Flames co-owner Harley Hotchkiss elected to Hockey Hall of Fame
/ Calgary Flames
Calgary, AB – The Hockey Hall of Fame announced today that Flames co-owner and NHL Chairman of the Board, Harley Hotchkiss has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder Category. Hotchkiss joins Herb Brooks (Builder), Patrick Roy (Player), and Dick Duff (Player) as the 2006 inductees.
"On behalf of the Calgary Flames organization, I am extremely pleased and proud to congratulate Harley on this prestigious honor," said Flames President & CEO Ken King.
"I have had the privilege to know Harley on a business and personal level for several years and truly believe that his induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved. Harley's passion and commitment to hockey's growth have benefited all those individuals involved with our great game."
Mr. Hotchkiss is the youngest of six children raised on a farm near Tillsonburg, Ontario. He spent his winters on the pond playing hockey emulating his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. His idol was Syl Apps.
In addition to dreaming of playing in the NHL, the young Hotchkiss also planned a second career in the business world, just in case. The game of hockey was the beneficiary of Harley's practical side as he has used his business success to ensure the growth and development of hockey in Canada.
"As a farm boy growing up in Southern Ontario with hockey as a key part of my life, this is truly a very special honor," said Hotchkiss. "I have certainly enjoyed the 26 years that I have been part of the NHL and am very humbled to be selected."
An original member of the Flames ownership group, Harley Hotchkiss was among this group of local businessmen who introduced the National Hockey League to the City of Calgary in the spring of 1980. On three occasions over the past 25 years, Mr. Hotchkiss's Calgary Flames have been crowned Western Conference champions, most recently as part of their run to game seven of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
The pinnacle of their storied history occurred in 1989 when the Flames captured the Stanley Cup. There have been difficult years for the franchise as well. However, the original mandate was to make a positive impact on the overall quality of life for all Calgarians. It was this sense of responsibility that allowed the Flames to persevere and return to a successful operation both on and off the ice.
Through Harley and his partners' leadership, the Calgary Flames have touched the lives of thousands of people with their commitment to education, medical research, health, amateur sports and recreation. With the creation and execution of interactive community minded initiatives, the Flames and the Flames Foundation for Life have directed over 30 million dollars in funding to important causes in southern Alberta. During the 2005-06 NHL season, the Flames 25th in the City of Calgary, the Flames ownership group made a $5 million donation to the Flames Foundation for Life. Under Harley's watch, the Flames are committed to building better communities through teamwork.
Of his numerous contributions to the game, his most recent efforts and role on behalf of the NHL were to find a resolution to the NHL labour dispute that forced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season.
Currently serving his sixth two-year term as Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, Harley was instrumental in finding common ground with the players. The player's level of respect for Harley on both a personal and professional level was a key aspect of bringing the disputing sides together.
Harley has been an avid supporter of Hockey Canada. Through the Flames lease agreement of the Pengrowth Saddledome, the organization makes annual financial contributions to Hockey Canada for the continued development and growth of the game. With his investment in bringing the NHL to Calgary, the purchase of the Flames funded the creation of the Centre of Excellence that offered coaching clinics, research in hockey development and sports injuries as well as athletic scholarships to Canadian universities. He also ensured support for hockey at a more grassroots level. The introduction of Project 75 contributed over $ 8 million that is distributed by Hockey Canada to benefit the game throughout the country.
His involvement in hockey reaches from the grassroots to the top branch. As a young college athlete at Michigan State University, Harley was a member of the 1950 Spartans varsity hockey club. He continues to maintain a director's position for the Hockey Hall of Fame. His generosity for other like-minded hockey people is continuously demonstrated as he has made contributions for the construction of hockey arenas throughout Canada including Fox Valley, SK and Aylmer, ON.
In addition to his commitment to building our game, Harley Hotchkiss manages his own oil, gas, real estate and agricultural enterprises. He served in World War II as a member of the Canadian Merchant Marine. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and immediately moved to Alberta, spending his entire working career in Calgary.
He is a member of several Canadian and American professional societies relating to petroleum and mineral exploration. He is a member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and has served on a number of corporate Boards. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, past Chairman of the Foothills Hospital Board and a major contributor to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Mr. Hotchkiss is an Officer of the Order of Canada and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Michigan State University. He was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1998.
Of all his accomplishments and business achievements, Harley Hotchkiss has maintained hockey as his passion. His success in the corporate world has been a direct benefit to the game and his community.