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Hall calls for seven: Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador adding seven to HOF

Ryane Clowe (29), who played a decade in the NHL with three teams starting with the San Jose Sharks, is one of seven people who will be inducted into Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador's Hall of Fame on June 9.
Ryane Clowe (29), who played a decade in the NHL with three teams starting with the San Jose Sharks, is one of seven people who will be inducted into Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador's Hall of Fame on June 9. - Associated Press/File

Ryane Clowe, Dan Cormier, Bonnie Evans, Jim Heale, Bob Jackman, Kevin Morrison and Cec Thomas will be inducted iin June

The Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame will increase by seven with the induction of seven new members Saturday, June 9 in Gander.

Hall of Fame chairman Gerry Evans of Mount Pearl announced that athletes Ryane Clowe, Dan Cormier, Jim Heale, Kevin Morrison and Cec Thomas, athlete-builder Bob Jackman and builder Bonnie Evans will be inducted during Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting and awards banquet at the Albatross Hotel.

As always, Gerry Evans encourages more nominations for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Anyone can nominate an individual by merely logging on to https://hockeynl.ca/hockey-hall-of-fame/ and filling out a nomination form.

Members of the Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame selection committee are chairman Evans, Don Bradshaw of Corner Brook, Jack Lee of Petty Harbour, Robin Short of St. John’s and Hughie Wadden of Buchans.

RYANE CLOWE

A Fermeuse native who grew up in Mount Pearl, Clowe enjoyed a 12-year professional career, 10 of those spent in the National Hockey League.

Following a four-year Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career, Clowe turned pro and played two years in the American Hockey League before breaking into the NHL in 2005-06. His 561 career NHL games are fourth-most amongst Newfoundlanders. His scoring stats read 130 career goals, and 355 career points.

During a four-year span between the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Clowe was one of the league’s most effective wingers, bringing a combination of toughness, leadership and scoring to the Sharks, averaging 20 goals, 54 points and 94 penalty minutes.

After getting traded to the New York Rangers and later signing as a free agent with the New Jersey Devils, Clowe’s playing career was cut short in 2014-15 due to concussions.

He’s currently an assistant coach with the Devils.

DAN CORMIER

Cormier was the preeminent power forward in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League during the 1980s.

A native of New Brunswick, Cormier was a cornerstone on the Corner Brook Royals for five seasons, helping the club win a trio of Herder Memorial Trophy championships and an Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championship.

The Royals won the Herder his first two years in Corner Brook — 1985 and ’86 — and the Allan Cup his second season. He finished third overall in league scoring both those years.

Cormier, who would captain the Royals, was the provincial senior league’s MVP in 1988. He finished his senior league career with 182 goals and 203 assists for 385 points in only 178 games, good for 27th place on the all-time senior hockey scoring list. His 566 penalty minutes are 11th all-time.

Cormier shined on the national stage, scoring 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points in Allan Cup play, good for a second-place tie with teammate Tony Cuomo on the all-time list for players on Newfoundland hockey teams. He’s easily No. 1 in penalty minutes with 178.

In the Newfoundland senior league, Cormier is 11th all-time in penalty minutes.

BONNIE EVANS

Evans, from Mount Pearl, is considered one of the behind-the-scenes driving forces for the development of female hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador.

After getting her start with the Mount Pearl Hockey Moms Association, Evans eventually rose to become the female chair for Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, remaining in the position for 10 years.

During her tenure, the number of females playing the game increased from a couple hundred in pockets around the island to over 2,000, judging by the most recent registration numbers.

In the early 2000s, the first under-15 female provincial team which played was formed out of a two-team setup, where the girls played each other every Sunday night. The following year, a U12 league was formed from several associations, and within two years, there were enough associations with female-only teams to have a provincial tournament.

A female director with Mount Pearl hockey before joining HNL, where she would become female zone coordinator, Evans oversaw the HNL female committee grow from a group of five in the early days to the present day that sees all minor associations sending a representative to both the provincial annual general and fall meetings.

JIM HEALE

Heale formed one-third of one of the best scoring trios in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League during the mid-to-late 1970s and early ’80s, skating on the right wing with centre Randy Pearcey and left-winger Charlie Babstock, both Hall of Famers, on the Labatt BlueCaps.

Heale grew up in St. John’s, and attended Brother Rice High School, but did not play high school hockey.

Upon graduation, he toiled for two seasons with the Junior Brickbats, as a defenceman. When he tried out and made the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s St. John’s Capitals, coach Bob Badcock converted Heale into a winger, and a star was born.

He would win three Herder Memorial Trophy titles, and establish himself as one of the top scorers in the league. He played two seasons with the Caps, winning Herders in 1974-75 and 1975-76, and then toiled for five seasons with the BlueCaps.

Heale played in 1981-82 with Mike’s Shamrocks and closed out his senior career with the Caps in 1982-83.

A strong two-way player who was hard on the puck, Heale finished fourth in league scoring in 1977-78 (32-32-64), the year the BlueCaps won the Herder, and fifth in league scoring in both 1978-79 (34-24-58) and 1980-81 (26-22-48).

Heale is 40th in all-time senior league scoring with 163 goals, 146 assists for 309 points in 191 games, and 38th all-time in playoff scoring with 34 goals, 22 assists and 56 points.

BOB JACKMAN

Jackman, a St. John’s native, was a star player before going on to coach many elite teams.

A standout high school player with the Bro. Rice Celtics, Jackman starred in junior hockey with the Brickbats and St. John’s Junior Caps, along with Claude Brown’s Gander Junior Flyers. He also toiled with the Brockville, Ont., Braves for one season.

Following junior hockey, Jackman skated for the St. John’s Capitals before moving to British Columbia and suiting up for the Port Alberni Islanders in the B.C. senior amateur league.

After returning home, he played four years of provincial senior hockey with the Caps and Shamrocks. In 1982, the Grand Falls Cataracts added Jackman to their roster for the Allan Cup.

Jackman was also an outstanding coach, helping Celtics win back-to-back provincial bantam Purolator Cup championships. In 1988-89, he was coach of the host St. John’s team which competed in the national Air Canada Cup midget championship at Memorial Stadium.

Moving from the minor ranks into junior, Jackman led the Junior 50s to three straight St. John’s junior championships and won three coach of the year awards. He was also the top coach in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League in 1993-94 with Outer Cove.

In 1995, Jackman was head coach of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Canada Winter Games men’s hockey team, a squad which included future NHLers Daniel Cleary and Harold Druken, along with Keith Delaney and Jeff Sullivan, who also would be NHL draft picks.

His final year of coaching came in 1998-99, when he led the St. John’s Maple Leafs to the provincial midget championship and his second Atlantic Air Canada Cup championship appearance.

Jackman passed away in 2004, one day after his 50th birthday.

KEVIN MORRISON

Few messed around with the big, hard-hitting defenceman, but there was more to this Sydney, N.S., native’s game than physicality.

Prior to arriving in Newfoundland in 1981-82, the start of an eight-year Newfoundland Senior Hockey League career, all with the Stephenville Jets, Morrison played six seasons in the old World Hockey Association where he once (with the 1974-75 San Diego Mariners) hit the 81-point plateau. During his time in the WHA, in which he was an all-star, Morrison also played with the Indianapolis Racers, and drew the lone assist on the first pro goal scored by a 17-year-old Racers forward by the name of Wayne Gretzky.

Morrison closed out his pro career in 1979-80, suiting up for 41 games for the NHL’s Colorado Rockies.

Morrison’s arrival in Stephenville was the start of something special. He would win two Herder Memorial Trophy championships in Stephenville, and would eventually become the Jets’ player/coach.

A big, tough, imposing figure on the ice, Morrison showed there was more to his game by scoring 76 goals and 177 assists for 253 points in 266 games. His points total places him fourth on the all-time list for defencemen in the provincial senior rinks, behind only George Faulkner, Hubert Hutton and Nigel Facey, Hall of Famers all.

CEC THOMAS

He wasn’t the biggest defenceman in the game, but Cec Thomas sure played big as a member of the Grand Falls Andcos which won five straight Herder Memorial Trophy championships from 1955-59.

Captain of his Grand Falls Academy high school team, Thomas played forward but was moved back to defence in his second season of high school hockey by coach Walter Clarke.

Despite his diminutive size, he remained on the blueline for the remainder of his career.

While still in high school, Thomas made the Grand Falls junior all-stars as a 14-year-old, and played his first game of senior hockey as a 17-year-old.

Just two years after breaking into the senior ranks, Thomas was selected for the Grand Falls all-stars by coach Wes ‘Bucko’ Trainor, where he was a mainstay on the blueline.

For three straight years, he won the top defenceman award in the Grand Falls senior circuit.

After retiring, he went on to coach the Grand Falls Academy high school team, and the Grand Falls juniors in provincial competition. He also helped out behind the bench with the senior Cataracts.

At the executive level, he served as central vice-president on the provincial junior hockey committee, and was vice-president and a director on the Grand Falls Minor Hockey Association.

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