The Kamloops Blazers franchise will be well represented at the 2013 B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame gala tonight in Penticton. Kamloops native and Blazers co-owner Mark Recchi will be inducted along with the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Memorial Cup winning teams.
The 1993-94 and 1994-95 teams were led by General Manager Bob Brown and Head Coach Don Hay who were instrumental in assembling the dynasty. Brown was the Blazers General Manager from 1986-1995 while Hay started with the Blazers in 1986 as an Assistant Coach and continued as the Head Coach from 1992-95. Other key staff members included Assistant Coaches Terry Bangen and Ed Dempsey.
The Blazers have a proud and storied history with six WHL Championships and three Memorial Cups. The Blazers dynasty included winning three Memorial Cups in a four year span (1992, 1994, 1995). Some memorable names that were a part of these teams include Darcy Tucker, Ryan Huska, Tyson Nash, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, Hnat Domenichelli, Aaron Keller, Nolan Baumgartner and Jason Strudwick.
Many former Blazers from these teams have gone on to great success in the hockey world. Doan and Iginla are still marquee players in the NHL. Huska is the Head Coach of the Kelowna Rockets. Following an NHL playing career, Nash is a TV Analyst on the Phoenix Coyotoes broadcasts. Following an NHL playing career, Tucker is now a Hockey Agent. Domenichelli and Keller continue to play professionally overseas. Baumgartner has recently retired from a long pro career in the NHL and AHL and is now the Associate Head Coach of the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. Strudwick also recently retired from a career in the NHL and AHL and has his own radio show in Edmonton.
"This is quite the honour for the franchise to see the 1994 and 1995 Memorial Cup teams get recognized by the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame," commented Vice President / General Manager and former player Craig Bonner. "The Blazers have such a rich history and we are very proud of the past successes of this franchise."
Mark Recchi is likely the best athlete ever born and raised in Kamloops. He had a tremendous NHL career that spanned 22 seasons and collected three Stanley Cups with three different teams over his career. Recchi also competed in the 1998 Olympics with Canada. The former NHL star was selected to seven NHL All-Star games and capped his NHL career off winning the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011.
Recchi's WHL career started with the New Westminster Bruins before being traded to his hometown Blazers. Recchi suited up with the Blazers for the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons having his #8 retired by the team shortly after his NHL career began.
Some notable NHL career records that Recchi has accomplished include 4th all-time in games played with 1652 behind Gordie Howe (1767), Mark Messier (1756) and Ron Francis (1731). He is 19th all-time in goals with 577, 14th all-time with 956 assists and 12th all-time in points with 1533.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)