Three former Chiefs' captains will be honored by the organization this week as the team opens their Annual Fall Camp. In keeping with camp tradition, three teams will carry the last names of Jon Klemm (1988-91), Kevin Sawyer (1992-95) and Chris Bruton (2004-08) during their scrimmages this week in the Spokane Arena.
Camp begins on Thursday with the first ice session at 10:30. Three scrimmages a day for three straight days will feature 70 plus players. Camp will end with the Red-White Scrimmage on Sunday, August 26th at 1:00 p.m. All ice sessions and the Red-White game will be free and open to the public.
All three players acted as captains during their final season as a Spokane Chief with Klemm and Bruton wearing the 'C' for the club's two Memorial Cup Championships. Klemm, currently entering his fourth season as the team's Assistant Coach, Bruton and Sawyer will all coach their respective camp teams.
Two other members of the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship team will assist during camp as Seth Compton (2005-09) and Dustin Donaghy (2007-10) will act as guest coaches.
Klemm played 204 career games in a Chiefs sweater, including all 72 in the 1990-91 season. In 15 playoff games that season he had three goals and nine points and scored a goal with 21-seconds left in the second period in the Memorial Cup clincher in a 5-1 win. Klemm went on to an 18-year professional career that included 773 NHL games and a pair of Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche (1996, 2001).
Bruton appeared in 258 career WHL games, all in Spokane. In 2008 as a 20-year-old he scored a career high 26 goals, third on the Chiefs, and 63 points, also third. Bruton was a two time choice as the Chiefs' Humanitarian of the Year and the Player's Player award winner. He earned his Business degree from Acadia University in 2011 and is entering his second season as a pro in the St. Louis Blues farm system.
Sawyer, who was the Chiefs' captain in 1995, remains Spokane's all-time leader in career penalty minutes with 989 in 176 games. After three seasons in Spokane Sawyer signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Blues and spent eight seasons as a pro appearing in 110 NHL games with four different teams. Prior to retiring due to injury, Sawyer spent his final season with the Stanley Cup bound Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003. Upon retirement, Sawyer spent two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the organization. Sawyer currently works as a broadcaster for the WHL on Root Sports and the Spokane Chiefs on SWX.