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On right with Sandi Logan, NIHL Sydney All-Stars, 1980. Courtesy Dan Pedersen.


March 28th 1958
Calgary Alberta Canada

Camrose Vikings, NIHL Sydney All-Stars

Goodall Cups

World Championships

BORN MARCH 28TH 1958 in Calgary Alberta Canada, to parents Gordon and Catherine, he started hockey at age 5 on natural outdoor rinks at a time when you only skipped practice if the mercury dropped to minus-18°C. He started double-A hockey in the Bantam 13 to 14 year age band and played one year of Midget A as a 15 year-old. He completed major junior camp at 16 and left home to play junior hockey in British Columbia until his father decided school would be more prudent. He found himself playing collegiate hockey in Grade 12 at Camrose, now merged with the University of Alberta, but his first game of Junior in Calgary against the Medicine Hat Tigers counts among his career highlights. His grandfather was in the stands.

He decided to remain in Canada and play hockey with the Vikings for his first year of University, despite NCAA offers from St Louis, Colorado, and Bowling Green Universities. The following year he "blew a knee out" while with the University of Calgary and found himself without hockey for the first time since he was 5. A full year of rehab followed, but the knee never recovered to the level needed to play in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports League. Instead, he spent the next few years in an intermediate men's league in Calgary. Over the years, he was a member of the first Canadian minor league team to play in Europe; a member of the first Calgary rep team in the Wrigley's Cup; and he was selected to the Second All-Star team in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Hearing "Old Canada" before his first International in Europe was a highlight of his career.

Meanwhile, Sandi Logan had been elected secretary of the national association, while still serving as New South Wales state secretary, and was looking overseas for players, coaches and officiating staff to help re-boot local hockey. The opportunity to play in Australia presented itself when he was still only 21. "Dan Pedersen was one of those who responded to my various "calls" for self-funded volunteers!" recalled Logan. "He wore a stetson cowboy hat, notwithstanding he was from the city, and as was my want in those days, I decided we needed to market him as more than just a fine Canadian defenseman named Dan Pedersen."

In 1980, he made the move south to play the inaugural NIHL season. Taken in by Logan, he shared a room in Logan's place with Winnipegger, Darrell McDonald. So he became Cowboy Pedersen, with instructions to wear his cowboy hat everywhere he went, and especially in public when doing media or going to and from the ice rink at Prince Alfred Park. Dan duly complied.

"Sandi was the reason Darrell and I ended up in Australia. I suspect Sandi recognized our very different styles of play when he brought us down, selling Darrell as a very skilled player, which he was, and me as the rough and tumble "Cowboy Pedersen". He set up appearances on the Mike Walsh Show, Simon Townsend's Wonder World, Powderhound Magazine, mall demonstrations on plastic ice surfaces, the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper and countless other avenues to get hockey out there. He created my character and I sold it, on and off the ice." Playing the character Logan invented for him was another highlight of his career.

He played for the Sydney All-Stars in the NIHL, the only Sydney team that season, which was made up of imported players and some of the best of the local club players. Captained by Canadian expat, George Kenning, who had arrived in 1973 and since represented and captained NSW on numerous occasions, their home ice was Iceland at Prince Alfred Park, which at that time was also operated by Pat Burley, owner-operator of the Iceland rinks at Dandenong, Ringwood and Footscray in Melbourne.

"He was a solid, hard-hitting, pocket rocket dynamo on defence," says Logan "often partnering with me (though he was younger, faster and much better than me!), and always on the power play. He was a man of his word, and along with the other imports in the Sydney All-Stars' line-up, he contributed enormously to the game on the ice playing, coaching and off the ice doing media and community relations."

"From what I was told, the Stars may have been the best team ever assembled to that point," recalls Pedersen. "We had some good players. Chul-Ho Kim played on the Korean National Team and was from Yonsei University, George Kenning, Burke Thornton, Peter Gwozdecky, all talented Canadians. Bob Brown (tough and talented) and Kevin Price (great skater) were the two stand-out Australians. The supporting players included a Finn, and a mix of 4 or 5 more Canadians and Aussies".

"Talent sells seats and we were, along with some others, the most talented players available at the time on different club teams in Sydney when not playing national league games. Darrell played for Canterbury, John Glen (Regina Pats) played for St George, and I was a Glebe Lion. Then we would come together each week to play for the Sydney All-Stars." In addition to his local hockey, he even co-coached New South Wales in the Tange Trophy (U18) won by Victoria.

Another highlight was the distinction of becoming an honorary member of the Australian Surf Lifesavers. He returned home to Canada for a girl after just one a year. She "promptly dumped him" when the assorted stories of his adventures Down Under also made their way home. Hockey also came to an end shortly after. "It was fabulous for us guys down from Canada," he recalls with relish. "We flew to games and got treated like stars. We were miles ahead of any other team and without working too hard we won the NIHL Championship. It was a great year!"

Pedersen returned to the University of Calgary, finally finishing in 1984. He reconnected with Darrel McDonald, who was by then a member of the CPGA in Florida. He obtained a PGA of America card in 1986 and spent two glorious years living out of his car chasing the dream on the mini tours across the US. He joined the family business in 1988, got married a couple of years later and was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. However, his wife passed away and it has been just he and Maddy since 1996. He was able to return to golf as Maddy was growing up, and now has a level one teaching certificate from Hank Haney Golf coaching at Mount Royal University. He teaches summer golf camps for kids. Retired in Calgary in summer, Mexico in winter, "Cowboy" never remarried.

01. Historical Notes

[1] The 1980 Sydney All-Stars were: Noel Taylor (5), Dieter Hoch (12), Michael Solomon (18), Dan “Cowboy” Pedersen (4), Canadian goalie Burke Thornton (30), John Loden (6), George Kenning (7) (Captain). Peter Aitken (back-up goalie) (1), Jim Hoar (2), Sandi Logan (3), Peter Gwozdecky (8), Bobby Brown (9), John Glen (10), Raimo Karlsson (13), Wally Dahl (14), Kevin Price (15) and Canadian Darrell McDonald (16). Coached by Gordon Bettes, managed by John Kendall-Baker and its trainer was Sub Majsay.

02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'Pedersen, Dan (1958 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia,, accessed online .

03. Select Bibliography

[1] Biographical notes from Dan Pedersen and Sandi Logan, Feb - Nov 2017.

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
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Inauguration of the NIHL

Sydney, Australia, 1980. Back, from left: Hon K G Booth (Minister for Sport and Recreation), Phil Ginsberg (President NSWIHA), Pat Burley (Managing Director, Iceland Rinks and sponsor) and Col Gelling (Coca Cola, sponsor). Front, from left: Peter Aitken, Dan "Cowboy" Pedersen, Canadian Trail Blazer, Brian Kosher. Photo by Lindy Lewis, courtesy Dan Pedersen.

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With Sydney All-Stars

Sydney, 1980.

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Surf Life Savers Association

Cufflinks, Honourary Member, 1980.

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With daughter Maddie

Mexico, 2016.

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With 2 golf students

Canada, 2017.