Hockey world mourns the death of NHL legend Dale Hawerchuk

Kyle Cantlon
·Editor
·4 mins read
The screens at Rogers Place honour NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk prior to the the start of Game 5 between the Flames and Stars on Tuesday. (Getty)
The screens at Rogers Place honour NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk prior to the the start of Game 5 between the Flames and Stars on Tuesday. (Getty)

The hockey world is collectively mourning the death of former NHL star Dale Hawerchuk, who died after a battle with cancer, his family announced Tuesday.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, Hawerchuk was beloved across the hockey world, but especially in Winnipeg, where he spent nine of his 16 NHL seasons, putting up 929 points over 713 regular-season games in a Jets uniform. Hawerchuk was selected first overall by the Jets in the 1981 NHL Draft.

After five very productive campaigns with the Buffalo Sabres, where he was once again better than a point-per-game player, Hawerchuk wound down the final couple years of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues, before eventually becoming the head coach of the OHL’s Barrie Colts in 2010 and held that post for nearly a decade until his death.

Hawerchuk was recently re-diagnosed with cancer after successfully completing chemotherapy treatments in April following his first battle with stomach cancer.

Though he’s generally seen as one of the more under-appreciated superstars that’s ever played, it’s pretty been known just what a special talent on the ice Hawerchuk was. As thoughts and sentiments rolled in on social media throughout the day and evening on Tuesday, it’s become more clear the impact Hawerchuk has had on a deeper, personal level with so many who have crossed his path, too.

Media personalities, players, coaches and executives — all, it seems — have nothing but the finest words of praise, respect and friendship for the man affectionately known as Ducky.

The man’s impact was so great that there are plans to build a statue honouring Hawerchuk in Winnipeg. As far as worthy “statue candidates” go, Hawerchuk has to be right at the top.

Basically every NHL team, junior club, and major hockey entity and league also weighed in with sadness over his death and praise for Hawerchuk as a person, and everything he gave to the game.

A tough day and a monumental loss.

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