Dale Hawerchuk, a hockey phenom who became the face of the Winnipeg Jets en route to the Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 57 after a battle with cancer.
The Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, a team Hawerchuk coached, confirmed the death on Twitter on Tuesday.
“After an incredibly brave and difficult battle with cancer, our dad has passed away. My family is so proud of him and the way he fought. #HawerchukStrong,” Eric Hawerchuk, one of Dale’s sons, wrote on Twitter.
After an incredibly brave and difficult battle with cancer, our dad has passed away. My family is so proud of him and the way he fought. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HawerchukStrong?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HawerchukStrong</a> <a href=”https://t.co/xZ1xcaqAOv”>pic.twitter.com/xZ1xcaqAOv</a>
A teenage star, Dale Hawerchuk was drafted first overall by the Jets in 1981. He went on to play nine seasons in Winnipeg and five in Buffalo before finishing up his distinguished 16-year NHL career with stints in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Hawerchuk recorded 518 goals and 1,409 points in 1,188 regular-season games (he added 30 more goals and 99 assists in 97 playoff games).
“A low-maintenance superstar,” said Craig Heisinger, Winnipeg’s senior vice-president and director of hockey operations.
At five-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Hawerchuk wasn’t blessed with size or blistering speed. But the five-time all-star had a knack of getting to loose pucks and then creating something out of nothing. Hawerchuk could breeze past opponents and knew what to do when he neared the goal.
Hawerchuk had been battling stomach cancer. In September 2019, he took a leave of absence from coaching the Colts to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
“For some reason, the Lord put me in this kind of fight, and I’m ready to fight it,” he told TSN in October 2019. “I want to live to tell the story.”
Eric Hawerchuk said in July on Twitter that the cancer had returned after his dad completed chemotherapy in April.
Coached Mark Scheifele in Barrie
Dale Hawerchuk, the longest-serving coach in Colts history, was going into his 10th season behind Barrie’s bench. He had led the Colts to the playoffs in six of his nine previous seasons.
At Barrie, Hawerchuk coached the likes of Aaron Ekblad, Mark Scheifele, Tanner Pearson and Ryan Suzuki.
Born April 4, 1963, in Toronto, Hawerchuk grew up in nearby Oshawa, Ont., getting his first pair of skates at age two and playing competitively at four. As a peewee, he broke Guy Lafleur’s record by scoring all eight goals in an 8-1 victory in the final of a tournament in Montreal.
At 15, he was offered a tryout by the Oshawa Generals. He ended up playing instead for the Oshawa Legionaires in the Metro Jr. B Hockey League in 1978-79.
Some 23 years later, he remembered his Oshawa days during his 2001 induction speech at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I started my career just down the road in Oshawa here, maybe a 45-minute drive — well, maybe a little further now with the traffic,” he said. “I had many dreams and aspirations to make the National Hockey League. And I was very fortunate I got to live those dreams for 16 years in the National Hockey League.”
“I enjoyed every city and organization I played in.”
Hawerchuk was highly touted coming into junior and was drafted sixth overall by the Cornwall Royals, who then played in the Quebec league but took part in the Ontario draft.
Hawerchuk led the Royals to back-to-back Memorial Cups in 1980 and ’81 with teammates who included Scott Arniel, Marc Crawford, Dan Daoust and Doug Gilmour.
Hawerchuk was named Memorial Cup MVP in 1981 when he set a tournament record with eight goals and tied another with 13 points.
He collected 103 points in being named the QMJHL’s top rookie. The next season, as a 17-year-old, he led the Quebec league in goals (81), assists (102) and points (183) when he was named Canadian major junior player of the year.
A grateful John Ferguson drafted Hawerchuk in 1981. Hawerchuk went to Winnipeg as an 18-year-old and spent nine years there, saying he felt like he grew up in the Manitoba capital.
The Jets had finished last in the league prior to drafting Hawerchuk, who signed his first pro contract before a bevy of Manitoba notables, including the mayor at the corner of Portage and Main, after arriving in a Brinks truck.
Youngest to score 100 points
He did not disappoint. The teenager scored 45 goals and collected 103 points, was named rookie of the year — the youngest recipient at the time — and led Winnipeg to a 48-point improvement, the largest single-season turnaround in the NHL.
He was the youngest player in NHL history to reach 100 points, a record broken by Sidney Crosby in 2006. No wonder his early career came with comparisons to Wayne Gretzky.
“He has the same instincts, that puck sense, of Gretzky,” said Mike Doran, Winnipeg’s director of player personnel in 1981.
In 1987, Hawerchuk made history with Gretzky at the Canada Cup in Hamilton. He won the faceoff in his own end that led to a Gretzky-Mario Lemieux rush and Lemieux’s famous winning goal in a 6-5 victory that decided the tightly contested three-game series.
“It turned out fantastic,” said Hawerchuk, who often answered Canada’s call.
When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Jets were no more (the team was revived in Winnipeg in 2011). But he said the Jets “are etched in my mind every day that I live.”
The franchise moved to Phoenix in 1996 and became the Coyotes. Eleven years later, Hawerchuk joined Bobby Hull and Thomas Steen on the Coyotes’ ring of honour.
Hawerchuk rewrote the Jets record book before being traded to Buffalo during the 1990 NHL draft. As an unrestricted free agent, Hawerchuk signed with the St. Louis Blues in 1995 before being dealt to Philadelphia whom he helped to the Stanley Cup final in 1996-97 season, his final season.
Slowed down by a hip issue, he retired at the age of 34.
A shy type, Hawerchuk said he savoured the moments with his teammates in the privacy of the dressing room the most.
“It’s a real special feeling, and nobody can take that from you,” he said.
Only missed playoffs once
Hawerchuk missed the playoffs only once — in 1988-89 with Winnipeg — during his NHL career.
He averaged more than a point-per-game for 13 consecutive seasons, becoming the 23rd player to reach the 500-goal plateau in 1995-96 and the 31st player to record 1,000 points in 1990-91.
He was also the first NHLer to play in his 1,000th career game before his 31st birthday.
Hawerchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 along with Viacheslav Fetisov, Mike Gartner and Jari Kurri in the player category.
“It’s like going back down memory lane,” he said in his induction speech.
“All the experiences have been fantastic. I mean, sometimes they didn’t feel so great. You had your highs and lows. But when I look back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing.… Even though I didn’t win a Stanley Cup, I still wouldn’t change a thing. I think to ask for more would be greedy.”
Hawerchuk was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in November 2011.
Known as Ducky by his teammates, Hawerchuk was inducted into the Jets’ Hall of Fame prior to their game against the visiting Arizona Coyotes in November 2017.
“Tonight, we fly Ducky’s number high,” said a tribute video, to the sounds of Mötley Crüe’s Home Sweet Home, before his No. 10 was raised to the rafters.
“Please welcome home perhaps the greatest Jet of all time,” said the PA announcer.
Hawerchuk played 713 games as a Jet, recording 379 goals and 929 points. He also served five seasons as captain.
“I’ve been to every part of [Manitoba], either golfing or playing [softball],” Hawerchuk said. “I’ve gotten to see Manitobans, seen their passion not only for their province and the game of hockey but their passion for the Jets. I’m honoured, and I’m very humbled.”
Hawerchuk was the fourth member of the Jets Hall of Fame, joining Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson and Bobby Hull, who all played for the team during its World Hockey Association days.
The durable Hawerchuk played in 75 or more regular-season games in each of his first 13 NHL campaigns. After retiring, he became part of the ownership group of the Tier II junior Orangeville Crushers, stepping behind the bench in 2007 prior to joining Barrie.
Jays win big, magic number is 1 – Bluebird Banter
Our magic number is now 1. A win tomorrow (or in any of our last four games) would put us into the playoffs.
It is nice when the other team forgets how to play baseball. The Yankees made 4 official errors and a few unofficial ones. They were just playing bad baseball all night.
We got a good start from Bob Rae (as much as it hurts the old man in me to say that 4+ innings is a good start). Through four innings he allowed just 2 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts. There was an unearned run against him, scoring on a passed ball (he and Jansen got crossed up, Ray threw a fastball, Jansen thought something bendy was coming). He went to full counts too much, but he kept the Yankees off the bases.
Ray allowed a walk and a single to start off the fifth and that was it. A.J. Cole came in a gave up a walk to load the bases. Looking at the final score, it doesn’t seem like there should have been a big moment of the game on the pitching side, but this was a big moment. We were up 5-1 with Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Viot and Gleyber Torres coming up. But Cole got a strikeout, popout and fly out. It was nice to see because Cole has had a rough time of it lately.
Ross Stripling pitched the last four inning, giving up just 1 hit with 1 strikeout. He gets a save on a game we won by 13.
The MLB record for greatest run differential in a save is 27: Wes Littleton was given a save for his three innings of effective relief in the Rangers’ 30-3 win against the Orioles. https://t.co/E1I8CfV58u
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) September 24, 2020
We scored 2 in the first, 1 in the third, 2 in the fourth, 8 in the sixth and 1 in the eighth. Our hitters:
- Cavan Biggio was 2 for 5 with a walk, double and 2 RBI.
- Bo Bichette was 2 for 4, with 2 walks, double, 2 RBI (he had 3 walks on the season before tonight).
- Teoscar Hernandez 1 or 4.
- Randal Grichuk 1 for 4, 1 walk, 1 RBI.
- Vladimir Guerrero was 2 for 5, double, 3 RBI. He had an interesting night. He misjudged a popup in the first inning. Thankfully it didn’t cost us a run. He drew a pick off throw from Gary Sanchez, by taking a few steps towards second on a strike and Sanchez threw wide of first, getting us a free run. Then an crushed RBI double in third, an RBI ground out. And he made a very nice play, again a going a long way off first to get a ball, but Stripling got to the bag at first in plenty of time, and Vlad made a nice throw hitting the moving target.
- Lourdes Gurriel was 3 for 5 with an RBI.
- Travis Shaw was 1 for 5 with an RBI.
- Joe Panik only managed a walk.
- Danny Jansen hit 2 home runs on a 4 for 4 night, with 3 RBI. Yes, one of the home runs was off Yankees’ catcher Erik Kratz (but it still counts).
Jays of the Day: Cole (.119 WPA), Vlad (.190) and Jansen (.107).
No Suckage Jays. Shaw had the low mark at -.063.
Tomorrow is our last game of this four game series against the Yankees and then we have a weekend series against the Orioles to end the season.
We had 847 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory (and I didn’t even have a beer tonight). But I did have a nice day. I took a drive out in the country and saw the changing of the colours, while avoiding the news for a day. I’d say it was a mental health day, but there really is no mental health left.
Lightning’s Stamkos secures place in Cup lore with Game 3 goal vs. Stars – Sportsnet.ca
EDMONTON — Seven seconds.
That’s how much time the puck spent on Steven Stamkos’s stick blade on this night, and perhaps that’s all it will spend there throughout the entirety of this Tampa Bay Lightning playoff run.
That’s all the hard-luck captain needed to secure his place in Stanley Cup lore. Seven freaking seconds.
Somehow, after spending 60 days as a practice-only player inside the NHL bubble and going 210 days between games, Stamkos scored the biggest goal of a career overflowing with them.
He was in full stride down the right boards when Victor Hedman hit him in the neutral zone. He blew past Esa Lindell, who defended the play poorly and managed to settle a bouncing puck in time to tuck it up under the crossbar behind Anton Khudobin.
The Lightning bench exploded. Jon Cooper said the reaction was “just a little bit louder” than any of the others during a playoff run that has included five overtime goals. The coach saw it as a sign his team wouldn’t be denied, and they weren’t while grabbing a 2-1 series lead over the Dallas Stars with a 5-2 victory Wednesday.
“It was pretty damn cool,” said Cooper.
Stamkos called it a dream come true.
Forget the unfortunate timing of the injuries that have cost him big playoff games and a chance at playing for Team Canada at the Olympics in recent years. Just being trapped inside the bubble with no guarantee of playing would be agony for someone who has given as much to the Lightning as Stamkos.
And then to get in for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, and only be able to play five shifts and score on one of them after not playing for seven months?
Hollywood might not accept that script.
“At this time of the year, you want to do anything you can to help your team win,” said Stamkos. “I’ve watched these guys be so committed to what our end goal is, and to be part of it tonight, it was a dream come true and I’m so proud of these guys. And to be able to share that moment with them and just even be on the bench and watch how well we played tonight, I have told these guys before: It’s inspiring.
“It was great to be part of.”
Quickly, the backstory: Stamkos underwent core muscle surgery on March 2 and was supposed to be recovered in time for the second round of a normal playoffs. Then we had the COVID-19 pause, he had some kind of setback while preparing for the NHL’s return to play and the Lightning have gone on a run without him.
But he’s remained a large figure in the shadows.
You could see him dousing Brayden Point with water after he scored a quintuple overtime goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1 and he was summoned to the ice to help the Lightning accept the Prince of Wales Trophy after they eliminated the New York Islanders.
Everything he had to endure in order to even play for two minutes 41 seconds of Wednesday’s game has happened behind the walls. And based on the fact he sat on the bench while not taking a shift for the final 46 minutes here suggests we might not see him in uniform again for the rest of this series.
So that goal? That was something.
“He’s worked extremely hard to get back to a spot where he could play,” said Brayden Point. “Just seeing him day in and day out — the positivity that he brings, and the leadership that he brings. It’s nice to see him work that hard to get back into the lineup. And then to score one? It’s pretty inspirational for everyone.”
Added Victor Hedman: “This is how much he means to us as a teammate and as a leader and as a friend. We were just super happy for him.”
Stamkos played six games against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Final and didn’t manage to score. In this situation, the Lightning put him on the fourth line alongside Cedric Paquette (zero goals this playoffs) and Pat Maroon (one goal this playoffs) and he produced one in limited minutes before his injury forced him to become a spectator.
What happens next will determine what this means historically.
But what it meant to Stamkos and the Lightning won’t change no matter what. He’s only going to get so many chances like this one.
“It was amazing to be a part of a huge win for us,” he said. “I was just really happy to obviously contribute in a game that I didn’t play too much.”
This was a kid who used to go to shooting school twice per week and fire 500 pucks per session. That’s a skill that endured the injuries, the layoff, everything.
It made this moment possible.
New York Mets vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 9/23/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction – Sports Chat Place
Tampa Bay Rays (36-19) at New York Mets (24-30)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm (Citi Field)
Tyler Glasnow (4-1) (4.21) vs. Michael Wacha (1-3) (6.75)
The Line: New York Mets +190 / Tampa Bay Rays -210 — Over/Under:
Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets meet Wednesday in MLB action from Citi Field.
This will be the third and final installment in a three-game series between the Mets and Rays this week. Tampa Bay landed the first blow with a 2-1 win on Monday. In the Tuesday game two, the Mets were able to strike back with a 5-2 victory of their own. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
The Rays posted just five hits to the Mets’ 10 in the Tuesday loss, and could only come up with a pair of runs. Willy Adames put up a solo homer with two runs for Tampa Bay in that one, and starting pitcher Blake Snell took the loss with 5.2 innings, three earned runs, six hits, three walks and nine strikouts.
For the Wednesday starting pitcher outing, Tampa Bay will go with Tyler Glasnow. In his 10 starts this year, Glasnow has a 4-1 record with a 4.21 ERA and 83 Ks in 51.1 innings. Over his MLB career, Glasnow is 14-18 with a 4.46 ERA and 375 Ks in 309.0 innings.
Over on the Mets’ side, starting pitcher Seth Lugo put up 6.1 innings in a win on Tuesday with four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and seven strikeouts. Pete Alonso slapped a homer with three RBI and two hits on the night.
In the Wednesday game three starter job, the Mets are going with Michael Wacha. In his seven games (six starts) this year, Wacha is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA and 33 Ks in 28.0 innings. Across his MLB career, Wacha is 60-42 with a 4.00 ERA and 792 Ks in 895.2 innings of work.
The Rays are 12-2 in their last 14 games following a loss and 4-1 in their last five Wednesday games. Tampa Bay is 18-6 in their last 24 road games and 12-4 in their last 16 games as a road favorite.
Meanwhile, the Mets are 14-3 in their last 17 Wednesday games and 2-5 in their last seven home games. New York is 6-16 in their last 22 games as an underdog and 24-53 in their last 77 games as a home underdog.
Pick: Going Rays again here. There aren’t a lot of teams I’d pick over Tampa Bay right now; they’re just cooking. Glasnow has been great lately as well, with at least seven strikeouts in each of his last seven starts. In all likelihood, this will be Glasnow’s final start before the playoffs begin, and he’s got a nice opportunity to help the Rays put one of the final nails in the Mets’ 2020 season coffin.
Tampa Bay Rays -210
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