(Photos courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame – www.hhof.com)(Article courtesy the OJHL website)
The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) today announced the team names for the four All-Star teams that will compete at the 2014 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge.
With a long and storied history and countless great players to select from, four alumni, all Honoured Members in the Hockey Hall of Fame, were identified and will have an All-Star Team named in their honour.
The OJHL will pay tribute to Paul Coffey, Dale Hawerchuk, Joe Nieuwendyk and Adam Oates throughout the 2014 All-Star event.
Paul Coffey played one season in 1977-78 as a 16-year old member of the North York Rangers, recording 14 goals and 47 points in 50 regular season games to finish fifth on the club in scoring. He would also play eight games that season for the OMJHL’s (now OHL) Kingston Canadians and made the full-time jump the following year after being selected first overall by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Following a 21-year NHL career that saw him set numerous records and win four Stanley Cups, Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dale Hawerchuk was a member of the Junior ‘B’ Oshawa Legionaires, now Whitby Fury, as a 15-year old in 1978-79, recording 32 goals and 84 points in just 36 games played. He joined the QMJHL’s Cornwall Royals the following year, leading them to back-to-back Memorial Cup titles in 1980-81. Following a 16-year NHL career, Hawerchuk joined the executive ranks with the now-defunct Orangeville Crushers franchise from 2007-10; also spending time as the club’s head coach. He became the Barrie Colts head coach in 2010 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Joe Nieuwendyk played one season with the then Junior ‘B’ Pickering Panthers as a 17-year old in 1983-84. The talented pivot was one of the club’s leading scorers with 30 goals and 58 points in 38 regular season contests before making the jump to the NCAA for the next three seasons as a member of the Cornell University Big Red. Following a 20-year NHL career that saw him win three Stanley Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal in 2002, Nieuwendyk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Adam Oates is arguably the greatest player in OJHL history, having played parts of three seasons with the Markham Waxers. He would record seven points in nine games as a Junior ‘B’ affiliate from the Port Credit Titans in 1979-80 before making the full-time jump to Markham the following year and becoming a dominant offensive force in the league. Oates finished second in league scoring with 89 points in 43 games during the 1980-81 season, before smashing the league records in 1981-82 with 105 assists and 159 points in 47 games. Both remain the league standard today. After three years at RPI, Oates spent the next 19-years in the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
The fourth annual All-Star Showcase event is being hosted for the second time by the OJHL and will take place from November 14-16 at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto (Etobicoke), Ontario.
The annual weekend was created as a competitive alternative to the annual league All-Star Games and debuted in 2011, hosted by the CCHL’s Smiths Falls Bears. The uniquely formatted tournament is played with two 20 minute halves (instead of three periods), focusing on high-paced and intense action.
This year’s event will feature nine teams from four leagues with the breakdown as follows:
• CCHL – 2 teams
• NOJHL – 1 team
• OJHL – 4 teams
• QJHL – 2 teams
For more information on the 2014 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge, please visit the OJHL website at www.ojhl.ca and follow the links.