Elite group to be inducted into Sask. Hockey Hall of Fame

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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An elite group of players, builders, officials and teams will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday.

Hosted by Winnipeg Jets broadcaster Dennis Beyak and Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, Friday’s ceremony will see the induction of four players, three builders, one official, two teams and one individual in the “grassroots” category. 

The 2014 Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame inductee class includes:

Brian Propp 

The NHL’s 79th all-time leading scorer, the Brandon Wheat Kings alumni spent the bulk of his professional career with the Philadelphia Flyers as he amassed a total of 1,003 points in 1,016 games.

Born in Lanigan, Propp made a total of five Stanley Cup Final appearances with the Flyers, Boston Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars. The five-time NHL All-Star represented Canada five times, playing in the 1982 World Juniors and the 1983 World Championship before winning gold at the Canada Cup in 1987. 

Brad McCrimmon

Another former Wheat King, Plenty-born McCrimmon led the team to a WHL championship in 1979 before he was selected 15th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.

In a long NHL career with the Bruins, Flyers, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Coyotes, McCrimmon ammased 403 points in 1,222 games.  In his first season as head coach of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, McCrimmon was killed in a plane crash along with 42 others on board. 

Johnny Gottselig

Born in Regina, Gottselig played 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1929 to 1945, amassing 371 points in 590 games.

After his retirement in 1945, Gottselig took over as head coach for the Blackhawks and took on various other roles with the club including public relations director, radio colour commenter and television play-by-play announcer.

Jim Neilson 

With a NHL career spanning 17 years, the Big River product was one of the premier First Nations players in the league’s Original Six era.  Neilson played two seasons with the SJHL Prince Albert Mintos before joining the New York Rangers for the bulk of his NHL career. In 1,023 NHL games, Neilson tallied 368 points with the Rangers, California Seals, Cleveland Barons and Edmonton Oilers.

Terry Simpson 

One of the most revered coaches in Prince Albert Raiders history, Simpson led the team to seven consecutive Anavet Cups and four Centennial Cups before joining the Western Hockey League where he lead them all the way to a Memorial Cup championship in 1985. Simpson went on to coach 338 games in the NHL for the Flyers, New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets. 

The 1982 Prince Albert Raiders

With a record of 57-3-0, the 1982 edition of the Raiders dominated the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as they went on to win both the Avavet Cup and Centennial Cup. En route to the Anavet Cup, the Raiders swept Humboldt, Swift Current and Yorkton in the playoffs before defeating Manitoba’s Fort Garry Blues 4-2 and Alberta’s St. Albert Scouts 4-1. The Raiders clinched the Centennial Cup with a yet another four-game sweep of Guelph.

Others to be inducted to the Hall of Fame on Friday include the 1972 Rosetown Redwings, official Wes Smith, builders Emile Francis and Wayne Kartush along with Bruce Clements, who will be inducted into the Grassroots category. 

The 1972 Rosetown Redwings 

With a record of 33-19-4 in 1972, the Redwings won the Einar Holtet Trophy, awarded to the No. 1 team in he Western Saskatchewan ‘A’ League. That same year, the Redwings were awarded the Senior ‘A’ provincial championship and the Edmonton Journal Trophy.

Wes Smith 

Born in Nokomis, Smith was a WHL linesman for 12 seasons, including the 1980 Memorial Cup in Regina. Smith also served as a SJHL referee for 15 years and has officiated in various national championships. 

Bruce Clements 

In his career dedicated to building the sport of hockey, Shellbrook product Clements was the president of a number of leagues including the Tri-Star Minor Hockey League, the Sask Valley Senior League, the Beaver Lakes Senior League and the Center Four Minor Hockey League.

Wayne Kartusch 

After playing competitively for the Regina Pats, Kartusch went on to coach the team’s Junior-B squad while also officiating Junior-A hockey. At the end of his coaching career, he took over the role of president of the SJHL for 26 years.

Emile Francis

Born in North Battleford, Francis became the first goaltender to use a glove when he utilized a first baseman’s mitt between the pipes. Francis played for his hometown North Battleford Junior Beavers and the Moose Jaw Canucks before moving on the professional ranks where he moved back and forth from the NHL’s New York Rangers and the American League’s New Haven Ramblers. 

sports@paherald.sk.ca 

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