Their successes with Team Canada have been well-documented, but it is their contributions to Canada’s game that will be honoured on June 18.
Mike Babcock (Saskatoon, Sask.), Danielle Goyette (St-Nazaire, Que.), and Ryan Smyth (Banff, Alta.) are the 2018 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada – an Hockey Canada initiative that began in 2012 to celebrate individuals for their outstanding contributions or service to the growth and development of the sport of hockey in Canada.
Danielle Goyette – Currently the head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos’ women’s hockey team, Goyette’s career is filled with highlight-reel moments, including eight IIHF World Women’s Championship gold medals, and three gold-medal winning goals at worlds. Goyette is a four-time Olympian – three times as a player, once as an assistant coach – having won three gold medals and one silver, and she was selected to carry the flag into the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
Goyette recorded 219 points in 172 games with Canada’s National Women’s Team over her 15-year career with the national program. She was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Mike Babcock – His NHL accomplishments are well-documented, and include winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, and the Presidents’ Trophy in 2005-06 and 2007-08 with the Detroit Red Wings. A three-time finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, Babcock has been the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs since 2015. Throughout his coaching career, which has spanned collegiate sports as well as the CHL, AHL, and NHL, Babcock has always answered the call when presented with an opportunity to be part of Team Canada.
He’s the only coach in the IIHF Triple Gold Club – having won Olympic and IIHF World Championship gold as well as a Stanley Cup – to which he can add IIHF World Junior Championship gold and a title win at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Ryan Smyth – He earned the nickname Captain Canada, having captained the red-and-white at six IIHF World Championships, winning two gold medals and one silver over that span. He is an Olympic and IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medallist, and a Spengler Cup and World Cup of Hockey champion. Smyth is the all-time leader for games played by a Canadian at the IIHF World Championship. And when he wasn’t wearing the Team Canada jersey, Smyth also managed to log 842 points in 1,270 NHL games over 19 seasons with Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Colorado, and Los Angeles.
“As players and coaches, this group has led the way on and off the ice, teaching and inspiring Canadian players at all levels of the game,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “To be selected as a Distinguished Honouree of the Order of Hockey in Canada is one of the most prestigious accomplishments one can receive in hockey in Canada, and this year’s honourees are well-deserving of the recognition. On behalf of my colleagues at Hockey Canada, the Order of Hockey in Canada selection committee, as well as our board members, I would like to congratulate Danielle, Mike, and Ryan, and we look forward to celebrating them in London on June 18.”
Since its inception in 2012, the Order of Hockey in Canada has recognized 21 honourees, including: Jean Béliveau (2012); Scotty Bowman (2017); David Branch (2016); Cassie Campbell-Pascall (2012); Clare Drake (2014); Jim Gregory (2015); Wayne Gretzky (2012); Geraldine Heaney (2016); Paul Henderson (2013); Gordie Howe (2012); Dave King (2013); Mario Lemieux (2016); Mark Messier (2013); Bob Nicholson (2016); Pat Quinn (2015); Gordon Renwick (2012); France St-Louis (2014); Serge Savard (2015); and Steve Yzerman (2014).
A selection committee of 12 members – appointed by the Order of Hockey in Canada executive committee, established by Hockey Canada – is tasked with nominating and selecting, via secret ballot, the annual recipients of the Order of Hockey in Canada. The committee members represent a cross-section of individuals with great and varied experience around the game of hockey in Canada, including members of the media and hockey administration.