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Oshawa City Council names park after former resident, NHL player Dale Hawerchuk
Former NHL player Dale Hawerchuk has succumb to his battle with cancer, and passed away August 18, 2020. The former Winnipeg Jets superstar and longtime Barrie Colts head coach, died at age 57. Hawerchuk is a decorated hockey legend who grew up in Oshawa. Before drawing the attention of scouts, Mr. Hawerchuk attended Woodcrest Public School and later Donevan High School and made his mark on local hockey as a leading member of Oshawa Minor Hockey Association, Oshawa Legionaires and Oshawa Kinsmen teams.
Earlier this year, Oshawa City Council approved the naming of a future Oshawa park that will be located on a portion of the former Donevan High School site as “Dale Hawerchuk Park.” The motion was introduced by Regional and City Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri during the May 25, 2020 Council Meeting, and was unanimously approved by Council. Having always been a hockey town, the city’s cultural identity is closely linked to the game and its life lessons: discipline, teamwork, respect, communication and humility, all of which Mr. Hawerchuk exemplifies.
“Having a neighbourhood park named after such a high-quality person and athlete who was raised in the area is the epitome of a park-naming,” said Councillor Kerr, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “As Dale Hawerchuk is a valued member of the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame, it is with great pleasure that the Hall’s Board of Governors and myself, as the Mayor’s representative on the Board, heartily endorse this fine honour for Mr. Hawerchuk.”
In the 1979 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Q.M.J.H.L.) Draft, Mr. Hawerchuk was the first round pick of the Cornwall Royals. In two seasons with the Royals, Mr. Hawerchuk was named Rookie of the Year, Playoff M.V.P., Most Sportsmanlike Player, a Q.M.J.H.L. First Team All-Star, Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year and brought home two Memorial Cups.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Hawerchuk was the first overall pick of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. During his 16 season professional career, Mr. Hawerchuk played for the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and the Philadelphia Flyers before retiring after the 1996-1997 season. During his tenure, Mr. Hawerchuck was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy in his first season as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year and participated in five NHL All-Star Games. Despite hanging up his skates over 20 years ago, Mr. Hawerchuk still holds a place in the top 20 NHL Career Point Leaders.
“Dale Hawerchuk is by definition a ‘Hometown Hero’ always demonstrating teamwork, sportsmanship & respect both on & off the ice. An excellent example for our young people & I thank him for his contribution to our ‘hockey city,’” said Councillor Chapman, Ward 3 Regional & City Councillor.
No stranger to international ice, Mr. Hawerchuk represented Canada five times at the World Junior Hockey Championships, three times at the World Championships and twice at the Canada Cup, first in 1987 where he was named the team’s M.V.P. in the deciding game over Russia and once again in 1991.
Mr. Hawerchuk was inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. He continued his passion for the game by sharing his knowledge and strategy as the longest-serving Head Coach of the Barrie Colts Junior A team, spending nine years behind the bench, six of which included playoff runs.
“During his 16 year NHL career, Dale Hawerchuk embodied the spirit of poise, resilience and hard work, which is a true reflection of the community he grew up in. Oshawa, and especially Ward 3, are proud of Dale, his accomplishments and look forward to enjoying a future park named in his honour on the former site of Donevan High School. Congratulations Dale,” said Councillor Marks, Ward 3 City Councillor.
Dale Hawerchuk Park will be a feature in the new Symphony Towns development, located off Harmony Road South. It is anticipated that the Park will be opened in 2022.
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