Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Dale Hawerchuk grew up before our eyes.
We saw a shy, awkward teenager with a funny skating style, become a cool, confident captain, with a funny skating style.
For many, the first Hawerchuk sighting was when he stepped out of a Brinks truck at the corner of Portage and Main. What went through his head that day? He was just out of high school. He’d come to a new city to be greeted by thousands at Winnipeg’s iconic corner. He was 18 years old and being heralded like Caesar!
Could he possibly live up to the hype?
Yes, he did, and then some. In his second NHL game Dale scored 2 goals and 2 assists. He was for real, and so were the Jets. He collected the Calder trophy and the Jets made their first playoff appearance.
Dale cemented his relationship with Winnipeg when he married a local girl. Their giant wedding was front page stuff. He and Crystal took up roots on the city’s edge and had a summer place on Lake Winnipeg. They began a family.
The Hawerchuk’s were proud, prominent citizens, and Winnipeggers loved them for that.
Dale played over 700 games as a Jet. To many, Dale will always be a Jet.
That he left us too soon is a tragedy, but every time we look at his statue we can remember, and pass his legacy on to the next generatio