One day after seeing his No. 10 banner join those of Ulf Nilsson, Anders Hedberg and Bobby Hull in the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame, Dale Hawerchuk was honoured at the annual Hall of Fame Luncheon, presented by Bell MTS at the Fairmont Hotel.
"Through the nine years he was here, I don't know that we fully appreciated how good a player he was and how much he embraced being a member of our community," said Mark Chipman, Executive Chairman of True North Sports + Entertainment.
Hosted by Scott Oake of Hockey Night in Canada, along with Jets TV Host and Insider Jamie Thomas, the event was a chance for those in attendance to hear stories from Hawerchuk's illustrious NHL career, and to celebrate the impact he had on hockey in our city.
"It's a special honour," Hawerchuk said. "I can't thank Mark Chipman and the Jets organization enough. To be up there with Ulf, Anders and Bobby … They were the creators of the game and for me to be up there with them is pretty special."
'Ducky' reminisced about his 929 points in the nine seasons he wore Jets colours, his Calder Trophy win as the NHL's rookie of the year in 1982, and his major role in helping Canada claim victory at the 1987 Canada Cup.
The newest member of the Hall of Fame was then joined on stage by fellow alumni Paul MacLean, Dave Babych and Dave Ellett, who chimed in with their favourite Hawerchuk stories, sharing a few laughs with all those in attendance.
"Knowing that someone you played with and worked with has reached the highest pinnacle of the game, to get recognized in this fashion, and to know that you had a small piece of it in helping him get there, it's a great source of pride of being his teammate and being a Winnipeg Jet," MacLean said.
A special thank you goes out to all the True North Sports + Entertainment staff that assisted in the annual Hall of Fame events. From the private induction ceremony inside the True North Lounge, to the emotional pre-game ceremony, and the luncheon at the Fairmont, a number of departments had a hand in making all aspects of the event a great success.