Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees Announced for 2018
8 new members to be recognized in 2018 in Swift Current
February 10, 2018 – The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame is pleased to announce this year’s list of Hall of Fame inductees. The 2018 inductees are:
- Players: Ron Delorme, Bill Hicke*, Hayley Wickenheiser
- Builder: John Kelly Lovering*
- Official: Lyle Wilhelm
- Grassroots: Larry Johnson, Dennis Loeppky*
- Team: 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds
(*Denotes inductee is deceased)
"There are so many people from our province who have made outstanding contributions to this great game that choosing the inductee class each year is always difficult. With such a rich hockey history in Saskatchewan, we know we once again have a superb class to announce." stated SHHOF Board of Director Co-Chairs Blair Davidson and Jake Brodsky
The 2018 induction dinner will be held Saturday July 7th at the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current. Details of the event will be officially released in the near future when tickets for the event will go on sale through the Swift Current Broncos office.
“The Swift Current Broncos are excited to be given the opportunity to host the 2018 Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Banquet,” stated Dianne Sletten, Director of Business Operations for the Broncos. “It’s great to have the ceremony back in Swift Current and with the high caliber of inductees this year we’re sure it will be a huge success.”
The announcement of the event and the introduction of the 2018 SHHOF Class of Inductees took place on Saturday evening at the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in Swift Current and as part of the Swift Current Broncos game against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame is located within the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current. For more information, please visit www.saskhockeyhalloffame.ca.
RON DELORME (North Battleford) – Ron Delorme is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Player category. Delorme was born in North Battleford and grew up in Cochin. A popular player with his teammates and the fans, Delorme was a hero to Native Canadians. A proud Cree Indian from North Battleford, Delorme became a role model for aspiring native hockey players and athletes. "Chief," his nickname, spent a lot of his spare time visiting reservations and native banquets encouraging Native youths to aspire for great things like he did. He played his minor hockey in the area prior to moving to Prince Albert for his first season of Junior Hockey with the Raiders of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The following season he joined the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (WHL) where he played 59 games. The next year when the team was moved to Lethbridge he tallied 87 points and 144 penalty minutes in 69 games. Delorme was drafted by the Kansas City Scouts in the fifth-round, 56th overall in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. He split the next season playing with his junior club in Lethbridge, the WHA in Denver and the CHL in Tucson. The following season he made his NHL debut in 1976 with the relocated Scouts, which became known as the Colorado Rockies. Delorme would play four full seasons with the Rockies, becoming one of Don Cherry's favorite players. The 6'2" 185lb right winger scored a career high 20 goals in 1978-79 and a career high 43 points the year later. Delorme was left exposed in the pre-season waiver draft in 1981 and the Canucks quickly picked up the big winger. Delorme was a tireless worker but failed to produce offensively like he did in Colorado. His best statistical season was his first on the West Coast as he scored 17 points and accumulated a career high 177 penalty minutes. He also was a regular player in the Canucks Cinderella Stanley Cup playoff run of 1982. Delorme's career came to an end 31 games into the 1984-85 season. Delorme sustained extensive damage to his left knee following a collision with Calgary defenseman Jamie Macoun. Delorme missed the rest of the season and when he still wasn't fully recovered by the time the 1985-86 season started, Delorme decided he obviously couldn't play anymore. In 1986, Delorme became an Amateur Scout with the Vancouver Canucks and is now the Chief Amateur Scout, a position he gained in 2000 with the Canucks.
WILLIAM (BILL) HICKE (Regina) – William (Bill) Hicke is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Player category. Hicke excelled at many sports in his youth, but it was hockey that would consume the young man and steer his life to the big leagues. He spent his junior career with the Regina Pats between 1954-58. In 146 regular season games he scored 251 points, including 142 goals. He led the entire league in goals and points during his last season and led Regina to three consecutive Memorial Cup appearances and later had his No. 17 sweater retired by the franchise. The jump to the professional game proved to be no big challenge as Hicke immediately won the scoring title in the American Hockey League (AHL) while playing for the Rochester Americans. He named as AHL First All-Star Team, AHL Rookie of the Year and AHL MVP. The winger was rewarded and then earned a spot on the strong 1959-60 Montreal Canadiens team that had just won the four straight Stanley Cups. The team would win their record fifth straight in Hicke's rookie season. He took much of the season to earn a regular spot, but by playoffs time he was a regular and earned the right to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. His best season in a Canadiens uniform came during the 1961-62 season when he scored 20 goals and 51 points. He also had 18 and 17 goal seasons for the Canadiens. Hicke was traded to the New York Rangers on December 21, 1964 and finished the 1964-65 season in the Big Apple. His career almost came to a tragic end the following season when he went into a two week coma after battling a respiratory illness. In the summer of 1967 he was claimed by the Oakland Seals in the expansion draft. He had generally gotten his condition newly diagnosed bronchial asthma under control. While playing for Oakland Bill enjoyed his most successful seasons in the NHL point wise. In 1968-69 he scored 25 goals and 61 points in 67 games, all career highs. That season earned him a trip to the annual NHL All-Star game. It was his third, he had previously appeared in two NHL All-Star games (1959 and 1960). He played in California for four seasons, averaging close to 20 goals. Hicke’s last NHL season came in 1971-72 when he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He then finished his playing career in 1972-73 when he suited up for the Alberta Oilers of the World Hockey Association. After his playing career was over Bill returned to Regina where he purchased a local sporting goods store called Kyle Sporting Goods, which was formerly started and owned by former NHL brothers Bill and Gus Kyle. He credited his time in Oakland and the WHA as a stepping stone for his business career. In addition to his successful business Hicke also co-owned and briefly managed the Regina Pats before selling his shares in 1995. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. In early 2005 He was awarded the WHL Governor’s Award. Hicke passed away in July 2005. He is survived by his wife Lee Anne, son Danny and daughter Lisa.
HAYLEY WICKENHEISER (Shaunavon) – Hayley Wickenheiser is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Player category. The longeest serving member of Canada's National Women's Team, Wickenheiser has competed in all five Olympic Games in which women's hockey has been included, winning four gold and one silver medals to make her one of Canada's most decorated Olympians. Wickenheiser first played for Canada’s National Women’s Team in 1993-94, making her world championship debut when she was just 15 years old, the youngest player to ever represent Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. During her lengthy career she has competed at 12 world championships, winning seven gold medals. The all-time leading scorer internationally for Canada’s National Women’s Team, Wickenheiser has earned several individual accolades at the Olympic Games. At Salt Lake City 2002 she was the tournament leading scorer with seven goals and three assists, earning her MVP and Top Forward honours. At Turin 2006 she repeated as MVP and Top Forward with five goals and 12 assists to again lead all scorers. In 2007 Wickenheiser won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year, having led Canada to gold at that year’s world championship with her tournament high eight goals and six assists. In recognition of her stature, Wickenheiser was selected to take the Athletes’ Oath at Vancouver 2010. She was also elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission at Sochi 2014. Later in 2014 she had her name engraved on a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. Wickenheiser continued to forge a path in the game as she began to play for Kirkkonummen Salamat in the second division of the Finnish Elite League in 2003. Three weeks after her debut she became the first woman to score a goal in a men’s professional league. In the fall of 2010, Wickenheiser began attending the University of Calgary and playing varsity hockey for the Dinos. In her first year she won the Broderick Trophy as CIS Player of the Year. In 2011-12 she helped the Dinos win their first ever CIS national title. Wickenheiser’s Olympic experience is not limited to hockey. She competed in softball at Sydney 2000, making her the second Canadian female athlete to compete at both the summer and winter Games. Wickenheiser was Canada’s flag bearer for the Sochi 2014 Games. In 2015 Wickenheiser completed her Masters in Medical Sciences and officially announced her retirement as a hockey player in 2017.
JOHN KELLY LOVERING (Regina) – John Kelly Lovering is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder category. Lovering was a teacher and a coach not only in Saskatchewan, but all around the world. Although it was his coaching in hockey that become renowned he also spent time coaching basketball, volleyball and football. Overall, he captured 14 Provincial Championships as a coach. In 1995 he received the Gordon Jukes Award, presented by Hockey Canada to acknowledge exceptional contributions to the sport’s development at the national level. As the Chairman of the National Coaching Committee, he wrote coaching manuals that established a foundation for evaluation and instruction. In addition, he conducted coaching clinics across Canada and internationally including places such as Iceland, Japan, China, Australia, Spain, South Africa and England. In addition, he spent multiple seasons coaching the Australian National Hockey Team which captured a silver and three bronze medals at the IIHF World Championships during his tenure. Lovering spent 10 years at Campbell Collegiate and a decade at Athol Murry College of Notre Dame where he coached a number of notable players including Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph and Rod Brind’Amour. A total of 38 players who eventually advanced to the NHL. He coached the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL in their augural season in 1997. He spent multiple seasons as an assistant coach with the Regina Pat Canadians and was a coach mentor with Hockey Regina. Despite a long battle with cancer, he could still be found in a hockey rink coaching or simply enjoying the game he loved. Lovering passed away in December of 2014. He is survived by his wife Mary Lyn, son Tyler, daughter Kristy and his grandchildren
LYLE WILHELM (Moose Jaw) – Lyle Wilhelm is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Official category. Wilhelm has spent 48 years as a true leader of hockey officiating in our province and country. He continues to make officials and officiating programs better. His contribution with the SHA and Hockey Canada in developing programs and his vision for making hockey officiating better has been a great benefit to the game. As an official, Wilhelm officiated minor and senior hockey. In 1978, he began to officiate in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and in 1980, he attended and achieved his level 5 with the SAHA. He continued his development and in 1983 began his career as a linesman with the WCHL (now WHL). In 1984 he achieved the highest level possible as an official with Hockey Canada, attending the level 6 seminar in Montreal. Wilhelm has been heavily involved with the officiating programs at the Local, Provincial and National Levels. He was instrumental in forming the Moose Jaw Referees Association. He worked as a Zone Coordinator and became Referee-in-Chief for Saskatchewan in 1990. His work as a supervisor has spanned many leagues and levels including - minor hockey, SMAAAHL, PJHL, SJHL and the WHL. In addition he has travelled to National and International events including three World Junior Championships. With his involvement in Hockey Canada, he has been instrumental in bringing about changes to procedures, supervision, and instruction at the national level and was a Hockey Canada Award of Merit recipient in 2005. Wilhelm was named a Saskatchewan Hockey Association Referee Division Life Member in 2003. He continues his dedication to the game as he remains active with the SHA Referee Division as a Head Supervisor, active instructor and mentor.
LARRY JOHNSON (Moose Jaw/Swift Current) – Larry Johnson is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Grassroots category. Hockey has been a part of Johnson’s life since the age of four when he started playing on the creek in Moose Jaw. He continued playing the sport until 60 when he retired from Old Timers hockey. Over the course of his time as a young player he won the city scoring championship, played on the city all-star team and won a city championship. He later went on to win a Provincial A Championship with the Swift Current Indians. Johnson’s coaching career spans four decades as he first took on the role in 1974 and continued to coach until 2015. Over the course of that time he led multiple teams, male and female, to championships and successful seasons. His impact and influence was felt by many of the players he coached including former Team Canada player Bobbi-Jo Slusar and former NHLer Travis Moen. Off the ice, Johnson’s commitment to the game continued as he was as a member of the Swift Current Hockey League for 20 years; served as the President of the Midget Legionnaires for 15 years: a founding board member to start the Swift Current Tournament of Champions; and was the co-founder with Slusar to develop the Swift Current Wheelchair hockey program. Johnson’s dedication did not go unnoticed as he was named the Athlete of the Year as a coach at the Swift Current Eagles Athletic Awards in 1992; won the SHA Outstanding Volunteer in 2001 and he received the SaskEnergy Volunteer Championship Award in 2013 for the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan weekend.
DENNIS LOEPPKY (Swift Current) – Dennis Loeppky is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Grassroots category. Loeppky was a dedicated community volunteer who began lending his time back in 1967 selling programs in the brand new Centennial Civic Centre. He became predominantly known for his work as a timekeeper and scorekeeper for the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) and Swift Current Indians (SJHL) as well as at a variety of special community events for local hockey teams. His timekeeping expertise were sought after and he could be found volunteering for Old Timer tournaments, female hockey and ringette tournaments. In addition, to the time he dedicated at the rink, he and his family continually opened up their home as a billet to the junior hockey players who needed a home away from home. Without fanfare or recognition, Loeppky quietly showed up to the rink, each and every winter, year after year, decade after decade. Regardless of what volunteer role he played, he was always willing to help where he could and that was his great contribution to the game he loved. His outstanding contributions were celebrated in 2017 as he was recognized for volunteering for 50 years (1967-2017) and was inducted into the Swift Current Broncos Hall of Fame as a volunteer. Loeppky passed away in 2017. He is survived by his wife Barb, daughter Denise and grandson Jackson.
1987-88 NOTRE DAME HOUNDS – The 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds are being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Team Category. When the Notre Dame Argos folded in 1976 there was no indication that a Notre Dame team would ever be back in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. However in the spring of 1987 the school’s Midget AAA Hounds team had gone to the Air Canada Cup final, losing a close game to a team from Quebec. It was then they made the decision to step up a level and join the SJHL that fall. Over the course of that inaugural junior season and under the leadership of Head Coach Barry Mackenzie, the wins continued to pile up for the Hounds as they cruised to a league title winning 53 of 60 games. After beating Yorkton in the SJHL final, the team went on to sweep Winnipeg to win the Anavet Cup. The Abbott Cup proved to be more of a challenge as they trailed the Calgary Canucks 3-1 in the best-of-seven series before coming back and winning three straight to claim another title. The team headed east to Pembroke, Ontario to take part in the Centennial Cup. They defeated Halifax in the first game, then claimed victory in the next game over Thunder Bay before losing a heartbreaker in overtime to the host Pembroke team. They did get a chance for revenge as they once again met up with the hosts in the semi-final and defeated them 7-3 to earn a berth in the championship game. The Hounds faced off against the squad from Halifax and despite being down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the team rallied back and completed their dream season with goals by Rod Brind’Amour and Dwayne Norris to capture the National Championship title. When the tournament awards were handed out it was sweep by the Hounds as Joby Messier was named the top defenseman while Brind’Amour was picked as the top centre, most valuable player and top scorer. The 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds were inducted into the SJHL Hall of Fame in 2013.