TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie was named the 2015 winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Los Angeles Kings radio voice Nick Nickson the winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to broadcasting, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
McKenzie, 58, began contributing to TSN in 1987 while he was editor-in-chief of The Hockey News. He also was a longtime columnist for The Toronto Star.
"There's a reason life-long hockey writer, broadcaster and author Bob McKenzie has a million Twitter followers. There's a reason he is known affectionately by his colleagues in the industry as 'The Godfather.' And that reason is simple: There is no more authoritative voice in the game of hockey than McKenzie's voice," Scott Burnside, president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, said in a statement.
McKenzie, who has written two books, was named one of the 20 most powerful figures in sports media by Sports Illustrated in 2013 and is a nine-time selection by The Hockey News as one of the sport's 100 most powerful and influential people.
"I'm honored to be recognized with the Elmer Ferguson Award and proud to be a member of the hockey-writing fraternity," McKenzie said in an article posted by TSN. "All I ever wanted to be was a hockey writer. As a kid, I looked up to the Red Burnetts and Scott Youngs of the world. When I got into the business I aspired to be as good as John Herbert in junior hockey and Red Fisher or Bob Verdi in the NHL. I have tried every day to bring a hockey writer's and reporter's sensibilities to whatever job I'm doing, whether it's been in print, broadcast, electronic or social media."
Nickson, who will enter his 35th season in the Kings booth in 2015-16, began his broadcasting career in the 1970s with the Rochester Americans and New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League. He was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.
"Nick has been one of the most popular radio and TV personalities in Southern California for over three decades," said Chuck Kaiton, president of the NHL Broadcasters' Association. "He is extremely worthy of this award and we from the NHL Broadcasters' Association congratulate him on this distinct honor."