Hail hockey inductees

Keane, Fleury headline entrants into Manitoba hall

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Seven players, including prominent stars Mike Keane and Theoren Fleury, headline the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame's induction class of 2011, it was announced Tuesday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2011 (4140 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Seven players, including prominent stars Mike Keane and Theoren Fleury, headline the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2011, it was announced Tuesday.

Keane, the three-time Stanley Cup champion and recently retired captain of the Manitoba Moose, and Fleury, the Stanley Cup champ and Olympic gold medal winner, will join defencemen Neil Wilkinson, Jayson More, Terry Ball and George Konik and goalie Karl Friesen when the candidates are officially inducted into the Hall on Oct. 1.

Joining them will be builders Bob Cornell, the former owner of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Don Dietrich, Ted Foreman and Glen Lawson, officials Laura Loeppky and Bud Ulrich, media members Bob Picken and Curt Keilback, the longtime voice of the Winnipeg Jets, and six championship teams.

WAYNE.GLOWACKI@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Some of the inductees into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame 2011 are from left, officials Bud Ulrich and Laura Loeppky, media Bob Picken and Curt Keilback, player Karl Friesen, and builders Ted Foreman and Don Dietrich.

Asked for his assessment of Tuesday’s announcement, there was a pleased, wide grin from selection committee chair Frank McKinnon.

“The first thing I noticed when I informed them all was that there wasn’t anybody who wasn’t humbled by their selection,” McKinnon said. “And I’ve found that ever since I’ve been on this committee. People never think their careers and contributions will amount to this kind of stage.

“It’s a tribute to these people and it’s really pleasing to us, to see that kind of character and the way it comes out, no matter if it’s a player, even those who had success in the big time, a builder, a referee.

“It’s what makes me particularly happy for inductees like Mike Keane, for Theo (Fleury), Curt Keilback and especially Laura Loeppky, who poured her heart and soul into her officiating work while she was active.”

Keane and Fleury, each of whom played more than 1,000 NHL regular-season games, are the best-known players in this year’s class. Wilkinson, the Selkirk native, played 460 NHL games including two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets.

More, from Deloraine, played 406 NHL games with six teams and would have played more had a concussion not ended his pro playing days in 1998.

Konik, a native of Flin Flon, helped the hometown Bombers to a national junior championship as well as two NCAA hockey championships when he went to school in Denver.

Selkirk’s Ball was a star junior player and played 15 pro seasons that included 74 NHL games and 305 in the WHA.

And though he was from the Elmwood area of Winnipeg, Friesen was more of a household name in Germany and on the international stage. Though the goalie played briefly for the New Jersey Devils, he is better known as a four-time German goalie and player of the year and for appearing in three Olympics and six world championships.

Three of this year’s builders are from the Westman area, including Cornell, who is widely lauded for extensive efforts to keep the Brandon Wheat Kings in Brandon. He received the WHL’s Governors’ Award in 2007 for his service to the team and league.

Dietrich, from Deloraine, was a Wheat Kings player who went on to the pro ranks and once he retired, continued to coach and scout and has been an active member of Canada’s national coach mentorship program.

Lawson, from Brandon, was also a Wheat Kings player who turned to coaching (including the Wheaties), managing and administration when his playing days concluded.

Winnipeg’s Foreman both played and coached and eventually became a MJHL owner and a longtime director of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

There are many nominees considered by the committee each year and McKinnon said he could not comment on the omission from this year’s class of one prominent name, former Winnipeg Jets co-owner and governor Barry Shenkarow, who was nominated for the first time in 2011.

The teams to be honoured at this year’s induction ceremony are the 1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors, a double-championship-winning minor-pro club in the Western Hockey League that included Bill Mosienko and Fred Shero; the 1983 North End Flyers, who brought the intermediate Hardy Cup to Winnipeg for the first and only time; the 1974 Warroad Lakers, who also captured the Hardy Cup; and three straight senior Lakers teams, 1994-96, who scored a triple Allan Cup run despite being punted out of Manitoba’s Southeastern league official schedule for that final season.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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