Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner/chairman and Hockey Hall of Fame member, was named to the 2016 Order of Hockey in Canada on Tuesday.
Canadian Hockey League president David Branch, two-time Olympic medalist Geraldine Heaney and Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson will also be honored as part of the 2016 Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic on June 20 and 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"Between David, Geraldine, Mario, and Bob, they have impacted millions of people in Canada and around the world through their work within the sport of hockey," said Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney in a statement. "I congratulate them all, on behalf of my colleagues at Hockey Canada and the Order of Hockey in Canada selection committee, as well as our board of directors, volunteers, and the 750,000 registered members from coast-to-coast-to-coast, on this well-deserved recognition."
Lemieux played parts of 17 seasons with the Penguins, and helped them to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. The three-time Hart Trophy winner finished his NHL career with 690 goals and 1,723 points, and won gold medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Lemieux was also part of the Canadian team that won the Canada Cup in 1987, a silver medal at the 1985 IIHF World Championship and a bronze at the 1983 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Branch has served as CHL president since 1996 and commissioner of the Ontario Hockey League since 1979. He has led numerous player safety campaigns on topics that include anti-violence and mental health.
A seven-time world champion in women's hockey, Heaney is a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame (2008), the Hockey Hall of Fame (2013) and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (2014). She scored the golden goal for Canada at the inaugural IIHF World Women's Championship in 1990.
Nicholson was president and CEO of Hockey Canada from 1998-2014, and oversaw Canada's gold-medal performances at seven Olympic Winter Games, 12 IIHF World Junior Championships, five IIHF World Championships, 10 IIHF World Women's Championships, four IIHF World Women's U18 Championships, three IIHF World U18 Championships, two IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships, and one Paralympic Winter Games.
The Class of 2016 brings the total number of honorees to 18 since the Order of Hockey in Canada's inception in 2012.