The Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame will induct seven players, four builders, two officials and two members of the media in 2011. Six championship teams also will be honoured by the Hall of Fame. The class of 2011 was announced April 12 at a media conference in Winnipeg.
Two forwards with impressive credentials, Mike Keane and Theoren Fleury, will enter the Hall at its induction banquet on Oct. 1, 2011 at the Canada Inns Polo Park in Winnipeg. During his 16-year NHL career, Keane won Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars. The product of Sir John Franklin Community Club in Winnipeg then returned home and captained the Manitoba Moose of the AHL for five seasons. Fleury from Russell, Man. scored 455 goals and added 633 assists during his 15 seasons in the NHL primarily with the Calgary Flames.
Four defensemen will be inducted. While still junior age, Terry Ball from Fort Garry joined Winnipeg Maroons for the team's Canadian senior championship run in 1964. The small but hard-hitting defenseman played in the NHL with Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres plus five seasons in the WHA. George Konik played a major role when his hometown Flin Flon Bombers won the Canadian junior championship in 1957. He was a member of the University of Denver Pioneers that won two NCAA titles and the US National team that won the World B Championship in 1970. Jayson More from Deloraine played 406 games in the NHL with six teams. Selkirk product Neil Wilkinson was a member of the Winnipeg Jets during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons and in total played 460 games in the NHL with five different teams.
Goalie Karl Friesen grew up in the Elmwood area of Winnipeg and played junior for the West Kildonan North Stars of the MJHL. He went to Germany in 1980-81 and played there until 1995-96 with the exception of the 1985-86 season in the AHL. The following year, he played four games with New Jersey Devils of the NHL before returning to Germany. A four-time German goalie and player of the year, he played in three Winter Olympics and six world championships.
Three of the builders to be inducted have made major contributions to hockey in the province's Westman region. Bob Cornell from Brandon was an owner of the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL and served on the league's board of governors. Brandon's Glen Lawson coached provincial championship teams at the bantam, juvenile and intermediate levels and spent three stints behind the Wheat Kings bench. After his playing career ended, Don Dietrich returned home to Deloraine where he coached and has been involved in Hockey Canada's national coach mentorship program. Ted Foreman spent 18 years on the board of the Winnipeg South (Fort Garry) Blues of the MJHL including eight as president and was a director of the Winnipeg Jets.
Laura (Vanderhorst) Loeppky was a pioneer in women's officiating in Manitoba. She was the first woman to officiate men's junior hockey in our province and her skill and professionalism earned her assignments at world championships and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Bud Ulrich grew up in Winnipeg's North End and took up officiating in 1961 after a successful minor and junior playing career. His refereeing resume includes the MJHL, the Western Canada Junior Hockey League, the Memorial Cup playdowns, university and senior hockey, and the World Junior Championship.
The media section of the Hall of Fame will welcome two broadcasters. Curt Keilback served as the play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Jets for several seasons and then moved to Phoenix to handle the same role with the Coyotes. Bob Picken covered all sports including hockey during his lengthy career with CBC radio and TV and CJOB radio in Winnipeg.
When the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame was formed in 1985, 36 championship teams starting with the Winnipeg Victorias that won the Stanley Cup in 1896 were recognized along with a large induction class of individuals. Since then a number of those teams have been honoured at induction ceremonies and this fall three teams will be added to that group. The 1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors won the Western Hockey League championship and then beat the Montreal Royals to win the Edinburgh Cup and the east-west minor professional championship. The nucleus of the first-year team that called the new Winnipeg Arena home was from Manitoba. Two Canadian intermediate championships teams will be honoured. The Warroad Lakers won the Hardy Cup in 1974 with a lineup that included several Manitobans. The North End Flyers primarily comprised of players from Winnipeg's North End won the cup in 1983. The Hall of Fame also will induct the Warroad Lakers teams that won a record three consecutive Allan Cups, emblematic of the Canadian senior championship, in 1994, 1995 and 1996. The Laker teams from Warroad, Minn. were registered with Hockey Manitoba.
Tickets for the 2011 induction banquet cost $110 per person and tables for 10 are available for $1000. A $65 charitable tax receipt is included as part of the ticket. Reception at 5 p.m., Oct. 1, with dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets can be ordered from dinner chair Jerry Kruk, c/o 987 Milt Stegall Drive, Winnipeg R3C 2Z3 or phone 204-668-0900 or email: Jerry Kruk@shaw.ca.
The Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame is an incorporated, non-profit organization dedicated to Manitoba's hockey heritage, past, present and future. Our Hall of Fame exhibit that includes plaques with photos of our honoured members and a team Wall of Champions is located in the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg. Our website is: www.mbhockeyhalloffame.ca