TORONTO, Ont. – Hockey Canada announced Tuesday the three individuals that have been named to the 2015 class of Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada. The recipients will be honoured June 10 at the 2015 Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic in Toronto.
Hockey Canada introduced the Order of Hockey in Canada in April 2012; the program annually honours a select number of individuals whose “role or service in the game is recognized as extraordinary” in Canada.
The selection committee met Dec. 22 and went through an election process that identified three new honourees (listed alphabetically):
Jim Gregory is a long-time executive with the National Hockey League, currently serving as senior vice-president of hockey operations. He has been with the league office since 1986, when he was hired as executive director of hockey operations. The native of Port Colborne, Ont., got his start in hockey thanks to Hockey Hall of Fame member Father David Bauer, who hired Gregory as a stats keeper and trainer with St. Michael’s College. He eventually led the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors to a Memorial Cup championship as general manager in 1961, and won two more as head coach and general manager of the Toronto Marlboros in 1964 and 1967. After coaching the WHL’s Vancouver Canucks for one season, Gregory was hired as a scout by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1968 before taking over as general manager the following season, and leading the Maple Leafs to eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons. He served as director of NHL Central Scouting from 1979-86 before joining the NHL office. Gregory spent 17 years as chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Pat Quinn stood behind a Team Canada bench on seven occasions, and worked as a general manager or assistant general manager on four others, helping Canada to five medals and a World Cup championship. He was Canada’s head coach at two Olympic Winter Games (2002, 2006), guiding Canada to its first Olympic gold in 50 years in 2002, as well as the 1986 IIHF World Championship, 2004 World Cup of Hockey, 2006 Spengler Cup, 2008 IIHF World U18 Championship and 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning gold in his final two appearances. The Hamilton, Ont., native spent 20 seasons as an NHL head coach with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton, twice winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year (1979-80, 1991-92) and guiding the Flyers to an NHL-record 35-game unbeaten streak in 1979-80. He sits fifth all-time in NHL history with 684 wins (in 1,400 games) and twice led his teams to the Stanley Cup Final – in 1980 with Philadelphia and 1994 with Vancouver. As a player, Quinn played 606 NHL games with Toronto, Vancouver and Atlanta from 1968-77, recording 131 points (18 goals, 113 assists) and serving as captain in Atlanta from 1975-77. Quinn passed away at the age of 71 on Nov. 23.
Serge Savard was one of the “Big Three” with the Montreal Canadiens, along with Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson, winning eight Stanley Cup championships in his 14 years with the team (1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979), and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1969. The native of Landrienne, Que., played twice for Canada, seeing action in five games during the 1972 Summit Series (Canada went 4-0-1 with Savard in the line-up) and winning the 1976 Canada Cup. The captain of the Canadiens from 1979-81, Savard recorded 439 points (106 goals, 333 assists) in 1,040 NHL games, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986. After his playing career was over, Savard returned to the Canadiens as general manager from 1983-95, winning two more Stanley Cups (1986, 1993) in his 13-year tenure. The winner of the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey in 1978-79, Savard was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994, and had his No. 18 retired by the Canadiens in 2006.
This year’s class of three individuals brings the total number of honourees to 14.
ORDER OF HOCKEY IN CANADA DISTINGUISHED HONOUREES
Jean Béliveau – 2012
Cassie Campbell-Pascall – 2012
Clare Drake – 2014
Jim Gregory – 2015
Wayne Gretzky – 2012
Paul Henderson – 2013
Gordie Howe – 2012
Dave King – 2013
Mark Messier – 2013
Pat Quinn – 2015
Gordon Renwick – 2012
France St-Louis – 2014
Serge Savard – 2015
Steve Yzerman – 2014
ORDER OF HOCKEY IN CANADA CRITERIA
Candidates for election as Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada shall be chosen “on the basis of their outstanding contributions or service to the growth and development of the sport of hockey in Canada, which may include players, coaches, officials, administrators, executives, trainers, physicians, inventors or any other person whose role or service in the game is recognized as extraordinary.”
Candidates are eligible as long as they have concluded their career as an active player or official, if either is applicable, for a minimum of five playing seasons before their election. All other candidates may be either active or inactive at the time of his or her selection. However, there will be no posthumous appointments to the Order of Hockey in Canada.
Please note, Pat Quinn’s nomination was submitted to the selection committee prior to his passing on Nov. 23, 2014, allowing him to be considered, and ultimately selected, for this honour.
ORDER OF HOCKEY IN CANADA SELECTION PROCESS
A selection committee of 12 members was appointed by the Order of Hockey in Canada executive committee, which was established by Hockey Canada. The selection committee members, representing a cross-section of individuals with great and varied experience around the game of hockey in Canada, have been selected for a three-year term and can serve for a maximum of nine years. Each committee member can only bring forward one name as an official nomination for consideration annually. After inducting five individuals in the first group in the spring of 2012, there will be a maximum of three recipients annually going forward.
The entire selection process is confidential, and the names of those candidates not selected will not be disclosed.
OHC executive committee: Murray Costello, Jeff Denomme, Joe Drago, Tom Renney and Jim Treliving.
OHC selection committee: David Andrews (chairman), Marc Bergevin, Gilles Courteau, Joe Drago, Dave King, Pierre LeBrun, Roy MacGregor, Bob McKenzie, Glen Sather, Danièle Sauvageau, Scott Smith and Donna Spencer
NOTE TO MEDIA: To request interviews with the three newest Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada, please contact Francis Dupont, Hockey Canada’s manager of communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Hockey Canada, its teams, events and programs, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, and follow Hockey Canada through social media at www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.facebook.com/hockeycanada.