Burton 40: Chris Jackins
A problem that has always plagued BUSH is finding a reliable goaltender that will be there ready to play session in and session out. So many of the good goaltenders are also eager to skate and will often refuse. Before 2003, there was only Lyle Detta among the regulars who would only play goal, and he's not the easiest person to track down. The most experienced goaltender to that point was Laird Bilinski, and at that time he was skating as often as he goaltended. Though he had played a session at the end of 2000, in 2003 Chris Jackins emerged as one-half of a tandem (along with Nathan Robson) that would carry the bulk of the goaltending duties in BUSH for the next five seasons. In the process, Chris would become BUSH's all-time leader in games goaltended, and by the time he was finished in 2008, the all-time leader for all of Burton Hockey.
A native Burtonian and good friend of the crew, it's amazing it even took that long for the Dudeman to become a regular. Once he did, he was as reliable a backbone as we've had in BUSH. Most sessions featured Chris vs. Nathan, and as Nathan grabbed most of the glory, Chris often got overlooked. This is a shame, because while he was more erratic than Nathan, Chris himself was capable of great feats, including an amazing .905 in 2006. He improved over time as he became accustomed to sessions featuring massive volumes of shots and gained a healthy competitive attitude as the years went on.
Humble by nature, while others took the spotlight, Chris was the unsung hero of Burton Hockey for years. The boom years of 2003-04 and 2006 were impossible without his reliable goaltending. His trademarks were a #84 Randy Moss Vikings jersey and a high-pitched laugh that is impossible to reproduce in print. To be fair, though, it much also be noted that Chris occasionally suffered from 'volleyball syndrome' (the tendency to ditch a scheduled session at the last second to go play beach volleyball or some other frivolous activity), for which he was always gently teased by the chums. Not only was Chris a reliable goalie getting better with age, he's our lifelong friend and a terrific guy in general. It was a sad day in 2008 when we heard that he was moving to Australia. As much as Chris had played, he was only just beginning to tap into his full powers as a goaltender on a consistent basis. He's since been repassed by Laird as Burton Hockey's most experienced goalie (albeit by a game) but remains tops for BUSH. We still hold out hope that he'll come back one day (hey, his family's still here; he has to at some point, right?). Until then, we hold onto our great memories of the man who's backstopped more teams at McCormack than any other. Chris Jackins, one of the Burton 40.
Awards: Awards: 2nd All-Star - 2004g, 2005g; Most Dedicated Team - 2007.
Previous Burton 40 Articles
Ben de Wit