The Hockey Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday that longtime Hockey Night in Canada colour commentator Harry Neale will be honoured in November as the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.
The award, given for outstanding contributions made as a hockey broadcaster, is named after the first man to gain fame as the voice of Hockey Night in Canada. It is presented by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
"Harry has entertained millions of hockey fans in the United States and Canada for close to 30 years," Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, said in a statement. "His unique brand of humour and insight has been memorable. He is extremely worthy of this honour and the NHL Broadcasters' Association applauds him for his great work in all aspects of hockey."
Neale joined Hockey Night in Canada in 1985 and helped form the most famous hockey broadcast pairing, with play-by-play man and 1996 Hockey Hall of Fame honouree Bob Cole.
Neale, 76, covered over two decades' worth of Stanley Cup playoff contests for CBC Sports, as well as three Olympic tournaments.
He has worked solely in the past six years close to his home in Western New York, as an analyst for the Buffalo Sabres.
Born in Sarnia, Ont., Neale previously coached the Detroit Red Wings and served as general manager and head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, along with jobs in the WHA and NCAA.
In addition, it was announced Tuesday that Jay Greenberg will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism. The award is presented by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Greenberg has been a beat reporter for NHL teams the Philadelphia Flyers and Kansas City Scouts, as well as writing posts for Sports Illustrated, The Hockey News, The Toronto Sun and New York Post. He has written several books, with Gordie Howe’s Son: A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey, co-authored with Mark Howe and to be published in October.
Neale and Greenberg will receive their awards on Nov. 11 in Toronto.
The Hall will announce the 2013 class of players to be inducted on July 9. First-year eligible NHL players include Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer.