Three individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the game of hockey will have their successes immortalized by Hockey Canada this year.
Bill Hay (Lumsden, Sask.), Angela James (Toronto, Ont.) and Kevin Lowe (Lachute, Que.) are the Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada for 2021. The Order is a 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.
The president of Hockey Canada from 1990-95, Bill Hay was instrumental in the merger of Hockey Canada and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in the mid-1990s. He served as chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame from 1998 to 2013, and helped strengthen the Hall of Fame’s relations with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and Hockey Canada. As a player, Hay appeared in 506 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, recording 386 career points and winning the Stanley Cup in 1961. He also won the Calder Memorial Trophy (1959-60) and played in two NHL All-Star Games (1960, 1961). Hay was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 as a builder.
A member of Canada’s National Women’s Team from 1990 to 1999, Angela James recorded 54 points in 50 international games and won four IIHF World Women’s Championship gold medals (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997), twice earning a place on the Media All-Star Team at the women’s worlds (1990, 1992). The 11 goals James scored in 1990 remains a tournament record. She also played at 12 editions of the Esso Women’s Nationals, winning six gold medals with Team Ontario (1982, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1993, 2000). James was the first Canadian woman inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2010), and has also been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2009), the IIHF Hall of Fame (2008) and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame (2006).
The greatest international accomplishments for Kevin Lowe came off the ice. He was a member of the management team at four Olympic Winter Games, winning three gold medals (2002, 2010, 2014). Lowe also won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey as Canada’s assistant executive director and was the general manager for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship. As a player, Lowe recorded 431 points in 1,254 games over 19 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, winning six Stanley Cups (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994). Internationally, he won a bronze medal at the 1982 IIHF World Championship and won a Canada Cup title in 1984, recording six points in 16 games with Team Canada. Lowe will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.
“The 2021 Distinguished Honourees have made an immeasurable impact on the game, with each of them taking a different path to advancing hockey in Canada and internationally. Bill, Angela and Kevin have all had unique hockey experiences, but are all equally deserving of this honour,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada. “To be recognized as a Distinguished Honouree of the Order of Hockey in Canada is one of the most prestigious accomplishments an individual within the game can receive. On behalf of my colleagues at Hockey Canada, the Order of Hockey in Canada selection committee and our board of directors, I would like to congratulate Bill, Angela and Kevin on this achievement, and we look forward to celebrating their contributions to the game.”
The 2021 Distinguished Honourees will be recognized at the annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf this June. The event celebrates the year’s Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada, as well as Canada’s world championship-winning teams. The Class of 2020, which was set to be honoured at the 2020 Gala & Golf and includes Ken Dryden, Sheldon Kennedy and Dr. Charles Tator, will also be recognized this year.
Since 2012, the Order of Hockey in Canada has recognized 33 honourees. For a full list, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/OOHIC.