Winnipeg Jets add legends Ab McDonald, Lars-Erik Sjoberg to hall of fame

Ab McDonald and Lars-Erik Sjoberg will be honoured posthumously at a special ceremony before the Winnipeg Jets' Feb. 26 game against Minnesota.

McDonald and Sjoberg are the 5th and 6th members of the hall, established in 2016

Winnipeg Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg carries the Avco World Trophy after the team won the 1979 WHA championship. (Canadian Press)

The Winnipeg Jets are inducting two more legends into their Hall of Fame.

Ab McDonald and Lars-Erik Sjoberg will be honoured posthumously at a special ceremony before the Feb. 26 game against Minnesota.

Both players served as team captains during the Jets' World Hockey Association (WHA) era. They're the fifth and sixth members of the hall, which was established in 2016; the other members are Anders Hedberg, Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson and Dale Hawerchuk.

Hockey legend Ab McDonald, who was 82 when he died in September, played 14 seasons in the NHL and captured four Stanley Cups. (CBC archives )

To recognize the induction, the Winnipeg Jets will wear their special Heritage jerseys, one of only two times this season the team will take them out of storage.

The jersey will also be worn for the New Year's Eve away game, Dec. 31, against the Oilers in Edmonton.

McDonald, a native of Winnipeg, played 14 seasons in the NHL from 1958-72 with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues before playing the final two seasons of his career with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets from 1972-74.

Ab McDonald, centre, poses in the Jets team photo from the early 1970s. (CBC)

He was the first captain of the Winnipeg Jets and scored the first goal of the Jets' WHA era. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion, winning the cup in four consecutive seasons from 1958-1961.

McDonald died in September, at age 82, after a battle with cancer.

Lars-Erik Sjoberg, born in Falun, Sweden, played for the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA era from 1974-79 and the first season in the NHL in 1979-80.

Known as "The Professor" and "The Little General" while playing for the Jets, Sjoberg helped lead them to the Avco Cup in 1976, 1978 and 1979 before serving as the first captain of the Jets' NHL era.

He also represented Sweden in the 1968 and 1973 Olympic Games, in five World Championships and in the 1976 Canada Cup.

Sjoberg was 43 when he died of cancer in 1987.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the Feb. 26 game will pay tribute to other Winnipeg Jets captains from the 1972-1979 (WHA), 1979-1996 (NHL) and 2011-present (NHL) eras: current captain Blake Wheeler, Morris Lukowich, Dave Christian, Lucien DeBlois, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Dean Kennedy, Keith Tkachuk and Kris King.


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