When Rane Carnegie arrived in Halifax in the fall of 2004 to join the Mooseheads, he already carried with him a myriad of experiences in both hockey and life.
Since that time, the former Mooseheads captain has acquired several lifetimes worth of moments, both good and bad. Now, he’s passing on this acquired wisdom to educate, take a stand for social justice and work towards honoring his grandfather’s legacy.
Growing up in a single parent household in Toronto, Carnegie was already a three-year OHL veteran when he landed in the “Q”. Growing up with the game as a person of color left him vulnerable to several instances of racially motivated torment. Though hurtful, Carnegie persevered.
Eventually, he would encounter two of his most productive – and, for him, enjoyable – seasons in Halifax thanks to campaigns of 32 and 44 goals and a trip to the President Cup final in 2005. After his junior hockey days, it was time for a five-season minor-league career in both the United States and Europe.
The path Carnegie embarked upon in his post-playing days was, by turn, as varied as a BBQ in Laredo, Texas and a wine and cheese event in Gap, France. At one point, the 35-year-old was one of the brightest up-and-comers on Toronto’s Bay Street, making his mark and gaining influence within the financial world.
But within years, it was all gone. Wealth, profession, marriage. Addiction was the culprit. Cocaine and alcohol would take Carnegie down an abyss that he sometimes struggled to find the conviction to climb out of.
Eventually, that is exactly what he did.
Currently two years sober, not only has Carnegie taken it upon himself to improve his own life, he’s made it his mandate to improve the fortunes of anyone willing to listen to his advice. Part of this endeavour is channeled through OWN Aces Sports Group, an organization founded by Carnegie in January 2020 designed to mentor and offer guidance to those who seek it both within and away from their chosen sport.
The vision of the group is simple and seeks to right some of the wrongs Carnegie has faced over the years; to create a culture that is inclusive, honest and fun. In addition to OWN Aces, the former QMJHL star is reaching out to the league he still holds in high regard. Though in its initial stages, Carnegie has spoken to the Mooseheads to lend his voice to the players of today to discuss his life experiences, choices young players have and will continue to face and the importance of inclusion and equality.
Ironically, inclusion and equality are at the heart of the cause that is by far the nearest and dearest to Carnegie’s heart. For you see, his hockey acumen very much runs in the family. A half-century before Rane Carnegie brought the fans of Halifax to their collective feet, it was his grandfather, the late Honorary Dr. Herb Carnegie, that dazzled crowds throughout Quebec.
No less an authority than Hockey Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau, who suited up with the elder Carnegie during his days with the senior league Quebec Aces in the early 1950’s, considered Herb one of the greatest players he ever encountered. Beliveau would, of course, soon embark on a career with the Montreal Canadiens that would see him land among the game’s immortals. Herb would be denied a similar privilege due to the extreme prejudices that could not be rectified within the game at that time.
Now, it’s Rane’s mission to see his grandfather honored in the same vein as his famous teammate. Through various public speaking platforms, media outlets and an online petition already signed by thousands, the movement to see Herb Carnegie enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame has gained considerable momentum.
Suffice to say, should the day come when the call from the Hall for his grandfather arrives, it will easily be one of the crowning achievements in the life of Rane Carnegie. A life that has not only seen a lot, but still has much to give.