Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Set To Take Place
9 new members to be recognized in Battlefords
The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame is set to welcome a new class of inductees tomorrow (Saturday July 22nd) at the official induction dinner being held at the Civic Centre in North Battleford. The evening will be a celebration highlighting the careers and accomplishments of all the inductees.
- Players: Bob Bourne, Edward ‘Eddie’ Litzenberger*, Fiona Smith-Bell
- Builders: Stan Dunn*, Graham Tuer
- Official: Ken Wheler
- Grassroots: Northwest Hockey Development Association
- Teams: 1983-84 Wilkie Outlaws, 2000-01 Lloydminster Border Kings
(*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 induct,” stated SHHOF Board of Director Co-Chairs Blair Davidson and Jack Brodsky.
Each year, the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions and achievements of players, builders, teams, officials and those at the grassroots level. The annual induction dinner is rotated around the province in partnership with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association to showcase the hall, celebrate local inductees while proceeds benefit the local host community. This year the event will bring financial support to the Battlefords North Stars Junior Hockey Team.
“The Battlefords North Stars are excited to be hosting the 2017 Saskatchewan Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and we are honoured to have the inductees in the Battlefords for this special day,” stated Troy Slywka, President of the North Stars and Chair of the host committee. “It will be a great day with a pancake breakfast, road hockey tournament, culminating with the induction banquet in the evening.”
The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame opened in 2012 in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s 100th year celebration. The Saskatchewan Hall of Fame is located in the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current. For more information, please visit www.saskhockeyhalloffame.com.
For more information, contact:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Saskatchewan Hockey Association
firstname.lastname@example.org or (306) 789-5101
BOB BOURNE – Bob Bourne is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Players category. Bourne, who hails from Netherhill, grew playing both hockey and baseball and began his involvement in sport at a young age. He went on to turn his outstanding hockey skills into an exceptional junior hockey career and four Stanley cup championships with the New York Islanders. In addition, he did sign with the Houston Astros baseball organization before going on to play in the NHL. In his three seasons playing junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades, Bourne showcased his talent with 97 goals and 224 career points and his contribution to the team was enshrined when his #12 was lifted to the rafters in 2005. Bourne’s effort and determination as a junior hockey star were rewarded as he was drafted by both the National Hockey League’s Kansas City Scouts and the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers in 1974. Prior to the start of the 1974-75 NHL season, Bourne was traded to the New York Islanders. A member of the New York Islanders Hall of Fame, Bourne spent 14 seasons in the NHL with New York and Los Angeles. He played 964 career games netting 258 goals and 582 total points. His leadership was a key ingredient of the Islander teams that captured the Stanley Cup four consecutive times. In 1984 he also represented Canada as a member of the Canada Cup Team. Bourne spent the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings during which he was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance. Bourne was also honoured by Sports Illustrated as one of 1987’s Sportsmen of the Year for his work with a school for disabled children. After retiring as a player, Bourne spent five seasons coaching in the International Hockey League and Western Professional Hockey League. His commitment to athletic endeavours will be a part of his legacy through the Bourne Family and Friends Foundation, which was created to help instill healthy lifestyles in youth who experience challenges in accessing opportunities to experience activities. Bourne was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
EDWARD ‘EDDIE’ LITZENBERGER - Eddie Litzenberger is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hockey Hall of Fame in the Players category. Litzenberger was born in Neudorf and played his minor hockey in Weyburn. He became an outstanding player with the Regina Pats from 1949 to 1952 scoring 332 points in 197 games. He served as captain of the Pats in 1950-51 and 1951-52 and made the Western Junior League All-Star team in the same years. He was on the Pats teams that vied unsuccessfully for the Memorial Cup in the 1949-50 and 1951-52 seasons. Eddie’s most successful year with the Pats was the 1950-51 season when he was runner-up in the scoring race in the Western Canada Junior League. His 12-year career in the NHL saw him play with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his first full year in the NHL, Litzenberger was named the winner of the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year even though he was traded midway through the season from the Habs to the Blackhawks. He was named to the 2nd All-Star team in the 1956-57 season and was selected to play in five other All-Star games during his NHL career. His leadership skills were appreciated by his teammates and management during his stay with the Blackhawks and he was appointed team captain for two seasons. While playing with Chicago, Litzenberger was a vital part of the team’s Stanley Cup Championship in 1960-61 (Chicago’s first Stanley Cup since 1937-38). He was traded following that season to the Maple Leafs where he led his new team to three consecutive Stanley Cup championships. In his 658 games in the NHL, he scored 183 goals and assisted on 252 others. Litzenberger followed up his NHL career with a stint in the American Hockey League where he helped the Rochester Americans team to two Calder Cup Championships in 1964-65 and 1965-66. In 2002, Litzenberger was inducted in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, he passed away at the age of 78.
FIONA SMITH-BELL – Fiona Smith-Bell is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Players category. Smith-Bell found herself drawn to play hockey as a young girl growing up in Edam. Since girls’ hockey programs were nonexistent at the time, she simply played with the boys with Battlefords Minor Hockey Association. When she was a teenager, also competed in speed skating simply because women's hockey had not yet been established for younger hockey players. By 1991, women’s hockey was gathering momentum. That year, Smith-Bell was named captain of the first-ever Saskatchewan women’s hockey team to compete at the Canada Winter Games. From there, she would go on to compete in thirteen national championships. She was a part of two national medal-winning teams: a bronze with the Calgary Olympic Oval team in 1995, and gold with the Edmonton Chimos in 1997. Smith-Bell was also a member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team from 1994 to 2002. During that time the team enjoyed many international victories, including three gold medals and one silver at the Three Nations Cup, gold at two Pacific Rim Championships, and gold twice at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships. During that stretch, she was nominated (in 1999) as Saskatchewan Female Athlete of the Year. The highlight of Smith-Bell’s career with Team Canada came in 1998. Women’s Hockey had been added as an event to the Winter Olympics for the first time. She was with the team as they battled their way to a silver medal. Smith-Bell retired from Team Canada in 2002, but continued to play hockey. In 2004-05, she spent a year with the Ottawa Raiders of the National Women’s Hockey League. In 2005-06, she came back to Saskatchewan to play one season with the Lumsden Prairie Ice of the Western Women’s Hockey League. Smith-Bell also spent time with the International Ice Hockey Federation's Ambassador and Mentor Program as an athlete ambassador for the German hockey program. She experienced the growth of female hockey in Canada and jumped at the opportunity to help develop female hockey globally. Smith-Bell’s involvement in hockey continues in many ways including as a coach, facilitator and a proud hockey mom to her two sons. She was inducted into the North Battleford Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
STAN DUNN - Stan Dunn is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder category. Involved in developing countless hockey players for more than five decades, including talent that went on to the highest levels, Dunn was also instrumental in the development of hockey teams and leagues across Saskatchewan. After a playing career that took him overseas where he met his wife, Sheila, Dunn began coaching in 1955. As a player/coach in Redvers, Lloydminster and then Lashburn, he also coached local minor hockey teams. From 1958-64, his teams won provincial titles in Midget, Intermediate and Juvenile categories. Dunn was also instrumental in the formation of a Junior B league, working with the Weyburn Red Wings of the WCJHL. Hired to coach the Red Wings in 1967, Dunn guided the club’s transition into the newly reformed SJHL, of which he was a founding member. In 1969-70, his Red Wings won the SJHL championship and the Abbott Cup on the way to the Memorial Cup finals against the Montreal Junior Canadiens. Becoming coach and general manager of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos in 1970, he was named Coach of the Year in ’73-74 and coached the East All-Star team. He partnered in the Stan Dunn/Ron Munro Hockey School for 12 summers. With the Broncos moving to Lethbridge in 1974, Dunn remained in Swift Current to head the steering committee that formed an SJHL Broncos team, where he was part owner, coach, general manager and even the bus driver. In their inaugural season, they won the provincial crown followed by many successful years, with Dunn winning additional coach of the year honors. From 1979-83, he was coach/ general manager of the SJHL's Battlefords Barons, followed by one year coaching minor and senior hockey in his hometown of Rosetown. He then coached the Midget AAA North Stars until 1992, when failing health forced him to retire from the game he loved so dearly. Other lifetime accolades include: 1977 SAHA Outstanding Contribution to Hockey; 2005 Broncos Hall of Fame induction; and the 2004 SJHL Volunteer Recognition Award.
GRAHAM TUER – Graham Tuer is being inducted in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category. Tuer’s involvement in hockey spans more than five decades as he has worked in multiple capacities including as a volunteer, administrator, general manager and scout at every level in minor and junior hockey in Saskatchewan. On a provincial level, Tuer helped create the Saskatchewan Development Model – a collaboration of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA), Western Hockey League (WHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) to offer an athlete centred development and education program to players across the province. Tuer was the general manager of the Regina Pat Canadians when they captured the Air Canada Cup in 1988; served as assistant General Manager and scout with the Regina Pats; spent 20 years as a scout with the Kelowna Rockets; and scouted for the NHL’s Central Scouting bureau. Tuer has received a number of accolades over the course of his career including most recently receiving the Hockey Canada Order of Merit in 2015. In addition, he was inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2012; received the WHL Distinguished Service Award in 2010; was named Regina Pats Key Builder in 2010 and was the SaskSport Volunteer of the Year in 2008. His dedication and involvement in the sport continues as an advisor with the Saskatchewan Development Model and a liaison with the Regina Pats after rejoining the organization is 2015.
NORTHWEST HOCKEY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION – Northwest Hockey Development Association is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Grassroots Category. This group has been active in the Battlefords since January, 1982. They were initially started as a booster club for the Battlefords AAA Stars but has evolved over time to provide support for the entire hockey community in the Battlefords. The Northwest Hockey Development Association is a group of volunteers that support the development of hockey in the area and their support is extended to all stakeholders including – Battlefords North Stars, Battlefords AAA Stars, and Battlefords Minor Hockey Association which consists of approximately 30 minor hockey teams each season. Through their countless hours of volunteering they run the concession in the North Battleford Civic Centre and this tireless group of volunteers provides support to the local organizations while assisting with additional projects including improvements to the Civic Centre, purchasing the current score clock and also serve as key contributors to the development of a new arena complex in the Battlefords. Without the support and contributions of the Northwest Hockey Development Association and its volunteers, hockey in the Battlefords would not be where it is today.
KEN WHELER – Ken Wheler is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Officials category. Wheler began officiating at the age of 14 in his hometown of Battleford as part of the Battleford Community Youth Club hockey program. He advanced through the ranks and went on to take assignments from the local Minor Hockey Association. He continued to referee while playing Midget hockey but then made the decision to dedicate his time to officiating full time. Wheler refereed several provincial championships at the Midget, Junior A and Senior levels prior to relocating to Saskatoon after being introduced to Ed Chynoweth. He spent one season as a linesman in the Western Canada Hockey League (now WHL) before starting as a referee the following year while continuing to referee Junior A including the National Junior A Championship. Following that, he refereed primarily WHL games including the Memorial Cup in 1980. He went on to attend several NHL training camps and after being offered a Minor League contract spent three seasons refereeing in the IHL, CHL and AHL with preseason exposure in the NHL. In addition, Wheler worked as a linesman in seven NHL regular season games. Off the ice, Wheler was a clinic instructor in Saskatchewan and later in British Columbia. He instructed one year at the Terry Gregson Referee School in various parts of Europe and instructed at the Western Canada School of Officiating and the Can-Am Referee School. After retiring from on-ice officiating in 1987, Wheler joined the WHL Officiating Supervisory team. In 2008 he became a part-time NHL Officiating Manager which became full-time three years later, a position Wheler still holds today. In addition, he continues to do some supervision in the WHL, speak at various high performance officiating seminars and training camps. Wheler has attended two Olympic games as a liaison with the NHL and the IIHF as well as a game supervisor. Most recently he was invited to Germany to make a presentation to 33 National Member Associations and travelled to Finland and Sweden to observe World Cup of Hockey exhibition games.
1983-84 WILKIE OUTLAWS – The 1983-84 Wilkie Outlaws are being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Team Category. It was a time when senior hockey was flourishing in Saskatchewan. The 1983-84 Wilkie Outlaws, members of the strong Wild Goose Hockey League, were a team continuing a winning and championship tradition. The team went unbeaten in 18 games over the course of the season and for the second year in a row, captured first place in the league. They then went on to sweep the Lloydminster Border Kings in the best-of-five series to claim the league championship title. The Outlaws continued their winning ways as their stellar play led them to series victories over Shellbrook, Unity and Biggar to claim the Northern Saskatchewan Provincial title. Next up was the provincial championship against the southern champions from Langenburg. The Outlaws came out strong and won the opening game 8-2 and then won 9-4 in enemy territory to capture the championship series and their second consecutive Saskatchewan Senior B Championship. This also marked the fifth provincial title for the Wilkie team which was quite an accomplishment for the town. The 1983-84 championship team consisted of 19 talented players, 17 of which grew up and played their minor hockey in the Wilkie area. A unique aspect to the team’s success was the contributions of the Cey clan who made up a third of the team’s roster with six brothers – Gerry, Lester, Jamie, Roger, Harold and Joe who served as the team’s captain. The acknowledgments for the team and its players continued as several of the players were handed league awards. Mike Hallgrimson was named Rookie of the Year, while player/coach Dale Johnson was named Coach of the Year and three players were named to the all star team including goaltender Rob Griffiths, defenceman Lorne Nielsen and forward Joe Cey.
2000-01 LLOYDMINSTER BORDER KINGS – The 2000-01 Lloydminster Border Kings are being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Team Category. The Border Kings had an incredible championship season in 2000-01 despite not having a league to play in that year. A series of exhibition games were played in preparation for a hopeful playoff run that would lead the team to the Allan Cup. The team did go on to capture the Provincial Senior AAA Championship title after defeating Paradise Hill in two straight games in the best-of-three series. The Border Kings then went on to faceoff against the Battleford Bruins in the best-of-5 final where they defeated the Bruins in three straight. Next up was the Saskatchewan Manitoba Championship where the Border Kings swept the Gruthal Red Wings to advance to the National Championship – the Allan Cup in Sarnia, Ontario. At the Allan Cup, the Border Kings played three round robin games where they finished with two wins and a tie which earned them top spot and a berth in the final versus the Petrolia Squires. The Border Kings continued their winning ways and defeated the Squires 7-2 to capture the National Championship. Over the course of the Allan Cup the Border Kings outscored their opponents 24-10 with help from the Tournament MVP, Lloydminster’s goaltender – Jason Clague who had with a 2.45 goals against average and a save percentage of .936 at the championship tournament. In addition to Clague, the team had four additional players named to the Tournament All-Star Team: defenceman Merv Mann and forwards Scott Hood, Greg Brown and Ian Munro. The National Champions had the summer to celebrate but come fall, the team travelled to Poland where they represented Canada in a three-game series against Poland’s National Team. Despite finishing the international series with a 0-2-1 record, there is no doubt that the season was a success. On the 2000-2001 Allan Cup Championship Lloydminster Border Kings, 18 of the players on the team’s championship roster were born in Saskatchewan.