December 5, 2012 - 9:56pmUpdated: December 6, 2012 - 7:54am
Jordan Eberle watches as his number 7 banner is raised to the rafters. Joel Gasson/CJME
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The biggest crowd of the year packed into the Brandt Centre Wednesday night as the team retired Jordan Eberle's number.
Eberle had been in town for a couple of days before the ceremony basically being shown off all over the city, and it was finally time for everyone to gather for him. With his family, friends, former teammates and other hockey dignitaries on hand, Eberle watched as his famous number seven jersey was forever retired by the Regina Pats.
The ceremony started with a tribute video featuring his junior career highlights. After that, CTV's Lee Jones, who was the master of ceremonies, read a statement from the Wickenheiser family, who couldn't be there. That was followed by a montage of people who wanted to wish Eberle well, but couldn't be there, including the Oilers' Kevin Lowe, and Mike Sillinger.
Not too long after, Pats president Brent Parker took to the podium to say a few words. When Eberle was drafted he was considered small, at 5'6" and barely over 100 pounds.
"But one thing you couldn't measure though was his drive, his determination and his heart," said Parker.
After Parker was done speaking he presented Eberle with a framed jersey and picture as a gift from the team for the evening. Then it was time for the banner to head to the rafters.
Eberle then had to speak, and as he always was on the ice, he was calm, cool and collected. He thanked everyone for being there, and talked about how hard work can get you anywhere you want to go. A similar message he had spread everywhere he had gone in Regina this week.
"I can't tell you how honoured I am tonight," said Eberle, as he remembered when he watched every game from the home end of the ice.
After Eberle dropped the ceremonial faceoff, and the team shook hands with everyone who was there for the ceremony. It was over, and a game had to be played, a game the Pats would lose 5-1 to the Red Deer Rebels.