Red Deer’s own Ron MacLean will now sit among Alberta hockey elite.
MacLean, along with Edmonton Oiler great Grant Fuhr, Calgary Flames Stanley Cup winning goalie Mike Vernon and former hockey coach Wally Kozak were announced Wednesday as the 2018 Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame induction class.
Also entering the hall will be the 1991 Team Alberta Female Canada Winter Games gold medal squad and the 1999 Team Alberta Male gold medal winners.
MacLean began his ascent in the broadcast world when he became the national host of Hockey Night in Canada in 1987. Ever since he’s been the right-hand man to the boisterous Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner.
During his career with CBC, he hosted 11 Olympic Games, IAAF World Championships, World Cup Hockey, the Calgary Stampede and Queen’s Plate. He has also interviewed Canada’s top athletes – including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Catriona Le May Doan, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
He’s also won 10 Gemini Awards including Best Host/Broadcaster in a Sports Program (1992, 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2007) and along with his wife, Cari, the pair will serve as the honourary co-chairs of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
Fuhr, 55, born in Spruce Grove, Alta., is perhaps the most decorated member of the 2018 class, winning the Stanley Cup five times in 10 seasons as goalie for the Edmonton Oilers.
Vernon, 55, from Calgary was a two-time cup-winning goalie, first with the Flames in 1989 then again with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997. He amassed 385 regular season wins in 781 games for four different teams. Wally Kozak is known as one of the best technical hockey coaches around the world.
The Wadena, SK, native includes national and international championships as a coach, various roles with Hockey Canada’s national team programs, mentor to coaches at various levels in Alberta. He also served as the assistant coach for Team Canada Senior Women’s national team when they won Olympic gold in Salt Lake City in 2002.
The induction ceremony will be Sunday, July 22 in Canmore.