The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame announced Thursday that the 1994-95 Kamloops Blazers will be among its inductees in 2016.
The class of 2016 features 11 individuals and one team, that being the Blazers who that season won their third Memorial Cup championship in four seasons.
The 1994-95 Blazers, under the guidance of general manager Bob Brown and head coach coach Don Hay, went 52-14-6
in the WHL’s regular season and 15-6 in the playoffs. They went on to win the Memorial Cup at home, winning all four of their games, including an 8-2 victory over the OHL’s Detroit Jr. Red Wings in the tournament’s final game.
Brown represented the Blazers at the news conference at the Hall of Fame in Vancouver yesterday.
Brown also was the general manager of the 1991-92 and 1993-94 Blazers, both of whom won Memorial Cups. Neither of those teams is in the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
This will be the Hall of Fame’s 50th induction class. The formal inductions will take place at the Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre on June 9.
Also being honoured will be athletes Dave Barr (golf), Dave Cutler (football), Geri Donnelly (soccer), Steve Nash (basketball), and Carl Valentine (soccer).
Wally Buono (football), Diane Clement (athletics) and Allison McNeill (basketball) will be inducted in the coach-builder category.
Harry Manson (soccer) is to be inducted in the pioneer category, with Wendy Long going into the hall in the media category.
Arthur Griffiths has been selected to receive the W.A.C. Bennett Award.
On the ice, the latest edition of the Blazers, also with Hay as head coach, opens a six-game East Division road trip against the Saskatoon Blades tonight.
The Blazers (12-10-4) are coming off two home-ice losses — 3-2 in OT to the Portland Winterhawks and 5-4 to the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Blades (10-15-3) have lost four in a row and are 2-8-0 in their past 10 outings.
On Thursday, the Blades acquired goaltender Evan Smith, 18, from the Victoria Royals for a third-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. In the deal, the Blades also get fifth- and ninth-round selections in the 2016 bantam draft.
The Blades then traded goaltender Jake Morrissey, 18, to the Vancouver Giants for a seventh-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft.
However, Smith isn’t expected in Saskatoon until Monday. So the Blades have added Dorrin Luding, 16, from the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who play out of Prince George. Luding was a third-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. Luding will back up starter Brock Hamm through the weekend.
You can bet, too, that this is more than just a game to the owners of the Kamloops and Saskatoon franchises.
You will recall that Tom Gaglardi and his then-River City Hockey group purchased the Blazers from the Kamloops Blazers Sports Society during the summer of 2007. While those negotiations were ongoing, Edmonton-based businessman Mike Priestner surfaced with an offer to purchase the Blazers, something that didn’t sit well with the RCH bunch.
Gaglardi and former Blazers players Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, Mark Recchi and Darryl Sydor ended up owning the Blazers. Priestner purchased the Blades from the Brodsky family prior to the 2014-15 season.