Canucks goalie Kirk McLean heads class of 2014 B.C. HHoF
Former Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean is best known for his big pad stacking save against the Calgary Flames in the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs.
“You don’t think about it at the time. It’s a reaction save,” said McLean, who does work as a Canucks ambassador and was inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton Friday with retired NHLer Pat Price, Bill Ennos and the Kelowna Rockets 2004 Memorial Cup winning team. “The two-pad slide, it’s a desperation move obviously. It worked. It’s grown a life of its own. I see video of it now and it sends chills down your spine. Still.”
McLean, who played 15 seasons in the NHL, including 11 with the Canucks, said it was a surprise and an honour to be selected for induction.
“I’m extremely excited to be here,” said McLean, during a ceremony at Red Rooster Winery on Thursday.
McLean said playing in Vancouver was the time of his life as he had successful years there, including 1994, when they advanced to the final.
He also enjoyed his time with the Rangers, where he played for two years before retiring in 2002.
“It was just amazing to live in a city like that,” said McLean. “They have great ownership there. It was just a wonderful experience.”
Ennos has been part of amateur hockey development in British Columbia for many years. He joined B.C. Amateur Hockey Association (now B.C. Hockey) as program co-ordinator in 1980. Later in 1989, he succeeded Bob Nicholson as development co-ordinator. He is presently associate director-programs.
“It really is a special moment,” said Ennos, who played junior hockey for his hometown Weyburn Red Wings and the Vancouver Nats.
Ennos, who also played hockey with the UBC Thunderbirds, said a highlight of his career includes being in charge of programming for B.C. Hockey for 30-plus years.
He was a leader in developing the B.C. Junior Olympic Program and its transition into the Best Ever Program of Excellence. He has received many awards including the B.C. Hockey Life Member’s Award for his outstanding contribution to the development and growth of amateur hockey.
Price, a standout defenceman with the Saskatoon Blades, was drafted 11th overall by the New York Islanders in 1975. Instead of joining the Islanders, he chose to sign with the World Hockey Association’s Vancouver Blazers for $1.3 million. He eventually joined the Islanders and also played for the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Quebec Nordiques, New York Rangers and Minnesota, dressing in 726 games.
Price said it was a tremendous honour to be inducted and thinks back to what his father told him.
“It’s what you leave behind, it’s not what you take with you,” said Price. “I have the ability to leave something behind for my friends and my family, especially my grandchildren so they can come and eventually see what their granddad did. I’m very proud of the moment.”
Price described playing hockey professionally as an elite situation and a lot of people don’t get that opportunity.
“I’m very happy to have had that opportunity, pass it onto my kids,” said Price, who works part-time at a golf course in Kelowna to keep busy.
“I’m kind of like Forrest Gump,” he said. “I just drive a tractor and pick up the golf balls, put them in the machine.”
The Rockets, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their championship, were inducted in the team category. They won the regular season championship and went undefeated in the Memorial Cup winning four straight.
“I think our team is very deserving,” said Hamilton, adding it’s an honour for the team, captained by Kelowna product Josh Gorges, to be chosen. “We did something for Kelowna that we wanted to do. It was a great accomplishment by the team. It wasn’t the most skilled team at all that we had over the years. It’s a real tribute to the players that played on that team.”