WHEELING, W. Va. – For the first time since 1992 when professional hockey arrived in Wheeling, Nick Bedway (pictured far right) will not be covering the Nailers when they begin their 14th season in October. Bedway is retiring after 45 years at the Wheeling News Register and Intelligencer.
During the 13 seasons that Bedway covered the team there have been three ownership groups, 10 head coaches, 367 players and 968 games.
When the ECHL arrived in the Ohio Valley, many people learned about the game and became more than just fans while learning about players by reading articles by Bedway, who himself was receiving a crash course in hockey.
“Nick wanted to be a very enthusiastic hockey fan and reporter and just when he thought that he had it figured out, something would come up and throw him off,” said Doug Sauter, who coached Wheeling for its first three seasons. “I enjoyed his enthusiasm and his friendship most of all. He was always looking for a positive angle for a story and he didn’t deal with the negative.
“I always kidded him that I wanted to hit a seven-iron off his head with that perfect flattop, promising him that I wouldn’t take a divot.”