A group led by former Florida Panthers coach Doug MacLean has agreed to buy the Tampa Bay Lightning. Guardian file photo.
Summerside native Doug MacLean, one of the most recognizable faces in the National Hockey League, will be inducted into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.
The annual induction ceremonies, sponsored by the P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Company, will be held at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Guests are asked to be at the Silver Fox no later than 6:15 p.m.
Joining MacLean in the Island sports shrine will be tennis standout Dr. Bill Moreside, field hockey international star Donna Phillips Hornibrook, and hockey builders Gordie Whitlock and William (Bud) MacEachern.
Currently an analyst with Rogers Sportsnet and the Fan 590, where his insight and opinions always make interesting listening, MacLean has spent over 20 years in the National Hockey League. He has served in a variety of coaching and management capacities with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings.
A fine player with the Montreal Junior Canadiens and UPEI Panthers, MacLeanâ€™s coaching career began as an assistant with the London Knights before spells with the Summerside Capitalsâ€™ junior â€˜Aâ€™ team and UNB Varsity Reds, before Jacques Martin invited him to St. Louis as an assistant in 1986.
Successful spells followed with the Washington Capitals, the Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League and Detroit Red Wings before joining Florida as director of player development in 1994, where he was shortly thereafter rewarded with his first head coaching assignment in the big leagues.
Arguably, MacLeanâ€™s finest moment was leading Florida to an Eastern Conference championship in 1996 â€” his first full season as an NHL head coach. The Panthers were beaten in the Stanley Cup final by Colorado, but MacLean was recognized as The Hockey News coach of the year and a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHLâ€™s top coach.
After compiling a .534 winning percentage in Florida, MacLean was named the first general manager of the fledgling Columbus Blue Jackets in 1998. He served with the club as president and general manager until the end of the 2006-07 season, assuming head coaching responsibilities for parts of two seasons during that tenure.
An outstanding hockey mind, whose insight and knowledge of the NHL is incomparable, MacLean will be a popular and welcome addition to the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame, notes a media release.
Tickets are still available for the dinner, but must be purchased no later than Wednesday at noon. Tickets are available from Nick Murray at 368-4547, or directly from the Silver Fox or the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame.