Tom Hirsch, one of the first inductees in the new Minneapolis Hockey Hall of Fame, was a 6-4, 210-pound defensive standout for the University of Minnesota and Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis. This photo was taken in March 1983 by photographer Bru
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 takes place from noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public.
Among the hall of famers planning to attend are NHL veterans Tom Chorske, Tom Hirsch and Reed Larson as well as current Minneapolis girls’ varsity coach Sarma Pone Ozman, said Hall of Fame Director Steve Jecha.
Jecha, an Edina native who is executive director of the city’s 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 with the game 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 her home in Colorado.
Banners of each entrant will be hung around Parade Ice Garden, Jecha said.
For more information and to read bios of the hall of famers, go to www.mplshockeyHOF.com.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574