When the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame honours its 2017 inductee class on Friday, July 28, at the South Okanagan Event Centre in Penticton, B.C., two individuals with strong Western Hockey League ties will be honoured.
The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2017 inductee class on Tuesday, with Ron Toigo and Brad Lazarowich among the six individuals set to be recognized.
Toigo, who serves on the WHL’s Board of Governors, is the president and majority owner of the Vancouver Giants. He will be inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders Category, as will Lazarowich, who is renowned for his service as an NHL on-ice official after getting his start in the WHL.
Previously, Toigo owned the Tri-City Americans beginning in 1991 until selling the club in 2000 at which point he became majority owner and president of the Giants. A long-time resident of Tsawwassen, B.C., he served as a major catalyst in the success of the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship, which was hosted in Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna. He is also set to dive back into the World Junior Championship scene as an organizer on the committee for the 2019 World Junior Championship, which will be co-hosted by Vancouver and Victoria.
On top of that, Toigo’s Giants hosted and claimed the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup – yet another event the Giants’ president and owner had a hand in.
Lazarowich, a product of Vancouver, worked more than 2,000 NHL games as a linesman after crafting his skill through B.C. minor hockey and the WHL. He worked Memorial Cup tournaments as well before graduating to the American Hockey League and NHL. Over his lengthy career, Lazarowich worked three Stanley Cup finals, two World Cup of Hockey tournaments as well as the 2014 Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver.
Other inductees in the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 include former Vancouver Canucks Thomas Gradin and Tony Tanti, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and former Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis – a product of Burnaby – as well as John Shannon, who hails from Oliver, B.C., and has enjoyed a long career working within hockey media, including stints with Hockey Night in Canada, the NHL and Rogers Sportsnet. Finally, the 1996-97 Powell River Regals will be inducted in recognition of their Allan Cup Championship squad.
The induction ceremonies for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be held on July 28 at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.