game. Generally, Ollie doesn't take many shots during the course of a game; his goal is to strip pucks and make a good pass (no one comes remotely close to Oliver's all-time assist total of nearly 1,000). And no one else would think of playing in the middle of the July heat in a green sweatshirt, yet Oliver did for five seasons. His green sweater has since been replaced by a blue one with yellow piping, but it's the same Oliver. Forever Panis.
He's not infalliable by any means; his reversed sleeping patterns means he's not usually awake until it's actually time to play, and it has delayed the start of many a session. Not surprisingly, it can often take him a handful of games to get warmed up. Of course, when he does, watch out. As aforementioned, he's solid as a rock. As well, he's deceptively fast and a great stickhandler. And when he's frustrated, he's not afraid to get cheap. And what would the full Oliver Koth-Kappus experience be without a trademark grunt? When other regulars miss a session, the rest of the gang gets mad at first, then just makes fun of them for missing it and play on anyway. Playing without Oliver, however, is seen as pure sacrilege. Unacceptable.
Oliver's pretty shy about taking credit for things, or accepting admiration or accolades; he's as humble as a human being can get. But he can't avoid this accolade. Quite simply, he is synonymous with Burton Hockey. He's the best friend this league has ever had. He's as guaranteed a selection as there can be for the Burton 40.
Awards: Most Valuable Player - 2001; Most Outstanding Defenceman - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; Most Improved Player - 2003; Most Sportsmanlike Player - 2004, 2005, 2006; Ironman of the Year - 2000, 2005; Comeback Player of the Year - 2005; 1st All-Star - 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008; 2nd All-Star - 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007; Most Dedicated Team - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
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