By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
City Council has voted to name a park after one of Oshawa’s hockey legends: Dale Hawerchuk.
The idea was proposed at the most recent city council meeting by Ward 2 City and Regional Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, who calls Hawerchuk a “humble guy.”
“It’s a really, really nice tribute to someone who has not only elevated the game he played so well, but the City of Oshawa as well,” said Marimpietri.
Hawerchuk played in the National Hockey League for 16 seasons, and is best known for his time with the Winnipeg Jets.
After being drafted first overall by the Jets in 1981, he became the youngest player to score 100 points in a season when he recorded 103 as a rookie, while also winning the Rookie of the Year award.
He later went on to play for the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers.
When he retired from the NHL he finished with 518 goals, 891 assists, and 1,409 points. Currently, he has the 18th most points in NHL history.
Since then he has gone on to coach the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, and saw his number 10 retired by the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2006-07 NHL season, after the team moved from Winnipeg.
In 2019, he and the Colts announced he would be taking a leave of absence after a diagnosis of stomach cancer.
While he was born in Toronto, Hawerchuk grew up in Oshawa before being drafted by the Cornwall Royals of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Marimpietri told council he believes it would be appropriate to name a park after the NHL Hall of Famer in his old neighbourhood.
“The ability to be able to name a park in an area where he went to high school… is fitting of the neighbourhood,” said Marimpietri.
According to Marimpietri, Hawerchuk has made it known on multiple occasions he is proud to be from Oshawa.
He also noted Hawerchuk was “moved” when he was inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
The Ward 2 councillor also pointed out Hawerchuk’s family still resides in Oshawa.
The motions seconder, Ward 3 City and Regional Councillor Bob Chapman, said the park would be built at Dr. F.J. Donevan Collegiate Institute on Harmony Road South.
Chapman said Hawerchuk is “quite the sports hero” and has always been associated with Oshawa.
“It’s a fitting recognition to him, and also the community,” said Chapman.