Michel Mike (Rooster) Lyn Ruest
Sport: Hockey: Year Inducted: 2006
Michel Mike “Rooster” Lyn Ruest not only lived the dream of playing for his hometown Cornwall Royals but he also made history along the way.
Ruest was arguably one of the best defencemen to graduate from the Cornwall Minor Hockey Association travelling team system and he joined the Royals as a 15 year old. At that time, the club was ruling the Central Junior Hockey League.
As the Royals were thirsting for better competition, they made the leap to the Montreal Metro Junior “A” Hockey League; Ruest was part of the team. When the club made the quantum leap to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League the following year, he was still part of the team. Thus he became the only player to wear he Royals’ jersey in three different junior leagues.
Ruest blossomed into one of the QMJHL’s premier defencemen even though he was playing on a club that struggled in the high calibre circuit. In his final season in 1970-71, Ruest was made team captain. The season turned into a banner campaign for the veteran in spite of playing for a team that missed the playoffs for the second time in its junior “A” history. He was named to the league All-Star team which included future NHLers as Guy Lafleur, Pierre Roy, and Jacques Richard.
The Cornwall native launched his professional career in the fall of 1972 with the Syracuse Blazers of the Eastern Pro Hockey League. He was named the Top Rookie, and the Blazers’ Best Defenceman. The parent Maple Leafs promoted him to the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Pro Hockey League the following season; however, a shoulder injury kept him out for most of the season.
In spite of the injury, he completed three successful years with the Oilers and then moved on to the Saginaw Gears of the International Hockey League. He helped the Gears win the IHL Championship. Mike finished his minor pro career with the Gears and returned to live in Cornwall.
By 1995, he was back into hockey as a coach for the Alexander Glens of the Eastern Ontario Junior “B” Hockey League.
In 1997, he was hired by the Cornwall Colts of the CJHL as an assistant coach and became part of back to back CJHL Championship campaigns with an appearance in the Canadian Championship tournament in 2000.
In 2004, Ruest moved to Ottawa where he still maintains his connection with hockey and the CJHL as the coach of the Kanata Stallions.