Although Kody Kennedy’s hometown was listed as Beausejour, suiting up for the Virden Oil Capitals was like playing at home.
Kennedy is the son of Elkhorn product and former pro hockey player Troy Kennedy. During the Oil Caps’ inaugural season, 2012-2013, his lone campaign with the team, the younger Kennedy stayed with his grandmother, Shirley, in Virden. His aunt Sherri and uncle Slawomir, professional figure skaters, were in Manitoba in the fall and got to see him play before heading to Poland for the winter.
“I enjoyed the town of Virden a lot as I spent a few years there growing up and always came out with my brother, sister and cousins for swimming lessons and stayed at Grandma’s ... So, it was nice to come back and play in the town that I’d spent a lot of time in growing up,” Kennedy said. “Also, I billeted with my grandma, which was awesome. She’s such an amazing and positive woman.”
After playing his 19-year-old season in Virden, Kennedy wrapped up his junior career in Selkirk. Hockey has long been a big part of his life. Kennedy still plays rec hockey and ball hockey as well as baseball.
His uncle, Sheldon, played in the National Hockey League and is well known for his work as a child abuse advocate. Kennedy’s father played 11 years professionally. The elder Kennedy brought his family – wife Jodi, daughter Madysyn, and sons Tyson and Kody – with him as he played in locations such as the United Kingdom, Texas and Louisiana.
Kennedy was coached by his father for much of his minor hockey career. The elder Kennedy was the bench boss for his son’s final U18 AAA season with the Eastman Selects.
“He was always the first one to step up to help out with any sporting event for all of his kids,” Kennedy said. “So, he was constantly coaching my brother and me. And even helped my sister’s gymnastics for a bit. I owe almost everything I learned in hockey to my dad. He taught me so much and I’m forever grateful for that.”
Kennedy now owns a home in Winnipeg and is a firefighter paramedic. He has worked for the WFD for almost five years. Kennedy sees some similarities between his job and hockey.
“I had always been interested in this career path, so I volunteered with my hometown department and I was hooked,” said Kennedy, who also bartends part time. “I love the comradery and team-like mentality. … Everyone has each other’s backs, and we have fun while being professional throughout it all. And I get to help people in their worst of times and there’s no better feeling than that.”