Hobby Outposts From the North: Remembering Dale Hawerchuk – 2020 has not been kind to the sports and entertainment world, and for hockey fans like myself, the news got even worse this past Tuesday. On this day, Dale Hawerchuk succumbed to his battle with stomach cancer.
A standout from the time he stepped on the ice in the QMJHL with the Cornwall Royals, Hawerchuk went on to be drafted first overall in 1981 by the Winnipeg Jets. He went on to score over 500 goals and 1,400 points in the NHL while being a key cog for Canada in several international tournaments, namely the 1987 Canada Cup. “Ducky” also played in Buffalo (following a heartbreaking trade from the Jets), St. Louis and Philadelphia before his NHL career concluded. Hawerchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
As tributes to Hawerchuk poured in, many fans remembered him not for his exploits on the ice, but rather off it. It was hard to drum up any sort of bad word about Hawerchuk, who, even after the aforementioned swap with the Sabres, kept close ties to the River City. Local fans talked about meeting Hawerchuk, getting autographs and sharing laughs with the former Winnipeg captain.
The hockey collecting world was no stranger to Hawerchuk. Virtually from the time he retired, Hawerchuk was a fixture in trading card series, most often wearing the Jets colors. In fact, with Bobby Hull most often shown in his Blackhawks uniform, Number 10 was often the only legend from Jets 1.0 included in sets. Yes, he was also included in the Sabres yellow and blue duds, but the blue, red and white of the Jets is far more dominant.
It’s hard to name another player who is so closely centralized and recognized, perhaps, as their best ever. The Jets were, admittedly, not a Superstar-laden team, particularly in the eyes of hobbyists. Hull and Teemu Selanne are the other two names that float to the top of wantlists, but even their large quantities of Jets cards don’t match the desire for Hawerchuk pieces.
So respected was Hawerchuk that the Arizona Coyotes recognized him as well, inducting the center into their Ring of Honor despite him never suiting up for the transplanted version of the club.
For fans who want a piece of Hawerchuk to remember him by, there are thankfully numerous options available – more than 2,000 listed by Beckett. It is the perfect way to remember a player who loved hockey and made the most of his time with us, touching so many lives.
Hobby Outposts From the North: Remembering Dale Hawerchuk – Image Gallery
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