Courtesy of www.nhl.com
Bill Hay, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced today that long time New York Rangers analyst SAL MESSINA
will receive the 2005 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster and that Los Angeles Times columnist HELENE ELLIOTT
will receive the 2005 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for distinguished hockey writing.
New York Rangers fans are well acquainted with the voice of Sal Messina. The native of Queen's, New York was a colourful analyst on Rangers broadcasts for both the Madison Square Gardens Radio and Television networks for more than 30 years. Messina, a minor league goaltender for many years before making the jump to broadcasting in 1973, has also served as a practice goalie, official scorer, penalty timekeeper and goal judge for the Rangers.
"Sal's experience as a player in the old Eastern Hockey League made him an informed and personable colour analyst for many years," said Chuck Kaiton, president, National Hockey League Broadcasters Association. "Rangers fans were fortunate to be able to listen to a passionate and eloquent hockey observer who always held the game in the highest esteem."
Helene Elliott has covered virtually every Stanley Cup final since 1980. Currently the NHL and Olympic columnist at the Los Angeles Times, Elliott started her career with stints in Chicago and New York, heading the trailblazing first wave of female hockey journalists. Over the past three decades, Elliott has enlightened readers about pivotal moments in hockey history, including the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey "Miracle on Ice" and the 1988 arrival of Wayne Gretzky in L.A.
"Helene Elliott is a pioneer among female sports journalists," said Kevin Allen, president, Professional Hockey Writers Association. "But she has truly been a role model for sportswriters of both genders. Her ethics are unquestionable. Her reporting is beyond reproach. Her prose is lively. Her professionalism is of the highest order. There is no one in this business any more respected than Helene."
Messina and Elliott will receive the awards at a luncheon presentation on Monday, November 7, 2005. This year's Induction Weekend will take place November 4th to 7th, culminating with TSN's live broadcast of the Induction Celebration beginning at 7:00 P.M. (EST) on Monday, November 7th. The 2005 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on June 8th following the annual Selection Committee meeting the same day.
The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is named in honour of the late "Voice of Hockey" in Canada. It was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey. Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers Association in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to the game of hockey.
Elmer Ferguson presided over the sports desk of the Montreal Herald until he died, at the age of 87, in 1972. Ferguson's longevity and encyclopedic knowledge of hockey earned him the respect of his industry, while his insightful and sardonic comments earned him an international following of hockey fans.
In March 1923, Foster Hewitt aired one of the first hockey radio broadcasts. From that night on he became the eyes and ears of radio listeners and television viewers across Canada. Hewitt described thousands of hockey games, including national, World and Olympic championships in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Established in 1943, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a museum and place of entertainment offering state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and exhibits from its premises at BCE Place, Toronto, Canada. Its mandate is to recognize and honour the achievements of teams and individuals who bring special distinction to the game of hockey, and to collect and preserve objects, images and resource materials connected with the game as it is played in Canada and throughout the world.