Rightful place in Hall of Fame

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

Ed Chynoweth spent many years of his life working vigorously helping others achieve their goals and getting them into the limelight.

Last night, it was Ed's turn.

The former Western Hockey League president, who passed away in April after a lengthy battle with kidney cancer, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Chynoweth went into the Hall of Fame under the builders category. Joining Chynoweth in the class of 2008 was Glenn Anderson, Igor Larionov and Ray Scapinello.

It was a moving honour for Chynoweth's family, said his son Jeff.

"He was part of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee since 1990, and so many people felt he should in there. But he never felt it would be right to be in the Hall of Fame and also be part of the selection committee," said Jeff, who is the GM of the Kootenay Ice.

"He always wanted to get the likes of the Glenn Anderson's and many of the great hockey players into the Hall. That's what he cared about, it wasn't himself.

"My dad actually found out shortly before he passed away that he was going to be nominated for the Hall of Fame, and he was really sick, but he had an extra spring in his step about three or four days after that."

Chynoweth was a patriarch of junior hockey. He helped grow the game into what it's become. He was the WHL president from 1972-1995, and was also the Canadian Hockey League president from 1975-1995.

Junior hockey grew at a rapid pace during his tenure, and he gave it the life it continues to thrive on today.

But while Chynoweth had a great deal of power in junior hockey, he never portrayed himself as being a powerful person.

He was always the guy seen walking around the concourse of whatever arena he was in talking to the fans.

It's fitting that his two sons Jeff and Dean run the two smallest franchises in the WHL in Kootenay and Swift Current, respectively.

"He was a big believer of the small markets. He felt you need everybody. If you don't have them, you don't have a league. He was fighting for the small markets," Jeff said.

"He had that innate ability to make people feel better about them and that is one thing I have learned through his passing.

"You can measure a man by the legacy he leaves behind, and he won't be forgotten.

"He was one of those special people. You take that for granted when he's your father."

The Hall of Fame induction week has been a reunion of sorts for the Chynoweth clan. Thirty-six family members and friends made the trip to Toronto to join Jeff, Dean and their mother Linda.

This will be Jeff's third visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame and no doubt his most memorable. Dean, who played six seasons with the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins will be paying his first ever visit to the Hall.

"We are a very close knit family, but it seemed like the only time we'd get together was a funeral. But it's nice to celebrate someone's achievements," said Jeff, who gave the induction speech for his father.

"There have been a lot of Ed stories (this week), and a lot of tears have been shed. It hasn't been easy since he passed away, but he would want us to enjoy every moment of this.

"It's the pinnacle of our hockey business. To see the legends who are in the Hall already and to say your father is right there along side them is very special."


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