The Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame inductees for 2022 is among the most impressive groups to be inducted into the provincial hockey shrine.
MHHOF vice-president Jordy Douglas introduced the class of ’22 during a Thursday News conference at Canad Inns Polo Park and the list includes six players, a seventh athlete in the veteran category along with two teams, a builder, official, and media member.
Former Team Canada Women’s Olympic goaltender and Canadian Women’s Hockey League co-founder Sami Jo Small, three time World Junior Men’s Gold Medalist, Dallas Stars first round draft pick, and former Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill, former National Men’s Team member and Los Angeles King Brad Chartrand, former 1.0 Winnipeg Jet Barry Legge, 1975 NHL rookie of the year runner up the late Dave “Wrecker” Hrechkosy of the California Golden Seals, and longtime European pro Mark Mackay who also enjoyed a stellar junior career with the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors will officially go into the players wing at the MHHOF Dinner and Banquet scheduled for Oct. 8.
That group will be joined by Brandon’s Bernie Morris (veteran), Winnipeg Jets Co-owner and Governor Mark Chipman (builder), Ron Ottawa (official) and the late Randy Turner (media) who was a sports writer and columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press as well as an author.
The 1953-61 Pierson Bruins (Dynasty) and 1974-75 Thompson Hawks (Wall Of Champions) will be honoured in the Team Category.
Chartrand, who spent two seasons with the National Team program in the late ’90s after graduating from Cornell and is now living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was the lone player inductee able to attend the news conference. And he was struck about the people in the room he had crossed paths with earlier in his career.
“My first power skating coach was the dragon lady of hockey Val Johnston and I just ran into her sister, Shelley, while I was here,” said the now 47-year-old ex-resident of St. James. “So really, the commonalities of coaching — but that’s why Manitoba Hockey is special. Just listening to those stories, there’s a touch point in some capacity for all of us so it’s pretty special.”
Famed sports psychologist Cal Botterill was on hand to represent Jason. And on the topic of that coaching commonality, he reminisced about a particular moment when he was working for Hockey Canada with the Men’s National Team while Brad Chartrand was a player, and a wide-eyed eight-year-old Jason was the Team Canada stick boy.
“You know here we were in Calgary, and we’re trying to get the guys playing the game on the bench so they were ready to go,” recalled the elder Botterill. “And I’m trying to teach them that.
“So I went on the side and taped them. I showed the guys the tape and Jason’s the only guy really doing it. He’s taking off on the ice, on defence, getting back in there. A year later he won a provincial championship here. He took up the ice, intercepted a pass and went in and scored — he was playing defense at the time.
“So here I am trying to teach emotional and mental rehearsal and he’s already been there.”
Those mental and physical lessons obviously paid off for Jason Botterill who would be part of a 1991 Purolator Challenge Cup Western Canadian Bantam Championship squad from Fort Garry prior to helping Michigan win an NCAA Title in 1996 and also becoming the first Canadian to be part of three consecutive Gold Medal winning teams at the World Junior Championship.
Chartrand’s hard work and character with Hockey Canada eventually paid off when his former National Team coach, Andy Murray, took over behind the bench of the LA Kings. The six-foot tall, 180-pound winger played his way into a third line role with the Kings for parts of five seasons, scoring 25 goals and adding 25 assists in 215 regular season games.
But the highlight of his NHL career was in the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs against Colorado when he scored the only post season goal of his career.
“I can remember,” Chartrand laughed. “It was a Game Six-winning goal against Patrick Roy. It put us into Game Seven. He’s a guy I grew up idolizing. I played against Joe Sakic that series. That was our role, going up against Sakic and Forsberg.”
Legge, who played 76 of his 107 NHL games with the Jets from 1980-82, had to miss the news conference because of a medical emergency. And Douglas shared how special today’s announcement was for the Hrechkosy family as June 9, 2022, would have been his 43rd wedding anniversary. Dave passed away in March of 2012.
More information on purchasing dinner tickets and the location will be made available in the coming weeks via the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame website.