The Ontario Hockey League announced several new changes to League policy adopted at the League’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors this past week in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Among those developments included the honouring of two of the OHL’s distinguished alumni with new names for two awards presented annually.
Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award
A new OHL award has been established for the 2019-20 season. The Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award will be presented to the general manager who best excelled at his role during the regular season as chosen by the league’s 20 general managers and a panel of print and broadcast media.
One of the game’s great builders, Jim Gregory was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. A former long-time NHL general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Gregory got his start by guiding St. Michael’s College School and the OHA’s Toronto Marlboros to great success, winning three Memorial Cup titles along the way.
Gregory’s managerial success extended into his NHL career as he guided the Maple Leafs to eight playoff berths over his 10-year tenure from 1969-79.
Throughout his 50-year involvement with the NHL, Gregory has made countless contributions to the growth of hockey worldwide, emerging as one of the first GM’s to identify Europe as a major source of talent while also overseeing the advent of video goal review in his role as the NHL’s Sr. Vice President of Hockey Operations.
He served as Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee from 1998-2014 and was a Distinguished honouree of the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2015.
Jim Rutherford Goaltender of the Year Award
Beginning this season, the OHL’s annual Goaltender of the Year Award will be named in honour of former OHL goaltender, General Manager and Chairman of the Board Jim Rutherford who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this past June.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion, former two-time OHL Executive of the Year (1993, 1994) and one of the game’s great builders, Rutherford got his managerial start with the Windsor Compuware Spitfires in 1984, building the franchise into an OHL Champion by 1988.
After overseeing a highly successful Detroit Jr. Red Wings program and serving as the OHL’s Chairman of the Board of Governors in 1993-94, Rutherford made the jump to the NHL where he’s been for the past 25 seasons.
A native of Beeton, Ont., Rutherford first hoisted the Stanley Cup as general manager of the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes and did so in back-to-back seasons as architect of the 2016 & 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rutherford’s decorated career also included 13 years as an NHL netminder between Detroit, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles from 1970-83. His junior career was spent with the OHA’s Aurora Tigers and Hamilton Red Wings before he joined the Montreal Jr. Canadiens to win the 1969 Memorial Cup.
The Jim Rutherford Goaltender of the Year Award is presented annually to the OHL netminder selected by member teams as the top goaltender in the League. The winner is the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Goaltender of the Year.
For more information on changes to League policy adopted at the Annual Meeting of the OHL Board of Governors, click here.