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Warroad set to retire T.J. Oshie's number this weekend

Bill Christian, Dave Christian, Henry Boucha and Gigi Marvin are the only other former Warriors with retired numbers.

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T.J. Oshie hoists the Stanley Cup with Lake of the Woods as a backdrop. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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WARROAD, Minn. — T.J. Oshie arrived in Warroad as a high school sophomore.

He moved from Everett, Wash., to continue his hockey career where his great uncle, Max, and second cousin, Henry Boucha, became legends.

It didn't long for Oshie to leave his own legacy.

He played three seasons for the Warriors, leading Warroad to a pair of state titles. He won one in his first year in town as a sophomore and helped the Warriors to an undefeated season as a senior.

Since leaving high school, his resume has become even more impressive.

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He played three seasons at UND, leading the program to three NCAA Frozen Fours. He has played in 900 NHL regular-season games, winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2018. He's played in the World Junior Championship, the Men's World Championship and the Olympic Games.

While Oshie is still writing chapters in his story — the 35-year-old has three years left on his contract with the Capitals — Oshie will receive an uncommon recognition this weekend at one of the places it all began.

Oshie's No. 19 is being retired at Warroad.

Only four other numbers have ever been retired by the Warriors — Bill Christian's No. 3, Gigi Marvin's No. 5, Dave Christian's No. 10 and Boucha's No. 16.

The ceremony will take place Saturday night in Warroad as part of the annual Warroad Celebrity Golf Tournament.

"This isn't why you start playing hockey as a kid, but I'm very excited to have my number sitting up there," Oshie told The Rink Live podcast this week. "Moving to Warroad, my dream was just to fit in with the varsity players on the high school team. To have my number going up there is super special.

"Two of those yellow banners — the state title ones — those are the banners that are a little more important to me, because obviously, it was winning the state championship with my boys, my buddies. But having No. 19 up there will be pretty special."

All four Warroad players with retired numbers have had Olympic moments.

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Bill Christian was on USA's 1960 gold medal team, which won the event in Squaw Valley, Calif. Dave Christian was on USA's 1980 Miracle on Ice team, which won gold in Lake Placid, N.Y. Boucha was on USA's 1972 silver medal-winning team in Japan. Oshie played on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, starring in a shootout win over Russia. His team did not medal.

Oshie is the only former Warrior to win the Stanley Cup. He did it in 2018 with the Capitals. Every Stanley Cup winner gets a day with hockey's biggest prize. Oshie brought it back to Warroad for an afternoon.

"It’s a really special place for me," Oshie during his day with the Cup. "It’s a special place to play hockey. It’s a special place for my family. I really wanted to come here and share it with the kids and Warroad."

After winning a state championship as a high school sophomore, Oshie was one of the state's most dominant players as a junior and senior. He racked up 85 points as a junior and 100 as a senior.

His final high school point was perhaps his most memorable — he made an unbelievable play off a faceoff to set up Aaron Marvin's overtime winner in the state final against Totino-Grace.

Oshie then moved on to UND, where he averaged more than a point per game in all three of his college seasons. He led UND to NCAA Frozen Fours in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Denver before signing a pro contract with the St. Louis Blues.

Oshie is entering his 15th NHL season. He played seven with St. Louis and has been in Washington for another seven.

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TJ Oshie talks about his experiences in Warroad during an event at The Gardens.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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