Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Dale Hawerchuk honored by Sabres
ESPN.com news services
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dale Hawerchuk was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on Tuesday night in a ceremony before the team's game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Sabres also inducted longtime radio and television play-by-play commentator Rick Jeanneret, the longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in NHL history.
Hawerchuk played five seasons for the Sabres after he was obtained in a trade from the original Winnipeg franchise in 1990.
"It's special," he said. "These two teams are the ones I spent the most time with in my career, so those two are definitely the closest to my heart."
Drafted first overall by the Jets in 1981, Hawerchuk played nine seasons in Winnipeg before moving to Buffalo. He also had stops in St. Louis and Philadelphia before retiring with the Flyers in 1997.
Hawerchuk had 110 goals and 385 points with the Sabres.
"When I was traded to Buffalo I wanted to do so well and please everyone," he said. "You certainly have to get over that quickly because you have to get back to what made you a great player."
Hawerchuk won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1982 after posting 45 goals and 103 points in 80 games with the Jets. He finished his NHL career with 518 goals and 1,409 points in 1,188 games.
Hawerchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 and ranks 18th on the NHL's career points list. He was 10th at the time of his retirement in 1997.
Jeanneret's voice has been synonymous with Sabres hockey since he began working for the team in 1971, its second season in the NHL.
"I never thought of myself as an important part of the franchise," he said. "I've always liked to think of myself as a communicator between the team and the fans. I've always tried to broadcast a game like a fan would like to hear it."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.