• Marcus Bender

Dale Hawerchuk, Legend

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

He won the Faceoff. You know which Faceoff I’m talking about. The Faceoff.

1987, in his own zone, the score all tied at 5-5. The Greatest Team Ever Assembled, facing off against the other Greatest Team Ever Assembled. Canada versus Russia, at the height of the Cold War.

This game was about more than ‘just hockey’. This game was about a way of life.

This game was about the most important question to the average Canadian: Which country was the best at hockey?

Canada won that game of course. Dale Hawerchuk is who we’re talking about. Most people will remember Gretzky and Lemieux; but without Hawerchuk, none of that would have been possible.

Dale Hawerchuk will live on forever as the answer to the trivia question, and the architect of the goal; one of the most iconic goals in Canadian Hockey History.

Who knows what would have happened to hockey, to Canada, if Dale Hawerchuk hadn’t won that Faceoff. It is almost unthinkable. Our country might not have retained our Title. This is simply inconceivable. Our country, and our Great Game, owe Dale Hawerchuk an enormous thanks.

Dale Hawerchuk is a Legend in every respect of the word. He is a Legend for hockey, he is a Legend for Canada.

In the era he played he was sometimes over-shadowed by Gretzky and Lemieux, it’s hard to really appreciate Dale Hawerchuk, but we should. He is a quintessential Canadian. He started skating at the age of 2. His father once said, “he was skating before he could walk.”.

It's hard to imagine anyone more Canadian than that.

He is a Legend for Canada no doubt about that; but he is especially a Legend for the Winnipeg Jets.

It was 39 years ago almost to the day, back on a sunny summer day in 1981, when Dale Hawerchuk was unveiled to the city of Winnipeg. Right on the corner of Portage and Main, and Winnipeg has been in love ever since. If you grew up in the city of Winnipeg in the 80s, it is impossible you didn’t hear about “Ducky”, “Mr. Winnipeg Jet”.

He was the first 18-year-old to score over 100 points in a season (only Sir Sidney himself has matched that). He sits at 20th all-time in scoring. He finished first in Jets’ scoring for nine consecutive seasons.

He scored over 100 points six times in his career, and over 40 goals seven times.

But perhaps the biggest gift he brought to the Jets' Organization was a 48-point improvement the year he was drafted. To this day the single-biggest season improvement for a team in history.

He came to the Franchise, and he saved the City.

Winnipeg remembers Dale Hawerchuk.

Canada remembers Dale Hawerchuk.

The Great Game of Hockey remembers Dale Hawerchuk.

He was a class act in every respect of the word, and he will be greatly missed.

Flames' Forward Andrew Magniapane who played under Coach Hawerchuk in recent years said:

“Dale was a great man, I don’t know where I’d be without him."

Winnipeg, Canada, and Hockey all feel the same way.

It is an honour to be able to remember and celebrate the life of a veritable Legend.

Dale Hawerchuk, #10. Legend of the Game.


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