An oldie but a goodie for the good old hockey game

Jeff Hoggan is the oldest skater in the American Hockey League.

Hope Minor Hockey product

Hope Minor Hockey product

At 37 years of age, former Hope Minor Hockey player Jeff Hoggan is the oldest skater in the American Hockey League. When you’re lucky and healthy enough to stay in the game for that length of time, people around the league have taken pretty good stock of your contribution to the game.

Hoggan seems to have made a positive impression, as a majority of players, coaches and media have nominated him as the recipient of this year’s Fred T. Hunt award, for being the “AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.”

The award was started in 1978, honouring Hunt, who was an AHL player and manager, working mainly with the AHL Buffalo Bisons and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Past recipients included the current Anaheim Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau (1988) and long-time NHL players Randy Cunnyworth (2000) and Mike Keane (2007), who spent some of their careers in the AHL.

“It’s great to see the other guys on the award,” said Hoggan via telephone last Thursday. “Just to be associated with them is pretty cool.

“Mark Cullen, my room-mate for my first two years of pro is on there, Jordan Sigalet, a fellow BC boy and teammate in Providence, Rhode Island — and Nathan Dempsey, a teammate on the Boston Bruins.”

Hoggan has NHL experience on his résumé as well, with 107 games for the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes… where he was coached by some guy named Wayne Gretzky. He is in his third year as captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the farm team of the Detroit Red Wings.

Hoggan skated in all 76 league games for the Griffins this season, recording 14 goals and 17 assists and only 39 penalty minutes.

“Hoggan has reached double digits in goals in eight of his nine full AHL seasons while surpassing 60 minutes in penalties just twice,” says the league’s press release. “The 37-year-old native of Hope, B.C., is renowned for his work ethic, competitiveness and preparation, as well as for the culture he has helped to develop and the leadership he has provided in the Griffins’ locker room, mentoring more than a dozen players who have since graduated to the Detroit Red Wings.”

Coach of the Griffins, Jeff Blashill said, “Jeff has done a great job creating a championship culture in our locker room.  As captain, his example of extreme daily work ethic and approach has both allowed the Griffin organization to have success and helped accelerate the development of the many young players now playing and making an impact for the Detroit Red Wings.”

“Nobody would have imagined that I’d be going this long in the game,” said Hoggan, a former Hope Standard paper carrier. “I try and help the young guys move on.”

Did he know the award was coming?

“No… not at all. I wasn’t at home, so I didn’t get the coach’s voice mail until later. I was getting these text messages from friends, congratulating me… and I was wondering ‘for what?’”

Hoggan’s parents, Ann and Gerry still live in the family home in Hope. Ann said, “We were very pleased to see that Jeff was recognized for his hard work. He works well with others and has always been a very determined individual.

“Jeff will be pleased that he is still recognized in his home town. That’s why he brought the Calder Cup back here a few years ago. Hope is where it began.”

The Griffins just finished the regular season, taking the Mid-West title and placing second in their conference. This puts them up against the seventh-place Toronto Marlies in the first round, which starts this weekend. AHL president, Dave Andrews, will present the Fred T. Hall award to Hoggan before the start of next Wednesday’s home game, said Randy Cleves, senior director of public relations for the Griffins.

Awards are fine — but Hoggan also gets a charge out of seeing old Hope friends and former minor hockey teammates.

“Darwin Ortis travelled from B.C. with his son Ryan on a father-son trip for our last home game, which I thought was even cooler,” said Hoggan.

A third Calder Cup would be pretty cool, too.

 

Just Posted

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court. Labbee was convicted April 12 for the fatal hit-and-run of 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sentencing hearing scheduled for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Crown will seek jail time for Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016

Chilliwack Spartans Swim Club coach Justin Daly.
Chilliwack Spartans swim coach Justin Daly wins Rubber Boot Award

Daly was recognized in a vote by fellow coaches in the BC Swim Coaches Association

Dr. Keith Carlson, director of Peace and Reconciliation Centre, will be the MC and moderator for the June 23 webinar Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate. (Submitted photo)
Seminar presented on Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate

UFV webinar on June 23 features speakers who will draw on lived experience

The latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control. (BCCDC graphic)
Chilliwack COVID case count moving towards zero

From a high of 156 around Christmas, Chilliwack’s local health authority reported just 17 last week

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Ridge Meadows RCMP seized drugs, cash and guns from a house on Lougheed Highway and 221 Street. (Special to The News)
RCMP seize drugs, cash and guns from Maple Ridge house

Items were recovered after search warrant executed on Lougheed Highway home June 11

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read