High school and college hockey royalty, Olympians spanning four decades and former NHL players headline the inaugural Minneapolis Hockey Hall of Fame class.
The 30-member class induction will take place at noon Saturday at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public.
Among inductees planning to attend are NHL veterans Tom Chorske, Tom Hirsch and Reed Larson, Hall of Fame Director Steve Jecha said.
Jecha, executive director of Minneapolis' youth hockey program, started the effort about two years ago after high school hockey in Minneapolis celebrated its 100th year.
He set a high bar for the charter class, which includes outstanding male and female players and a few families who made significant contributions to Minneapolis hockey.
"We wanted to recognize players who were good in high school, went on to play Division I or Division II college hockey, played for a national team or in the Olympics or the NHL," Jecha said.
Players such as Chorske, a Stanley Cup champion with New Jersey, have been recognized on other stops in their hockey journey. Yet getting inducted into the hall of fame where they started means a lot, Jecha said.
"They've all said how honored they are," Jecha said, adding that 28 of 30 members will either attend or have someone on hand to receive the award. That includes Anne L.B. Hanson, daughter of longtime hockey executive Walter Bush Jr., who is flying from Colorado.
For more information and to read bios of the hall of famers, go to www.mplshockeyHOF.com.
David La Vaque