TORONTO (June 29, 2020) – Frank Seravalli, President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that Tony Gallagher will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Rick Peckham will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
Tony Gallagher is the first writer to win the award for a body of work exclusive to the Vancouver market. He became one of hockey’s most influential voices in Western Canada in a career at The Province that spanned from 1970 – 2015. He was recruited by The Province out of the University of British Columbia in 1968. He was hired full-time in 1970 on high school sports before making the jump to hockey, covering the WHA’s New Westminster Bruins and then the WHA’s Vancouver Blazers. By 1976, Gallagher graduated to become the paper’s lone beat writer on the Canucks. He was promoted to general columnist in 1987, where he continued to break news and stir the pot, and covered nearly 25 Stanley Cup Finals – including all three Canucks appearances.”
“Tony Gallagher owned the Vancouver market in a time before the internet, when scoops lasted for 24 hours in a newspaper world where contact meant everything,” Seravalli said. “He was uber-connected and over time became the voice for Western Canadian market that has always seemed to have a chip on its shoulder, sitting three time zones away from Toronto. Tony was the perfect writer for that constituency, never afraid to break a few eggs in writing his daily omelette. He fought for Canucks fans against perceived injustice by the League or their team, becoming a media icon in his city and beyond.”
Rick Peckham had broadcast professional hockey for 42 years before his retirement following the 2019-2020 season. For the last 24 seasons, he was the TV play-by-play voice of the Tampa Bay Lightning, joining the organization in 1995. Prior to that, he served in the same capacity for the Hartford Whalers for 11 seasons. During his illustrious career in the NHL, he has received four local Emmy Awards for his work on Fox Sports Sun and Sportschannel New England. The 1977 graduate of Kent State University served as the radio/TV voice of the Rochester Americans of the AHL for seven years.
“I have known Rick for 36 years, since his days covering the Hartford Whalers”, said Kaiton. “Rick has had a most distinguished hockey broadcasting career, which deserves to be recognized by this honour. His longevity and excellence tell the story and passion for his profession came through each broadcast.”
Gallagher and Peckham receive their awards at a luncheon on Monday, November 16th and their award plaques will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside past award recipients.
Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as “Media Honourees” ─ a separate distinction from individuals inducted as “Honoured Members” who are elected by the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee. This year’s inductees into Honoured Membership were announced on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
The 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend is tentatively scheduled on Monday, November 16th in Toronto (preceded by the traditional slate of “Induction Weekend” events beginning on Friday, November 13th, including the annual “Hockey Hall of Fame Game” hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs). Due to the continued fluidity of developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (including the NHL’s Return to Play Plan, etc.), the Hall of Fame is not accepting ticket orders for the 2020 Induction at this time. Stay tuned for further announcements in the upcoming weeks which will be posted via HHOF.com and other HHOF social media platforms.
Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in recognition of distinguished members of the hockey writing profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to the game of hockey.
Named in honour of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.