Former Vees owner among B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Scott Carter is used to making the call and surprising inductees for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Scott Carter is used to making the call and surprising inductees for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.

This time was Carter’s turn to be surprised.

Carter, who founded the BCHHF with Dunc Jamieson in 1991, got the call from Kelowna Rockets owner Bruce Hamilton while having lunch with Larry Lund.

“It was quite the surprise and shock,” said Carter, prior to the induction ceremony. “You look back at all the builders that are in the category and all the names of the guys that are already in there, it’s quite an honour to be joining them.”

What Carter is most proud of when it comes to the BCHHF goes beyond the people in it. Funds raised have been used to help B.C. communities such as helping build Moog and Friends Hospice House. Funds have also gone to communities such as Trail and helping build rinks in Terrace.

“Really that part to me is more important than anything,” said Carter.

Carter also played a role in saving Penticton’s junior A franchise.  An alumni of the organization as he helped the Knights win Canada’s national championship in 1986, he remembers going into Memorial Arena and hardly anybody being at games.

“The team was at the bottom of the league,” said Carter. “Just had a bad feeling in my stomach coming into the rink. Wanted to do something about it. I met with the Reinheller family and they were looking to maybe sell it or find the proper owners that were local to maybe take over. Couldn’t really find that group so I put together a group to do it and try to get it back on its own two feet. It’s been great.”

Carter, who did that in 2004, sold his last shares this year. He was happy to see the Vees win the RBC Cup, but for him it was more about the people.

“The season ticket holders who have come through the good times and the bad,” he said. “All the volunteers. For them to have a chance to do that, that’s where it really felt good to me.”

Carter was inducted along with retired NHLers Scott Niedermayer, Rod Brind’Amour, Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Jim Hughson and Dr. Bob Hindmarch.

Hughson, inducted in the builders category, said his induction is a bit overwhelming in the sense that it was very unexpected.

“I never thought of myself as having been around long enough or learned enough to be in that category,” said Hughson. “As someone who grew up in the province, I have lived all over the province. I have such an appreciation for the people who are in this Hall of Fame and the people who have like me grown up in the game in this province. It’s a real honour to be in here beside them.”

Hughson’s broadcasting career brought him to the Okanagan in 1975. He called the action for the Vees alongside Al Formo in the BCHL.

“It was actually a little embarrassing to me because … I was about 18 years old and I had just left Fort. St. John and I was here and I did play-by-play for the Vees for about two months and the Kelowna Buckaroos, the radio station in Kelowna, offered me $50 more a month to move up there. At the time I thought that was the biggest raise I could possibly ever have. So I moved. I didn’t stay (in Penticton) as long as I probably planned on. It worked out okay anyway.”

Being inducted means a lot to Niedermayer. He felt fortunate to grow up in B.C. and build many great memories.

“The last couple years not having played, you really get a chance to think back and of all the things to happen in the course of my hockey career, a lot of those great memories are here in B.C.,” said Niedermayer, who spent time in Penticton only when he attended the Okanagan Hockey School.

“Whether it was growing up in Cranbrook, the trips throughout the Kootenays or playing tournaments throughout the province. Very lucky to have some great coaches as a young kid. To be put in the B.C Hockey Hall of Fame is special because it’s home I guess.”

It has been so long since Brind’Amour, who also attended the OHS, has been back in B.C. Because of that, the former Prince Rupert and Campbell River resident joked that people would forget about him. He is thrilled to be inducted, especially being in the same class as Niedermayer. Brind’Amour had a message from Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson while he was doing work for the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s just one of those things that you appreciate,” he said of his recognition.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Hindmarch of Nanaimo was an administrator who received the Order of B.C. in 2010. He was the general manager and assistant coach for Father David Bauer’s Canadian men’s hockey team in 1964. Hindmarch has a book out titled Catch On and Run With It/ The Sporting Life and times of Dr. Bob Hindmarch. Hindmarch is also in the UBC Hall of Fame as he is their most successful coach. The school’s website states that Hindmarch won 214 games.