Dale Hawerchuk, 1963-2020

Dale Hawerchuk, arguably my favorite all-time hockey player after Wayne Gretzky, has lost his battle with cancer. He was only 57 years old.

Dale Hawerchuk, a 2001 Hockey Hall of Famer, has died after a battle with stomach cancer.

“Dale was not only a hall of fame player, great coach, mentor and icon in the sport of hockey, he was also a great friend and an amazing human being,” said Howie Campbell, president of OHL’s Barrie Colts where Hawerchuk coached from 2010-2019. “He was a big part of our community for over 10 years. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to the Hawerchuk family.”

Hawerchuk entered the NHL in 1981 as an 18-year old, and was the first pick in the NHL draft. He dominated the league for years, and every time he stepped on the ice, you knew you were seeing someone extraordinary.

Hawerchuk, 57, was diagnosed in August, forcing him to take a leave of absence from the Colts. He told TSN in October he began suffering from acid reflux symptoms in the summer and a CT scan found a stomach tumor. He later underwent a gastrectomy in January to remove his stomach, as well as a tumor and cancerous cells.

Hawerchuk’s cancer returned in June.

Fuck cancer. Seriously. It has taken far too many good people.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 1981 NHL Draft, Hawerchuk played 1,188 games with the Jets, Sabres, Blues, and Flyers and recorded 518 goals and 1,409 points. He reached 100 points six times and scored at least 40 goals in seven seasons. The forward was a five-time All-Star and voted the 1982 Calder Trophy winner.

Thank you, Dale, for being an hero and an idol to a skinny, hockey kid from Philadelphia. I will miss you more than you can ever know. Rest in peace.

10 thoughts on “Dale Hawerchuk, 1963-2020

  1. It’s sad to hear of Hawerchuk’s passing, not just because of the loss to his family and fans… but also because a different era and kind of hockey is fading. And he was cool enough to allow a Quebec rock band to use his name for their band after he retired; how cool (and gracious) is that?

    https://lesdaleshawerchuk.bandcamp.com/

    (Click on the different albums shown to hear samples of their songs in Canadian French… kinda “pop-punkish”, for a quick characterization)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GDGM+ – Definitely checking that out. I’ll listen on the way home from work tonight. And you’re right. Hockey is still great, but it’s a different kind of hockey now. You don’t see many people like Hawerchuk, Gretzky, Lemieux, and Sakic anymore.

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  3. Watching the Isles right now, they’re honoring a cop and his nurse wife.
    Unlike the rest of the sports leagues.
    I’m done watching baseball and football is one knee away from losing me, but at least I still have hockey.
    Where all the Russians are standing for our national anthem.

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  4. Veeshir – I love the way the Isles are playing right now. I actually have an Alexei Yashin jersey from his time on the Island, and my son took a photo of me outside the Coliseum last summer after a lacrosse tournament.

    I hated the Isles in the 80’s, but I loved a lot of their players afterward.

    Baseball bothers me, because the Orioles are playing very well right now. But this BLM stuff is pushing me away.

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    1. Fricking Yashin.
      Got his $80mill and retired. Too bad he kept suiting up to pretend to play.

      I started liking them in the 80s. I still hate Gretzky, the somonobatch.
      It was funny, I was used to Bossy in his best years and when I heard an announcer praise someone who had 12 goals in 25 games I thought, “That’s not even one every other game!”
      Bossy, Trottier and Gillies is still my favorite line of all time and Billy Smith my favorite goalie. The cheap-shot bastid.

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      1. I was hoping he’d be great for the Isles, and well, that never happened. My favorite Russian player will always be Pavel Bure – I have his Panthers and Russia jersey – and he was amazing early on.

        My kids really like the Devils, and at every game they still chant “Potvin sucks!” It’s like, guys get over it; it’s been four decades!

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  5. I’ve never been a hockey fan, but the passing of a good man is always a loss to us all. R.I.P. Mr. Hawerchuk, you were a decent man, and the world is a sadder place for your passing.

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