2009 Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees
Ed Belfour Born in Carman Man., Ed Belfour played goal for Carman High School, Winkler Flyers and the University of North Dakota. In the NHL, he played 963 regular season games with Chicago, San Jose, Dallas and Toronto. Only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy have more wins than his 484. He won the Calder Trophy as top rookie in 1991. That year and also in 1993, he won the Vezina Trophy and was named to the first all-star team. Belfour played in five all-star games and won a Stanley Cup in Dallas. He retired last year after playing with Leksand in Sweden.
Bill Lesuk They called him "The Tractor." Bill Lesuk, a junior with Weyburn Red Wings, later played 388 games in the NHL with Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington and 318 in the WHA, all with the Winnipeg Jets. He scored 99 goals, but his real value was as a defensive forward with the Avco Cup teams of 1976, 1978 and 1979. Those Jet teams had lots of offense, but they needed a shut-down winger like Lesuk. After retiring, Lesuk was a scout for Boston (where he had been on a Stanley Cup team in 1970), Chicago and Winnipeg-Phoenix. He continues to live in the Winnipeg area.
Ray Neufeld Born in St. Boniface, a junior with Flin Flon Bombers, Ray Neufeld played 595 games in the NHL, 249 of them with the Winnipeg Jets. The right winger with the big shot also played for Hartford and Boston in the NHL and played 235 games in the AHL with Springfield, Binghamton and Maine. He arrived in Winnipeg from Hartford in a trade for Dave Babych in 1985. He recorded 157 goals and 357 points in the NHL. He resides in Winnipeg and has done some coaching here.
Murray Wilkie Murray Wilkie, a left-winger, was born in Radville, Sask. and moved to Neepawa at a young age. He was a MJHL all-star with Brandon Wheat Kings, played intermediate hockey with Minnedosa and Neepawa, senior with St. Boniface Mohawks and pro with Winnipeg Warriors and Brandon Regals. Outside of Manitoba, Wilkie started his career with New Haven Nutmegs and also played in Seattle, Marion, Cleveland, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Trois Rivieres, Spokane, Vancouver, Hershey, Charlotte and Jersey Devils. His career continues in oldtimers hockey.
Ken Wregget A native of Brandon, goalie Ken Wregget played junior for Lethbridge Broncos of the WHL. After only a handful of games in the minors, he moved into the NHL and played 575 games including long stretches with Toronto, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh where he was on a Stanley Cup winner. Wregget finished with a solid year in Calgary, another in Detroit and then came home to play one final season with the Manitoba Moose in the IHL
Bruno Zarrillo Bruno Zarrillo tore up the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. In two seasons with River East Royal Knights, he had 119 goals and 277 points. Being an Italian-Canadian, he went to Italy to play and it was a wise decision. Zarrillo played on 10 league championship teams and in 10 world championships and three Olympic games for Italy. He was in the Olympics in Albertville in 1992, Lillehammer in 1994 and Nagano in 1998. Most of his career was spent with Bolzano and Cologne Sharks. In 1996, playing with Italy, he led his group in scoring with eight points, one ahead of Teemu Selanne.
Fred Creighton Fred Creighton, from Brandon, was a minor league defenseman for 11 years and then coached professional hockey for 19 seasons including six in the NHL. He coached Atlanta Flames for five years and one more with Boston. He also coached Charlotte Checkers of the EHL, Omaha Knights and Indianapolis Checkers of the CHL and Springfield Indians of the American League. Creighton coached 1,311 games and had 713 wins giving him winning percentage well above .500. He then retired to operate a string of nine Little Caesar's pizza places in Sacramento.
Dan (Heavy) Evason For twenty years, Heavy Evason was involved in coaching, managing and scouting in junior and professional hockey. He began with Brandon Wheat Kings and Portage Terriers, then moving to Niagara Falls Thunder and back west when he coached Neepawa Natives. From 1993-95, Evason coached Peterborough Pirates in England and then returned to Manitoba to go behind the bench with South East Blades. From 1999 until 2004 he scouted for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. From 2000 to 2002, he also served as director of hockey operations for the Flin Flon Bombers and as executive director of the Royal Bank Cup. Heavy passed away in March 2004 at the age of 41. He received two posthumous awards, the Jim Thomson Award from Special Olympics and the Paul Harris Fellow Medal from Rotary International.
Pat Ginnell Born in Dauphin, Man., Pat Ginnell was a member of the Flin Flon Bombers Memorial Cup championship team in 1956-57 and after playing in the minors for 12 years returned to coach the Bombers. He was the WCHL coach of the year in 1969-70, 1970-71 and 1972-73. Ginnell later coached Victoria Cougars, Lethbridge Broncos, Medicine Hat Tigers and New Westminster Bruins in the WCHL and Swift Current Indians for one year in the SJHL. His winning percentage was above .500. He later served as a pro scout. Ginnell passed away in 2003.
Greg Lacomy After playing junior with Winnipeg Monarchs and with the NCAA champion University of Denver, and playing pro hockey briefly, Greg Lacomy returned to Winnipeg to carve out an impressive coaching career. He began with CUAC juveniles where his teams won two provincial championships. He coached Manitoba's Air Canada Cup midget representatives, MNS Stars in 1980-81 and 84-85, and Winnipeg Hawks in 91-92. He also coached the bantam Hawks in the Purolator Challenge Cup in 1989-90 when he was MAHA coach of the year. Lacomy coached Manitoba under-17 men's teams three times and the women's team at the 1995 Canada Winter Games. In addition he coached at the U of Manitoba for 12 years. Among those crediting Lacomy with guiding them in hockey and in life are former NHL players Brad Chartrand and Karl Friesen and one of his Kildonan North Star juniors, Chris Walby.
Jill Mathez As a player, Jill Mathez' teams won ten provincial championships from 1986 through 1997 including four when she captained Sweat Camp Storm. Mathez coached a number of midget teams including Kirkfield/Westwood, Waverley Heights Storm, Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Blackhawks and Manitoba Mighty Moose. In addition, Mathez coached the University of Winnipeg Women's team for four years, winning the provincial championship each year. In 2005, she coached Manitoba's under-18 team and for the past three years has been at the reins of the Winnipeg Bears senior team, winning two gold and one bronze medal in the provincial championship. Already in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Mathez has represented Manitoba at national championships in basketball, touch football, and fast and slo-pitch softball.
Murray Williamson Murray Williamson, a junior with St. Boniface Canadiens and Winnipeg Barons, was awarded a scholarship by the University of Minnesota where he earned All-America honours. However, it was as a coach and administrator that he really shone. Williamson coached the US National team in 1967, 1968, 1971 and 1972. The 1968 squad was an Olympic team as was the 1972 team that brought home a silver medal. In 1973, he was the driving force behind the start of the Midwest Junior Hockey League, now the United States Hockey League. He and Fort Frances native Bob Peters started the first hockey camp in the US in 1967. Williamson is a member of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame, the US Hockey Hall of Fame, the University of Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame and was awarded the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award.
St. Boniface Canadiens 1952-53 St. Boniface Canadiens won the Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship in 1952-53 sweeping the playoff in eight straight games over Winnipeg Monarchs and Brandon. The team then met Fort William and took that series in five games. In the Western final, St. Boniface beat Lethbridge Native Sons four games to two with one tie to earn a berth in the Memorial Cup final. In the Canadian championship series played at the Winnipeg Amphitheatre except for game two that was in Brandon, Canadiens lost to Barrie Flyers in five games. Roster: Len Thornson, Ab McDonald, Leo Konyk, Gabe Pankhurst, Gary Blaine, Cec Hoekstra, Barry Thorndycraft, Lou Marius, Bruce Carmichael, Bill Short, Al Johnson, Ken Busby, Frank Holliday, Ron Heindl. Sid White, Bob Jasson, Ted Foreman and Hal Dalkie all played 17 or more games during the regular season. Ralph Ward, Paul Olafson, Eddie Dudych, Billy Sutherland, Murray Williamson and Ed Schiller also saw minimal action during the season. General Manager Larry Desjardins, Coach Bryan Hextall
Pine Falls Paper Kings 1956-57 Pine Falls Paper Kings won the Big Six League in 1956-57 beating Dauphin Kings in the final and became provincial intermediate AA champions. After beating the intermediate AB champion Poplar Point Memorials in a sudden-death playoff, Paper Kings faced the Kenora Thistles in a series they won in four games. In the Western Canadian final played at Winnipeg's Olympic Rink, Pine Falls swept Kimberley Dynamiters four straight and captured the Edmonton Journal Trophy emblematic of Western intermediate AA hockey supremacy. Roster: Bob Guay, Ted Gilchrist, Joe Reichert, Hugh MacKay, Bob Seguin, Bud McCrae, Laurie May, Chuck Hubbard, Tom Marshall, Bill Juzda, Mel Matthews, Red Ahrensback, Gyle Woods, Art Harris, Bill Boivin, Murray Balagus, Chuck Lumsden, Dewar Thomson, Hec Bourgeois, Playing Coach Ken McKenzie, Manager Jim Desilets, Trainer Stan Powell, President Art Kruger, Executive Fred McFadden, Equipment Manager Stan Brewster
Poplar Point Memorials 1956-57 The Poplar Point Memorials are the second intermediate team from the 1956-57 season being honoured by the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. With a new rink in Poplar Point, the Memorials decided to compete for the provincial intermediate B championship for the first time in several seasons. In the final against Pierson Bruins, the teams won in their home rinks forcing a third game in Brandon which Poplar Point won. The team then challenged the Intermediate A champion Winkler Royals and won that series two game to one and brought the J.P. Bend Trophy emblematic of Manitoba intermediate AB supremacy to Poplar Point for the first time. Roster: Peter Dewis, Joey Hamelin, Bob Miller, John Dickenson, Glen Saunders Jr., Jack Burnett, Lin Bend, Don Blight, Edmund Hogue, Keith Campbell, Casey Gowler, Orille Hogue, Floyd Blight, Jim Leslie, Bill Leslie, Grant Dickenson, Coach Dusty Durston, Manager J.P. Bend, Trainer George Little, President Virgil Smith, Secretary-Treasurer Bill Kuzyk
Canada's National Team 1965-1970 Winnipeg was home to the national team from 1965 to 1970. During this period, the Nats were Manitoba's top hockey team and some great games were played in the Winnipeg Arena against top European teams. A second national team was formed in Ottawa during the 1967-68 season. Canada finished third in the world championship in 1966 and 1967. The team then won bronze medals in the 1968 Olympics with a roster of Ken Broderick, Wayne Stephenson, Paul Conlin, Brian Glennie, Ted Hargreaves, Marshall Johnston, Barry MacKenzie, Terry O'Malley, Roger Bourbonnais, Ray Cadieux, Gary Dineen, Fran Huck, Bill MacMillan, Steve Monteith, Morris Mott, Danny O'Shea, Gerry Pinder, Herb Pinder, Coach Jackie McLeod, Manager Father David Bauer.