OFF THE LEASH LUNCHEON WELCOMES HALL OF FAMER CHRIS CHELIOS
By P.J. Kennedy
Lauded for his tenacity, strength, longevity, and his offensive and defensive accomplishments on the ice, Chicago-born defenceman Chris Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, received all-star recognition numerous times, and had a National Hockey League career that spanned well over a quarter century.
Never a shrinking violet on or off the ice, the former NHL captain of Montreal, Chicago, and various Team USA contingents at World Juniors, the Olympics, and World Cup will provide attendees with a lively presentation giving insight into his many years of hockey.
Born in 1962, Chelios was raised in Illinois and played high school hockey before his family moved to southern California where there were no organized teams in his area. He loved the game, however, and found various indoor rinks where he would skate and play pick-up games. After graduating high school in 1979, he was determined to play the sport he loved and tried out for the team at U.S. International University in San Diego where he was cut from the team. Nevertheless, he pressed on and finally made his way to the junior ranks spending two stellar seasons (1979-81) with the Moose Jaw Canucks when they were playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. His tenacity paid off as during those two years he accumulated 35 goals, 96 assists for 131 points in only 108 games. His toughness, which would be part of his professional game throughout his career in the NHL, was shown with a total of 295 penalty minutes in those two seasons. In his final SJHL campaign he was rewarded for his total game by being named the league’s best defenceman.
The 6’1” 190 lb blueliner spent the next two years as a star for Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship teams at University of Wisconsin. Indeed, his Badgers took the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in his final year (1983). In his time playing university hockey he notched 22 goals, 75 assists for 97 points in 88 games which led to his acceptance as a member of the US Olympic Team for whom he played 60 games in 1983-84 garnering 14 goals, 35 assists for 49 points.
After being drafted in 1981 by Montreal Canadiens, he suited up with the Habs for twelve games in 1983-84. Then, as a bona fide rookie in 1984-85, Chelios was named to the NHL all-rookie team. What followed were five more years with Montreal which saw him win his first Stanley Cup (1986), first Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman (1989), and first selection to the NHL all-star first team. During his last season with the team (1989-90) he was named captain.
In 1990-91 “Cheli” moved to his hometown Blackhawks where he would play eight seasons in which he solidified his position as a leader on the ice being appointed captain from 1995-96 to part of 1998-99 during which time he was selected a first or second team all-star five times. He captured his second Norris Trophy in 1992-93 and his third in 1995-96.
At the age of 36 he moved to Detroit during the 1998-99 season where he continued to contribute on the ice winning two more Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008. Although not the offensive threat he was in his early years in the league, the veteran’s defensive game remained strong. In fact, he led the NHL in +/- with a +40 at the age of 40 in 2002.
Recognizing his tenacity and skill over such a long career, he was presented with the NHL’s Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2007. After leaving Detroit in 2009, Chelios played only seven more NHL games, finishing his career with Atlanta Thrashers in 2010.
In total, the man who could not make the team at a small California university as a youth, went on to play in 1651 games, seventh all time and the most ever by a defenceman and by an American born player in NHL history. The three-time Stanley Cup and Norris Trophy winner scored 185 goals with 763 assists adding up to a point total of 948 with 2891 penalty minutes (twelfth all time) in over 26 seasons of play at the highest level. When he retired from Atlanta he was 48 years old, second in NHL history only to Gordie Howe’s being 52 when he hung up his skates.
Internationally Chris Chelios performed for Team USA at one world junior championship, three Canada Cups, four Olympic Games, and two World Cups including winning one gold medal in 1996. He served as team captain for American teams a total of five times, while winning individual awards such as Olympic Best Defenceman (2002), Canada Cup and Olympic All-Star, and World Cup All-Star.
Throughout his career he was never afraid to speak up, yet it was his strength and prowess on the ice that made him what former NHL player and current television commentator Nick Kypreos called “a legend in the game.” In addition to his being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame (2014), Chelios was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame (2012) and the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.
Today Chris Chelios serves as team ambassador for the Chicago Blackhawks after serving in a similar capacity with Detroit Red Wings as well as an advisor to hockey operations in the motor city after his retirement from play. His knowledge of the game, personal experience, and ability to express his views made him a natural as a hockey analyst for Fox Sports. Former NHL coach Doug MacLean has said he is a man who “tells things the way he sees them.” In fact, he has produced a published memoir entitled Overtime (sold as Made in America in the U. S.) in which he speaks frankly about his years playing the game. At various times since his retirement he has used his popularity to become a restauranteur, having had his own establishments in the Detroit and Chicago areas.
Brendan Shanahan to Highlight Ninth Annual Off the Leash Luncheon
By P.J. Kennedy
A distinguished member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, former National Hockey League standout left wing and executive, and current president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan will be the headliner at the ninth annual Huskie Off the Leash Luncheon
During an illustrious twenty-one year NHL career which started when he was drafted number two overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1987, Shanahan accumulated twenty or more goals in nineteen consecutive seasons, was a two-time fifty goal scorer, and thirteen times had thirty or more goals in a season. Shanny was named an all-star three times and is the only player in NHL history to score 600 goals and have over 2000 penalty minutes. Lifetime, he is ranked sixteenth in NHL games played, thirteenth in goals scored, fifth in game winning goals (109), and had a cumulative plus/minus of an outstanding +151.
Following his excellent junior career in the Ontario Hockey League with London Knights (Games Played 115, Goals 67, Assists 87, Points 154), the rugged and skilled 6′ 3″ – 220 lb. winger had professional stops in the NHL with New Jersey (twice), St. Louis, Hartford, Detroit, and in New York with the Rangers. The native of Mimico, Ontario is perhaps best known for his nine seasons with Detroit where he helped win three Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, and 2002. Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013, his positive numbers speak for themselves: Regular Season Games Played–524, Goals 656, Assists 698, Points 1354, Penalty Minutes 2489.
In addition to his many accomplishments in the NHL, Brendan Shanahan has represented Canada internationally at the World Junior Championships in 1987, Canada Cup in 1991 (gold medal), World Championships in 1994 (gold) and 2006, World Cup of Hockey in 1996 (silver), and the Winter Olympics in 1988 and 2002 (gold).
Beyond the numbers are the leadership qualities which have been exhibited throughout the Ontario natives life. Named team captain in Hartford in 1995, he was honoured with the King Clancy Trophy in 2003 for being one who exemplified leadership qualities on and off the ice [and] as one who has made significant humanitarian contributions to the community. In recent years he has continued to contribute to the fight against Alzheimers disease, receiving the Alzheimers Association Championship Award in 2016.
Shanahans commitment to hockey, and in particular the National Hockey League has been exemplified by his conceiving and organizing Â what has come to be known as the Shanahan Summit during the lockout season of 2004-05. The Globe and Mails Eric Duhatschek referred to Shanny as the unofficial conscience of the NHL for calling that meeting of players, coaches, general managers, and referees to discuss the games problems including player safety and general flow of the game. Upon retirement as a player in 2009, he moved into the Leagues front office where he served as vice president of hockey and business development until 2011 when he was named senior vice president, player safety and hockey operations. When he left the NHL to become president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Gary Bettman praised Shanahan for being as much of an impact player at the League as he was on the ice. In Bettmans words, Brendan brought commitment, clarity, and impeccable credibility to his position with the NHL.
In April 2014 Brendan Shanahan was named president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that has not won a Stanley Cup since 1967. Since arriving, he has demonstrated superb leadership hiring general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock in 2015 and surrounding them with other excellent hockey minds including Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter. In 2016-17, the Leafs under his thoughtful guidance made the playoffs and provided fans with a hard-working, skilful, and entertaining team with exceptional potential to continue forward in quest of the Stanley Cup.
Just as he did as a player and NHL executive, the affable top dog at Maple Leaf Nation sets a positive tone when discussing his position. As told to Cece Scott in Active Life, he said: Underneath my smile is a fierce determination to do whatever it takes. My single biggest dream is to win a Stanley Cup in Toronto. I won’t be entirely happy until I achieve my goal here. Brendan, his wife Catherine, and their three children are now part of the Toronto community in which he has moulded a team from the front office to the players on the ice that is well on its way toward helping him fulfil his dream of winning a Cup. Brendan Shanahan, former player, former NHL executive, current president of the Toronto Maple Leafs should provided those in attendance an inspiring and entertaining presentation.
FORMER DALLAS STARÂ MODANO TO Â SPEAK AT â€˜OFF THE LEASH LUNCHEON
By P. J. Kennedy
The sixth annual Off The Leash Luncheonâ€ to benefit Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey will be held 6 November and will feature former Prince Albert Raider and National Hockey League standout, Mike Modano.Â A certain Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, the all-time most productive American-born NHL performer, spent twenty-one of his twenty-two professional seasons with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars organization. He holds team records for most seasons, games played (1459), most goals (557), most assists (802), and most points (1359).Â His number nine has been retired by both the Stars (2014) and the Western Hockey Leagueâ€™s Â Â Prince Albert Raiders (2013).
During his three full major junior seasons with Â the Raiders, the Livonia, Michigan native performed in 176 games and notched 118 goals with 176 assists for 294 points. In 1988 he was the number one overall pick in the NHL amateur draft, and signed by Minnesota. He played one more year in the â€œDubâ€ including selection to the East all-star team before making his professional debut in 1989-90. In his first season at â€œthe showâ€ he made the all rookie team.
The classy forwardâ€™s lifetime NHL numbers were outstanding, as he collected 561 goals, 813 assists, and 1374 points in 1499 games primarily with the Stars except for his final season which was spent with his home-state based Detroit Red Wings. A highlight in his two decade career was being part of the 1999 Dallas Stanley Cup winning team.
In Â addition to winning a Stanley Cup, Â Modano was selected to play in seven NHL all-star games and named special ambassador for an eighth as well as Â represented the U.S. at the Olympics, World Cup, and other world championship Â events. In total, he represented Team USA on eleven different occasions. He has won the USA Hockey Bob Johnson Award for excellence at international ice hockey competition.Â Upon his retirement, he was the all-time American-born NHL leader in points, goals, playoff points, and games played by a forward.Â In recognition of his on-ice accomplishments, the former Starsâ€™ captain was a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and has been named a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
When he left the ice in retirement after the 2010-11 season, he returned to the Dallas area where he continues to give back to his community, primarily through the Mike Modano Foundation. This non-profit organization â€œexists to provide support and assistance to organizations, programs, and projects helping children, veterans, and canines in need of social, medical, educational or protective services.â€Â He has been honoured with the All Sports Association for the Childrenâ€™s Medical Centre/Athlete Role Model Award as well as named Most Valuable Starsâ€™ Player.Â He has been spokesman for the Score a Goal in the Classroomâ€™s â€œTeachers are the Real Heroesâ€ campaign. The Texas resident has won the Tom Landry Award of Excellence in Volunteerism by United Cerebral Palsy and was nominated for an NHL Foundation Player Award.Â Never forgetting his Michigan roots, his foundation supports the annual â€œShoot for the Starsâ€ game at the Mike Modano Arena in Michigan featuring former Red Wings players.Â Over the past four years, this event has raised over $110,000. Mike Modano currently serves as Dallas Starsâ€™ Executive Advisor and Alternate Governor.
â€œHALL OF FAME PAIR BOSSY AND TROTTIER FEATURED SPEAKERSÂ AT â€˜OFF THE LEASH LUNCHEONâ€™â€
By P .J. Kennedy
On Thursday,Â 17 October former National Hockey League scoring legends and members of the Hockey Hall of Fame Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier will be the featured speakers at the fifth annual â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ held to support the Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey Team.Â Since 2009,Â â€œOff The Leashâ€ has brought to Saskatoon Â popular former NHL performersÂ Wendel Clark,Â Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, and Paul Coffey. The appearance of lifetime New York Islander Mike Bossy and fellow former Islander Bryan Trottier continues the tradition of providing members of the community with the opportunity to hear up close former NHL standout performers.
The most prolific scorer in Islandersâ€™ history, Mike Bossyâ€™s prowess with the puck was evident at an early age. At Â sixteen, he entered the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Laval Nationals in 1972-73. In little over four years he notched an incredible 309 goals in only 263 regular season games. Â His best junior season was 1974-75 when he potted 84 goals in 66 games.Â According to the Hockey Hall of Fameâ€™s â€œLegends of the Game,â€ despite playing through an aggressive junior career that saw his nose broken and teeth knocked out, the Montreal born and raisedÂ winger â€œwas considered a timid player by NHL scoutsâ€ and was not picked until number 15 in the first round by the Islanders.
In his first NHL season he deposited 53 goals and added 38 assists in 73 games to capture the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year.Â Although he was forced to retire at the age of 30 from the NHL because of chronic back problems, he had an outstanding career which featured being named to eight NHL All-Star teams, being league goal-scoring leader twice (1978-79 and 1980-81), and receiving the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for combining superior accomplishments on the ice with fair play a total of three times (1982-83 through 1985-86). He was also named the Stanley Cup playoffsâ€™ outstanding player in 1982 capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Perhaps the most important NHL legacy of Mike Bossy is his role as an integral part of the four consecutive Stanley Cups won by the New York Islanders from 1980 through 1983.Â His contributions to his teamâ€™s success throughout his career are reflected in his lifetime statistics which include being number 20 on the all-time NHL goal-scoring list with 573. He accounted for a total of 1126 points in only 752 games for an astonishing rate of 1.497 points per game which among the top 60 NHL players lifetime is third only to Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. His goals per game average of .762 Â is number one among all the leagueâ€™s top players. HeÂ proved many of the scouts wrong as he fashioned a stellar 10 year NHL career that featured nine consecutive 50 goal seasons including five where he scored over 60.
Following his retirement in 1987,Â he operated Â a restaurant in Montreal, did colour for Quebec Nordiques telecasts (1988-90), did a morning radio show in Montreal for several years, and worked for a snack food company rising to the position of sales director.Â He also played himself in one of the films of the whimsical Quebec-produced movie franchiseÂ les Boys. In 2006 he returned to his hockey home being named to the sponsor and fan development department and is currently vice president of corporate sponsorship and partnership marketing for Â the New York Islanders.
Bryan Trottier was born in 1956 at Val Marie and played his first junior season at age sixteen with Swift Current Broncos.Â In three junior seasons with Broncos at Swift Current and then with the relocated Lethbridge Broncos, he notched 103 goals and collected 198 assists for 301 points in only 202 games. Drafted as an underage player the previous year, by the New York Islanders,Â he was named Western Canadian Hockey LeagueÂ Most Valuable Player in 1974-75.
In his NHL debut season in 1975-76, he had 92 points in 80 games and captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie-of-the-Year.Â In subsequent years he won the Hart Trophy as Most Valuable Player and Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer (both in 1978-79) as well as the King Clancy Trophy (1988-89) and Conn Smythe Trophy (1979-80).Â Described by the Hockey Hall of Fameâ€™sÂ â€œLegends of the Gameâ€ as a two-way player who was a â€œthrowback [to] old fashioned attributesâ€¦as a defensively sound centreman with the vision and instincts of a pure scorer.â€Â During his eighteen year NHL tenure as a player, Bryan Trottier was named to four NHL year end all-star teams and performed in eight all-star games. Like Bossy, he was also an integral part of four consecutive New York Islander Stanley Cup wins (1980-83). The former Saskatchewanian also captured two Stanley Cup championships as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.Â As an assistant coach with Colorado Avalanche in 2002 he again had his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup.
Bryan Trottier, considered by some as the best all-around centre of his era, had regular season statistics that saw him named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.Â Also a member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame, â€œTrotsâ€ had 524 goals, 901 assists, and 1425 points in 1279 NHL games. Â He represented Canada at World Junior championships in 1974-75 and at Canada Cup in 1981. Trottier played for Team USA in the 1984 Canada Cup as well.
He retired from the Penguins after the 1991-92 season, but returned with Pittsburgh as a player-assistant coach in 1993-94. His coaching career included bench boss duties in the American Hockey League and as an assistant in Pittsburgh and with Colorado in the NHL as well asÂ a brief stint ((2002-2003) as head coach of the New York Rangers.Â He returned to the Islanders as Executive Director of Player Development in 2006.
Bryan Trottier continues to be active in the game as he operates the Bryan Trottier Summer Hockey Camp in Alberta as well as provides instructional sessions on hockey throughout North America. The Hall of Famer also continues to skate with NHL alumni teams.
Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier will forever be associated with the New York Islanders dynasty that captured four Stanley Cups from 1980 through 1983. Championship linemates when they played, they are reunited for their visit to Saskatoon on Thursday, 17 October Â at 11:30 a.m. when Saskatoon hockey fans will have the opportunity to see and hear two of hockeyâ€™s greatest players at the â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ to be held atÂ Prairieland Exhibition. Â Returning to be Master of Ceremonies, will be Saskatchewan comedian Kelly Taylor. Tickets are available fromÂ Picatic.
â€œHALL OF FAMER COFFEY FEATURED SPEAKER ATÂ â€˜OFF THE LEASH LUNCHEONâ€™â€
By P. J. Kennedy
On Friday, Â 5 October, Â former National Hockey League all-star defenceman Paul Coffey will be the featured guest at the fourth annual Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ at Prairieland Exhibition.
Named to the NHL Hall of Fame in the first year he was eligible (2004), the Weston, Ontario-born rearguardÂ ranks second among NHL defencemenÂ in career regular season points with 1531 in 1409 games and he also stands fifth in lifetime assists Â among all players in NHL history having collected 1,135. Although he could cover his own zone well, Paul Coffey was best known for his offensive prowess. In a statement for The Hockey News Â in 2004, legendary coach Scotty Bowman said: â€œCoffey was one of the most unique defencemen to ever play in the league. He was often referred to as a â€˜rover.â€™â€¦ He was like a fourth forward.â€Â Â Indeed, he patrolled the blueline using his peerless skating, passing, and shooting skills to mould a career matched by few if any who played his position.
Perhaps best known as an integral part of the high-flying Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, the prototypical rushing defenceman scored 48 goals in 1985-86 which remains an NHL single season record for defenders.Â In recognition of his major contributions to the team,Edmontonretired his fabled #7 sweater in 2009. The smooth-skating offensive bluelinerâ€™s other records include most points by a â€œd-manâ€ in a game (eight in 1986), most assists by a defenceman in a single game (six in 1986), longest point-scoring streak by a defenceman (28 games in 1985-86), most lifetime playoff points by a defenceman (196 in 194 contests), and most points by a defenceman in a playoff year (37 in 1985).
Looking back on his career, Paul Coffey has stated on NHL Alumni online: â€œMy first goal in hockey, was to make the team. My second goal was to be a big part of the team, a player who was a big contributor. I also wanted to play ten years and I wound up playing more than that. It was a thrill and an honour.â€ In exceeding his own expectations, Coffeyâ€™s Â style of play and significant contributions to the teams for which he has played, the NHL, and hockey in general have been exceptional.
His professional career spanned 21 seasons and included stints with nine different teams. Three times he was awarded the NHLâ€™s James Norris Trophy as top defenceman; in 1984-85 and1985-86 as an Oiler, and Â then in 1994-95 as a Detroit Red Wing. Named a first team all-star four times, he appeared in a total of fourteen all-star contests from 1982 through 1997.Â Coffeyâ€™s name appears on three Stanley Cups as a member of the Oilers and one as a Pittsburgh Penguin. In international competition,Â he was named to Â three Canada Cup teams, one World Cup team, Â Â and also played forCanadain one World Championship.
Since retiring from hockey in 2000 Coffey, his wife, and three children reside in Ontario where he owns three automobile dealerships in the Bolton and Kitchener areas. He coaches his eldest sonâ€™s pee wee team and supports a number of Â charities including Minor Hockey Fights Cancer, the Juno Cup for â€œMusicountsâ€ music education, Â and a charity auction for the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario. He has also lent his support for Mississauga Jetsâ€™ annual â€œPaul Coffey International Hockey Tournamentâ€Â since 1985.
Paul Coffeyâ€™s appearance follows those of Jeremy Roenick, Brett Hull, and Wendel Clark at the â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ series which raises money for scholarships and other support Â for the Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey Team.Â Like the previous presentations in the series, this yearâ€™s event beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Prairieland Exhibition on 5 October is sure to provide attendees with an enjoyable experience with one of hockeyâ€™s all time great players.
â€œOutspoken Roenick To Headline â€˜Off The Leash Luncheonâ€™â€
By P. J. Kennedy
Never one to go about his business quietly on or off the ice, former NHL forward Jeremy Roenick has been labelled â€œfeisty,â€ â€œflashy,â€ â€œcolourful,â€ and â€œoutspokenâ€ by the media which have covered his outstanding 20 year professional hockey career.Â He may have been a master of â€œtrash talkâ€ on the ice and provided sports journalists with countless quotable interviews, but his main contribution to the sport was his performance on the ice game after game.
Born at Boston, Massachusetts in 1970,Â Roenick was a standout as a high school playerÂ registering 65 goals, 84 assists and 149 points in only 48 games over two seasons at Thayer Academy. He then played one year of major junior hockey in Quebec with Hull Olympiques where he tallied 70 points in only 28 games.Â The New Englander continued to demonstrate his on-ice skills with the American entry in the World Junior Championships in 1988 and 1989.
â€œJ. R.â€ was drafted by Chicago Blackhawks in 1988 and performed for the Windy City crew from 1988-89 through the 1995-96 seasons.Â During his tenure with the Hawks, he was named to the all-star team four times and scored more than 30 goals five times.Â In subsequent years while toiling for Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks he was named to the NHL all-star squad five additional times.
In total, Jeremy Roenick played 1363 regular season NHL games, potted 513 goals, assisted on 703 more, and amassed 1216 points. In addition he showed his â€œfeistinessâ€ with 1463 penalty minutes.
When he retired at the age of 39 in 2009, his rÃ©sumÃ© also included two tours of duty with the U.S. Olympic team (1998 and 2002) and his rank as number three in scoring among all American born NHL players. For all his accomplishments, Roenick was named to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
The â€œoutspoken oneâ€ has remained in the public eye as a television actor in such U.S. shows as Hack, Arliss, and Leverage as well as being a judge on Canadaâ€™s Battle of the Blades. Â He has also contributed as a colour commentator on hockey broadcasts for TSN in Canada and NBC in the States.
Those attending the third annual â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ on 21 October can expect a lively presentation from the always interesting Jeremy Roenick.
â€œBRETTÂ Â HULL:Â Â CREATEDÂ Â HIS OWNÂ IDENTITYâ€
By P.J. Kennedy
Brett Hull began his National Hockey League career in 1986-87 with the unenviable challenge of not only trying to make the Calgary Flames, but also trying to create for himself an identity as a player beyond the giant shadow cast by his Hall of Fame father, Bobby Hull.Â By the time Brett retired some 20 seasons later, he had eclipsed the senior Hull in NHL games played, goals, assists, total points, and in Stanley Cups won.
Third all-time in NHL regular season goals with 741, Brett Hull captured his first Stanley Cup with Dallas Stars in 1999. His controversial â€œskate in the creaseâ€ Cup-winning marker in triple overtime of the final game will be a part of hockey history forever. His second Cup was won while he toiled with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002.
He has been recognized as the NHLâ€™s Most Valuable Player, winning the Hart Trophy in 1991 and as the player combining high skill level with gentlemanly performance on the ice as the 1990 winner of the Lady Byng Trophy.Â Yet he was identified most as a natural goal scorer of extraordinary talent who year after year put the puck in the net.
Born in Belleville, Ontario in 1964, Brett Hull played junior hockey in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League from 1982-84 before enrolling at University of Minnesota at Duluth where he performed two seasons (1984-86).Â He was drafted in the seventh round by Calgary in 1984 and began his professional career with Moncton in the American Hockey League in 1986-87 where he potted 50 goals in only 67 games. Later that season he made his debut with Calgary and in 1987-88 with the Alberta team he netted 26 markers in 52 games but was traded to St. Louis Blues where he spent the next decade entertaining fans as one of the most dynamic goal scorers in NHL history.
From 1987-88 through 1997-98 he had five 50 goal seasons, splitting the twine for a remarkable 86 goals in 78 games in 1990-91.Â In 1998 Dallas Stars signed him as a free agentÂ and for the next three campaigns he was a standout helping the southern pucksters win their first and only Stanley Cup in 1999.Â After his stint in Texas, Brett Hull moved on to Detroit in 2001, again being a part of a Stanley Cup team one year later.Â Also in 2002, he was part of the U.S. Olympic team which captured silver.Â He left Detroit after the 2003-04 season but returned in 2005 with Phoenix. He retired in 2005 after playing only five games.
Never one to be at a loss for words,Â Hull was a popular guest on various media programmes throughout his career as he was an outspoken commentator on the game. He renewed his association with the Dallas organization and he and Les Jackson were named co-general managers of the Stars in 2007 a position they shared until 2009. At that time he was re-assigned to the position of executive vice presidentÂ and alternate governor for the team.
In 2009, Brett Hull was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.Â It should be noted that he and his father are the first and only father and son player inductees to ever be so honoured.Â Yet it should also be noted that the man who sought to developÂ his own reputation as a hockey player was successful in creating his own place among the giants of the game as one of the most gifted natural scorers in NHL history.
The Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey team, its alumni, and its supporters are all pleased to welcome Brett Hull as the guest speaker for the second annual â€œOff The Leash Luncheonâ€ to raise funds for the Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey Programme.
Â â€œWENDELÂ Â CLARK:Â Â AÂ Â Â SASKATCHEWANÂ Â ORIGINALâ€
By P.J. Kennedy
Although he is an icon among Toronto Maple Leaf fans throughout the country and a local hero throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Wendel Clark is a â€œSaskatchewan Original.â€
Born in 1966 at Kelvington, Wendel grew up working on the family farm along with the rest of his family.Â His strong work ethic and desire to get the job done right extended beyond the farm to his hockey career where he performed as a defenceman at Notre Dame College in Wilcox and then for two years with Saskatoon Blades.Â He was part of Canadaâ€™sÂ gold-medal winning World Junior team in 1985.
In that same year he was the Leafsâ€™ number one pick (and number one overall) in the NHL entry draft.Â As a rookie, he was moved from defence to left wing, yet he notched a team high 34 goals which was a record for first year players in Toronto, and he was runner-up for the Calder Trophy as league Rookie-of-the-Year. He was captain of the Blue and White from 1991 through 1994 and became one of the most popular Leafs in history for his indefatigable efforts on the ice and ability to spark his team by example.
In 793 career NHL regular season games over 15 seasons with Toronto (three different times),Â Quebec, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Chicago, he amassed 330 goals, 234 assists, and 1690 penalty minutes. His best scoring year was 1993-94 when he potted 46 goals in only 64 games.Â In 95 playoff games over nine seasons, he notched 69 points. His 34 playoff goals as a Leaf remain a team record, surpassing the likes of Mats Sundin, Lanny McDonald, and Frank Mahovlich.
Beyond the solid numbers he posted throughout his career, Wendel Clark was an unqualified success in hockey, because of his attitude toward the game and his participation in it.Â His tenacity and continuous commitment to perform at his best despite injuries are what made â€œClarkieâ€ unique among players who were the best at what they did. He never backed down from adversity, whether it was on his way to the net to deposit his patented â€œwristerâ€ or dropping his gloves to face an opponent one-on-one.
In recognition of his two stellar years (including a WHL all-star selection in 1985) as a Blade, his number 22 was retired to the rafters of Credit Union Centre.Â Â Similarly, Toronto Maple Leafs have raised his #17 to the heights of Air Canada Centre in recognition of his years of quality service to the team.
Currently, the man for whom the Rheostatics wrote â€œThe Ballad of Wendel Clark Parts 1 and 2,” serves as a Community Representative for the Toronto Maple Leafs and operates his recently opened â€œWendel Clarkâ€™s Classic Grill and Sports Loungeâ€ in the Greater Toronto Area.
Whether working in public relations or in business after years of performing at the highest level in the NHL, Wendel Clark remains forever a â€œSaskatchewan Original.â€Â As such, the Huskie Menâ€™s Hockey Team is pleased that he is to be part of the inaugural Off The Leash Luncheon to raise money for the programme.
By P. J. Kennedy
Born at Porcupine Plain in 1967, â€œChaserâ€ was known for his hard-nosed play on the rink from the earliest days in junior through his years in the NHL. He played with Humboldt Broncos (1984-85) and then for three years with the SaskatoonÂ Blades (1985-88), where he accumulated 800 penalty minutes in 195 regular season games while performing with the WHL team.
In the NHL with St. Louis, Hartford, and Toronto, he continued his aggressive role as an enforcer, a role which saw him amass 2017 minutes in penalties in 458 NHL regular season games. He also contributed 17 goals and 36 assists, primarily with the Blues. His role was clearly defined, and he fulfilled it admirably.
His positive attitude was demonstrated continually as he â€œleft it all on the ice.â€Â â€œChaserâ€ was the type of player to whom coaches could point when showing what it took to make the NHL…hard work.Â Off the ice, in the community, he has demonstrated further his work ethic. He was named winner of the King Clancy Award in 1998.Â This is an annual award presented by the NHL to â€œa player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in the community.â€Â Among other winners of this award have been Ray Bourque, Jerome Iginla, and Curtis Joseph.
Since 2000, Kelly Chase has been colour commentator for St. Louis Bluesâ€™ radio broadcasts.Â He has been honoured with the Jack Buck Award, named after the legendary St. Louis broadcaster.Â â€œChaserâ€ received this award for his â€œenthusiasm and dedication to sports in the City of St. Louis.â€