Rob Ray has put Stirling, and surrounding area on the map. Born in Belleville on June 8, 1968, Ray grew up in Stirling, hitting the ice in the Stirling Minor Hockey system at age 3 and joining a travelling team at age 5. Moving on to the Trenton Bob Cats, Whitby Lawmen, and OHL’s Cornwall Royals, he turned pro with the Rochester Americans. After 2 seasons with the Americans, Ray joined the Buffalo Sabres, staying for 14 years, before ending his career with the Ottawa Senators in 2003-04. He played 900 regular season games and 55 playoff games in the NHL. Regular season totals included 41 goals, 50 assists and 3207 minutes in penalties. As his broadcasting partner – Brian Duff – said, “Rob took the hard way to the NHL, taking on all comers…as evidenced by his position as #6 all time in NHL penalty minutes.”
Ray has a major presence in Buffalo. He received the 1999 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player best exemplifying leadership qualities on and off the ice, while making a significant humanitarian contribution to his community. He received the NHL Foundation Player Award the same year.
Rob continues to give back in Western New York through involvement with police and volunteers who work to make Christmas a special time for needy families. Support for the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo has resulted in “The Rob Ray Room”. Roswell Cancer Institute, March of Dimes, Make a Wish Foundation, the Rob Ray Scholarship Program and the Sabres Alumni Program exemplify his community involvement.
Locally, he continues to be a strong supporter of the “Friends of Stirling Golf Tournament” which raises funds for Stirling Minor Hockey and various charities.0