Some very, very good news trickled through my cyber transom this morning. Washington Times hockey writer Dave Fay has been named the 2007 recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award.
Fay and will receive the award at a luncheon presentation on Monday, November 12, 2007. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will take place November 9th to 11th, culminating with the live broadcast of the Induction Ceremony beginning at 7:30 P.M. (EST) on Monday, November 12th on TSN’s alternate digital feed (which will be rebroadcast in its entirety on TSN at 7:30 P.M. (EST) on Wednesday, November 14th).
This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Thursday, June 28, 2007, following the annual Selection Committee meeting that same day.
Fay has covered the Capitals and the NHL since the early 1980s, and is a treasure trove of information for those early years. He began to cover the team just as it went from doormat to contender, and his coverage has always been a must-read at the breakfast table for hockey fans in the area.
“When it comes to Washington Capitals’ hockey, no one knows it better than Dave Fay who has chronicled their exploits from their infancy,” said Kevin Allen, President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. “He’s a hard-nosed reporter with a long history of providing thorough coverage to Washington Times readers. But more importantly to PHWA members, Dave Fay is one of the most beloved characters in our organization, a man known for his biting wit and humour.”
Allen’s quotes sum up Fay’s contributions nicely. And amen to the biting wit and humor; Fay has always been able to take it as well as dish it out. We’ve shared many great laughs over the last dozen years, including some times when humor was hard to come by.
I can safely say that every player and coach who came through Washington during Fay’s time on the beat will be thrilled he is getting this award. Even when he wrote less-than-favorable copy about them, he retained their respect because he never ran away and never hid behind anything he ever wrote. He was always right there in the locker room the next day, accountable and responsible, just like you'd want a player to be. Those qualities have never been lost on the players he covers. He writes about the game the same way they play it, with passion and honesty.
Fay’s award will also please his peers in the PHWA. As the dean of Washington hockey writers, he has always been generous and supportive of his fellow writers around the league, always helpful and willing in sharing information both on and off the ice. Whether you need to know who is centering Washington's fourth line, how likely a coach is to survive a season, how to get a cab back to your hotel or where to get a bite and a beer, Fay is your man. And he has always had the trust of the team brass and its coaches. He gets information because they know he can be trusted to know how to use it.
Congratulations, Dave. It’s a tremendous award and a tremendous achievement. And it’s richly deserved and earned.