Kevin Lowe, a six-time Stanley Cup champion, was one of three people named to the Order of Hockey in Canada for 2021 on Friday.
Lowe, an alternate governor for the Edmonton Oilers, also was part of the management group for Canada at the Olympics four times, including gold medal victories at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics.
He will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November as part of the Class of 2020, along with the Class of 2021. A defenseman, Lowe scored 431 points (84 goals, 347 assists) in 1,254 NHL games. He won the Cup five times with the Oilers (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990) and is their all-time leader with 1,037 games played. Lowe also won the Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994.
"As I said last summer when I got the call from the Hockey Hall of Fame and again this time, I've never envisioned myself being one of these inductees," Lowe said. "… I don't want to say shocking, but I couldn't be any prouder. I'm certainly proud of my career and proud of the fact that I almost relished being behind the scenes. It allowed me to do what I think I do best."
Also named to the Order of Hockey in Canada were Angela James and Bill Hay.
The 2021 honorees will be celebrated at a ceremony in June, along with 2020 Order of Canada honorees Ken Dryden, Sheldon Kennedy and Dr. Charles Tator.
"The 2021 Distinguished Honorees have made an immeasurable impact on the game, with each of them taking a different path to advancing hockey in Canada and internationally," Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney said. "Bill, Angela and Kevin have all had unique hockey experiences, but are all equally deserving of this honor."
James played for Canada's national women's team from 1990-99, and scored 54 points in 50 international games. She helped Canada win the IIHF World Women's Championship four times (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997) and became the first Canada-born woman inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
"This is a great honor," James said. "To be able to get such a high honor, award like this, for doing something that you just love to do. … It's never been work. It's always been play, play, play."
Hay was president of Hockey Canada from 1990-95 and chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame from 1998-2013.
He also scored 386 points (113 goals, 273 assists) in 506 games as a forward with the Chicago Black Hawks. He won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL in 1960, played in the NHL All-Star game twice (1960, 1961) and helped the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2015.
Hay said his proudest accomplishment was graduating from Colorado College before playing in the NHL.
"A lot of the players now are taking that route, and I think it was great," Hay said. "I was the first one to graduate and play in the NHL, so that to me is something special, because so many other young players now have done it."
The Order of Hockey in Canada was established in 2012 to celebrate individuals for their outstanding contributions or service to the growth and development of hockey in Canada.
NHL.com columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika contributed to this report