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Photo courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Alberta Official making the jump to the NHL

The National Hockey League has hired four new officials for the 2016-17 season, including Medicine Hat’s Chris Schlenker.


Schlenker, 31, was recently named the WHL’s top official, having received the Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy earlier this year. He completed his third season in the WHL, working the Finals as well as being named to officiate the 2016 Memorial Cup. Schlenker made his professional debut on October 17, 2015, working a game between the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and Albany Devils.

Schlenker, from Medicine Hat, Alberta, played in the WHL. He suited up with the Regina Pats and Prince Albert Raiders from 2001-2005, picking up 786 penalty minutes along the way. The blueliner headed to Europe for a season before returning home and trading his stick for a whistle.

“You just keep your head down and keep working, control what you can control and hope the rest takes care of itself,” said Schlenker at the WHL’s awards banquet. “The last five years it’s kind of gone from junior A to the Western Hockey League and the American League this year. I’ve been pretty fortunate to be in the position I’m in and I’ve had lots of help along the way.”

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Bruins legend Bucyk highlights 2016 AHHF induction class

CANMORE - Five outstanding individuals and one team are set to be enshrined in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Saturday night, including former Boston Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member Johnny Bucyk.

During his 22 seasons in the NHL, 21 of those with Boston, Bucyk notched 668 goals and 818 assists, finishing his career with 1369 points in 1540 games. He was twice named an NHL All-Star and Lady Byng Trophy winner, and hoisted the Stanley Cup twice with the Bruins in 1969-70, and 1971-72. Click here for Bucyk`s full bio.

Joining Bucyk in the class of 2016 is Mike Rogers (retired NHL and WHA player, and former Calgary Flames broadcaster), Dr. George Kingston (internationally-renowned coach), Terry Ledingham (long-time Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada volunteer), the 1965-66 champion Edmonton Oil Kings, and Larry Kwong, the first player of Asian descent to play in the NHL.

Rogers enjoyed an impressive 12-year professional hockey career in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association, and followed that with another two decades as a well-respected pre- and post-game and colour commentator with the Calgary Flames. Click here for Rogers` full bio.

Kingston is one of Canada’s best known and most successful coaches, with a resume that includes almost two decades at the University of Calgary, stints with five National Hockey League teams, Canada’s Olympic and national team programs, and work with five other international programs. Click here for Kingston`s full bio.

Ledingham has been involved in all aspects of hockey since 1967, from being a registrar, equipment manager, sports director, and president of a local minor hockey level right up to holding key positions with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada. Click here for Ledingham`s full bio.

The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary for the 1965-66 Edmonton Oil Kings of winning the Memorial Cup championship in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The Oil Kings defeated the Oshawa Generals in six games to claim the national junior championship. Click here for more on the 1965-66 Edmonton Oil Kings.

Kwong played in only one game with the New York Rangers in 1947-48. But as the first player of Asian descent to play in the NHL, he broke the league’s colour barrier 10 years before Willie O’Ree, and became a hero to thousands of Chinese-Canadians, starting a change in attitudes about what a person of minority heritage could achieve in this country. Click here for Kwong`s full bio.

The Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Awards Gala will be held on Saturday, July 23 at the Coast Hotel in Canmore. Doors open at 5:30 pm, with dinner at 6:30 pm followed by the Induction ceremony, and a special hockey hot stove round table to conclude the evening.

In addition to recognizing the 2016 Induction Class, the Awards Gala serves as a key fundraiser for the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community program. The EKEC program provides grants to support communities and individuals who may not have access or the ability to participate in the game of hockey.

The 2016 Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Awards Gala is presented by the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Hockey Alberta, and ATB Investor Services.