Large honour for Terry Jones
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Sun sports writer and columnist Terry Jones is seen at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Friday November 26, 2010. (TOM BRAID/QMI AGENCY)
EDMONTON - The Edmonton Sun is having one of its own inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
On Thursday, Bill Hay, chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, announced Terry Jones will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for hockey journalism and will be inducted this fall.
Jones will be joined by Detroit Red Wings colour commentator Mickey Redmond, who will be presented the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
"It's hard to describe what this means to me," said Jones. "Maybe Edmonton Sun publisher John Caputo put it best. He said: 'This has to be a sportswriter's equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup.' That's pretty much it.
"The thing that makes it most special to me is that I'm a columnist. A significant percentage of the previous Hockey Hall of Fame media honourees cover hockey exclusively. Colleagues kidded me for years that nobody who wrote the amount of curling or figure skating that I've written over the years was ever going to get into the media section of the Hall. I think I came to believe that."
A native of Lacombe, Jones had his first hockey stories published the local weekly paper while in the seventh grade.
He began his daily newspaper career with the Edmonton Journal in 1967, becoming a sports columnist just under a decade later.
Jones would move to the Edmonton Sun in 1982, where he's gone on to cover over 500 Stanley Cup playoff games, including all 251 games involving the Edmonton Oilers.
Jones has also covered all the Canada Cup and World Cup hockey tournaments from 1976 onward, several IIHF World Championships in Europe and World Junior tournaments in Canada.
He has also holds the Canadian record for coverage of the most Olympics (16), and authored two books on Wayne Gretzky's career - The Great Gretzky and An Oiler Forever.
"I love covering the red maple leaf more than anything in whatever sport," Jones said. "But let's face it, if you are a Canadian sports columnist, you are first and foremost a hockey writer, and that makes this the ultimate honour."
Jones becomes the only Western Canadian general sports columnist to ever win the Elmer Ferguson Award and be selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as writer media honouree.
He's the only Western Canadian elected as a media honouree to both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Jones joins Western Canadian hockey writers Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Eric Duhatschek, formerly of the Calgary Herald, and Oilers longtime broadcaster Rod Phillips in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
He becomes the 10th person involved with the five-time Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers to be inducted, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson and Glen Sather, Matheson and Phillips.
"I've been saying for a few years now that the hockey gods are getting even with me for what I covered with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and all those Hall of Famers at the front end of my career covering these 30th place teams at the back end," Jones said. "But I have no dispute with the hockey gods after finding out about this. It's great to join Rod and Matty (Matheson) in there. Hopefully they'll school me about what's involved during the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Toronto in November."