From the junior-B Braves to the NHL Oilers

Intern on the upturn, Bryan Kelly has left his play-by-play commentary gig at Pearkes for a communications internship with the Oilers

Bryan Kelly is a long way from Pearkes arena working with the Edmonton Oilers.

Bryan Kelly has made a mid-season jump from the Saanich Braves to the Edmonton Oilers.

Until he arrived in Edmonton on Nov. 28 to start his job as a communications intern with the NHL’s Oilers, Kelly and Jordan Caldwell were a two-man broadcast team calling play-by-play for the junior-B Braves.

Despite Kelly’s loyalty to the pride of Pearkes arena, the Camosun College applied communications grad couldn’t pass up a chance to jump to the big leagues.

“(Caldwell and I) always said we’re doing this for the Braves and because we want to get to the next level,” said Kelly, who applied for the internship online and was interviewed over Skype. “Everyone in the Braves organization is really supportive of the job.”

He didn’t have much time before leaving for Edmonton and his first “hello” moment: Kelly, rushing to ready himself on his first day, almost ran over goalie Nikolai Khabibulin in the hallway of Rexall Place prior to game time. But nothing’s been a bigger shock than the northern Alberta winter.

“I thought it was cold at Pearkes,” Kelly said. “For Braves games I wore wool socks and long johns, plus three shirts, a sweater and an overcoat over my suit jacket.

“I’ve been learning to deal with winter in Edmonton. It barely snows, but it’s just straight cold, often -40 in the mornings. I just got a block heater installed in my truck.”

The internship is set to end on April 1, when winter begins to ease up.

With the Oilers, Kelly helps with the team’s social media, monitoring the content and popularity of the team’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. He also works on promotions, giveaways, prizes and contests and writes stories for about the team or the Oilers Octane ice dancers.

It’s a foot in the door of pro sports for the former Oak Bay High rugby player, who did freelance media and communications with Rugby Canada, and interned for the Victoria Salmon Kings last season.

Getting there was a bit of a rush, to say the least. Kelly was writing exams in the Royal Roads University bachelor of communications program the week of his departure.

“It was pretty crazy the way I packed up and left with pretty much nothing in my bank account. I drove overnight and got snowed in by an avalanche (just north of Kelowna). I got to Edmonton two hours before they played the Minnesota Wild. I changed into my suit in the parking lot in my truck, and in my first 10 seconds in the building I just about bumped into Khabibulin.”

During the season, Kelly will continue his studies at Royal Roads online.

Just Posted

Victoria beer leaguer turns heads as Joe Thornton doppleganger

Joe Thornton lookalike from Victoria makes it on

Why are these Saanich lots still sitting vacant?

Mayfair Lanes lot still empty, 12 years later

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

Bike sharing program rolls into Saanich

According to staff, U-Bicycle plans to make between 75 and 100 bicycles available in Saanich.

Washington State Ferries resumes Sidney service on April 1

Community planning its annual welcome ceremony

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

New lead in one of six B.C. searches that remain unresolved

New details in case of couple who’d been flying from Cranbook to Kamloops when plane disappeared

Island Good program makes it easier to shop locally

New labelling initiative to be tested in grocery stores

B.C. announces $175 million to cut hip, knee surgery wait times

Premier John Horgan said money will allow for a 34-per-cent increase in surgeries

Braves take Game 1 in triple overtime

Braves lead VIJHL final 1-0 over Storm

Saanich softens stance on police budget

Saanich Monday reversed an earlier decision that would have slowed down the… Continue reading

B.C. emergency alert system being tested Wednesday

Alarm tone and message will play on TV and radio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read