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Kamloops Blazers’ Charles Inglis speaks out about his outlaw reputation

Kamloops picked up Charles Inglis on Monday (Getty Images)

Whether it is fair or not, Charles Inglis has developed an outlaw-like reputation in the Western Hockey League.

Some have gone as far as calling him the "Sean Avery of the Dub." But the comparison to Avery doesn't sit well with the 20-year-old centre.

"I hate the comparison to Sean Avery," says Inglis, who has racked up 431 penalty minutes in 282 games. "I don't want to be like him or compared to him."

Nonetheless, similar to Avery's public problems with the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers, Inglis has been the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons in more than one WHL dressing room. He has been traded three times throughout his five WHL seasons, leaving the Saskatoon Blades, Prince George Cougars, and Red Deer Rebels on sour notes.

It all started when he was in Saskatoon. As a young teenager, Inglis didn't handle himself in a way the Blades expected him to and they didn't put up with it, trading him to the Cougars after two seasons.

Inglis doesn't deny his mistakes in Saskatoon. He feels his departure from The Bridge City Boys was his own fault.

"I was very young when I was in Saskatoon," says Inglis. "I was only 16 and 17-years-old. I wasn't very mature at that age. I didn't act like I should have. I brought that trade on myself."

In his first year in Prince George, Inglis broke out on the scoreboard, scoring 32 goals for 60 points in 69 games. It appeared the 6-foot, 175-pounder was on the path to becoming one of the WHL's top goal scorers.

However, it didn't take long for Inglis' time in Prince George to go from good to bad to ugly. After just 16 games in his second season with the club, Cougars general manager Dallas Thompson sent him home before trading him to Red Deer.

"I knew they were looking for any excuse to trade me," says Inglis. "I went four games without scoring and that was a good enough reason for them. I don't think I was given a fair chance in Prince George."

Inglis believes his reputation was unfairly dragged through the mud in Prince George.

"I think in Prince George people got the wrong idea of me," says Inglis. "I don't think a lot of people actually know what went on there."

Falling out with Thompson

It is clear Inglis didn't see eye to eye with Thompson. According to Inglis, Thompson never gave him a fair shake in Prince George.

"Dallas Thompson never liked me. He treated me poorly and I thought it was very unprofessional. He actually treated others players even worse than me. Some stuff he would do was just bad. I would stick up for those guys and he didn't like that."

Thompson, the Cougars' long-time GM, declined comment when asked about Inglis' remarks. 

Inglis didn't like how things played out with the Cougars even after he went home.

"I really didn't like how they treated me when they sent me home," says Inglis. "Dallas found like the worst bus route he could find and bought me a ticket on that bus. I think there were like five stops on that route. I didn't want to spend 18 hours on a bus so I went to the airport and my grandma bought me a ticket. Dallas took credit for buying me that plane ticket, but he didn't actually pay for it. He also handed me some of my equipment in a garbage bag when I was sent home. Not all of my equipment was in there either. They shipped the rest of my equipment to Red Deer when they traded for me."

There was also a problem in Red Deer, which seemed to stem from a difference of opinion between GM Brent Sutter and former head coach Jesse Wallin, who was let go the same day Inglis was sent home, on where Inglis stood in their organization.

According to Kamloops This Week and Inglis himself, Wallin and the Saskatoon, SK., native had a great relationship. Wallin thought highly enough of Inglis to recommend his services to the Kamloops Blazers organization after he was fired.

Inglis is confident that he would still be in Red Deer if Wallin hadn't been replaced by Sutter.

"I have no doubt that I would still be in Red Deer if Wallin was still there," says Inglis, who has scored 11 goals and 15 points in 24 games this year. "We got along just fine. He told me he would give me a lot of ice time if I worked hard for him and gave it my all. And I did just that. I worked as hard as I could for him. I really liked him as a coach."

Sutter on the other hand, alluded to having problems with Inglis when he was a guest of The Team 1260's Pipeline Show on November 16.

"Well I'll put it this way, at this point in time he was the leading goal scorer on the team... and when a general manager has to send him home ...I don't think I need to say anymore than that," said Sutter, during the interview.

Despite his rocky track record, the Blazers traded a conditional fifth-round bantam pick in 2015 to the Rebels for Inglis.

The Blazers had an overage opening when Jordan DePape suffered a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. They undoubtedly wouldn't have been able to land a player as skilled as Inglis -- with a career 92 goals and 173 points in 282 games -- for a fifth-round bantam pick from any other team.

Kamloops GM Craig Bonner didn't make the trade without thinking twice, though. He says he did his due diligence on Inglis.

"We put a lot of thought into trading for Inglis," says Bonner. "We asked a lot of different people on their thoughts on him. After doing all of that, we felt confident in trading for him."

Inglis has the opportunity to end his major junior career on a high note. With the 20-6-1-1 Blazers being one of the WHL's top contenders, Inglis' strong two-way play could undoubtedly help them make it to Saskatoon this May to battle it out with the CHL's best for the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

"It would be great to end my junior career with a championship," says Inglis. "We have a great group of guys. I'm happy to be a part of a team like this."

Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Kelly Friesen. Contact him at Friesenkelly@live.ca

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