The Portland Winterhawks have one of the most storied histories in major junior hockey, and to honor that history the organization has founded a Hall of Fame.
2012 Inductee: Brent Peterson
On February 3, 2012, the Winterhawks inducted former player and coach Brent Peterson to the team's Hall of Fame. Peterson moved to Portland with the team in 1976, and was the first captain of the Winterhawks.
He went on to a 12-year playing career in the NHL, then spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers before returning to Portland and spending two seasons as an assistant coach. Peterson took over as head coach prior to the 1993-94 season, winning 49 games that season. In five seasons behind the bench Peterson amassed a record of 198-137-20. He led the Hawks to the playoffs in all five seasons, collected 45 or more wins in three seasons, and in 1997-98 guided the franchise to its second Memorial Cup.
Peterson then left the Winterhawks to join the expansion Nashville Predators as an assistant coach, and was promoted to associate coach in 2003. Peterson remained behind the bench through the end of the 2010-11 season, and is now an advisor in their hockey operations department.
2010 Inductees: Brian C. Shaw, Ken Hodge, Dennis Holland; Innes Mackie Wins Award
On March 6, 2010, the Portland Winterhawks inducted their inaugural Hall of Fame class: team founder Brian C. Shaw, longtime general manager and head coach Ken Hodge, and the franchise's leader in goals scored, Dennis Holland. In addition, longtime trainer Innes Mackie received the inaugural Brian C. Shaw Award for Meritorious Service to the Organization.
Brian C. Shaw (Awarded posthumously; Award accepted by his nephew and former Winterhawk Bruan "Bunny" Shaw)
Shaw was inducted posthumously, having passed away in 1993. He was represented at the ceremony by his nephew, former Winterhawks player Brian "Bunny" Shaw. Shaw was the team’s head coach for several seasons when they were the Edmonton Oil Kings, and later bought the team during the 1974-75 season, and moved them to Portland prior to the 1976-77 season, becoming the first major junior hockey team based in the United States. He also served as the team’s general manager until 1992.
Shaw was known as an innovative marketer, having hatched the idea of the Memorial Cup’s host team granted a spot in the tournament every year, which led to unprecedented attendance. The first year that rule was enacted, in 1983, Portland hosted the Memorial Cup, and the team won the fabled trophy on home ice in front of over 10,000 fans. Shaw is also credited with coming up with the Dash For Cash, a popular promotion the team still runs to this day.
In addition to owning the Winterhawks, he was Chairman of the WHL’s Executive Board from 1978-1987. Among his accomplishments in that capacity was designing the league’s education plan, which calls for players to receive a year of post-secondary tuition for each season played in the WHL.
Hodge was the franchise’s first coach in Portland when the team moved in 1976, and beginning with the 1978-79 season they finished first three straight years. The 1981-82 season saw the Hawks finish first again, as they won the WHL championship to make it to the Memorial Cup. In 1983 they made it to the WHL Championship series, and hosting the Memorial Cup, they became the first U.S.-based team to win the championship.
Hodge remained behind the bench through the 1992-93 season, coaching a total of 1411 games, including 742 wins, both all-time WHL marks. His 101 postseason wins is also a WHL record. He became general manager in 1992 and kept the Winterhawks atop the WHL, building the team that won the 1998 Memorial Cup. During his time as coach and then general manager, Portland made the playoffs 26 times, missing the postseason just six times. Under his guidance the Hawks won two Memorial Cups and two WHL championships.
In addition, under Hodge the Winterhawks sent nearly 100 players to the NHL. Hodge has also been part a part owner of the team, and remains involved as an adviser.
Holland made his Winterhawks debut as a 16-year-old during the 1985-86 season, with three goals and two assists in just one game. It set the stage for the next three years, when he would become one of the league’s most feared snipers with 36, 58 and 82 goals, respectively. He is the Winterhawks’ all-time leading goal scorer with 179, ranks third all-time in team history with 250 assists, and is second in franchise history with 429 points.
His 82 goals and 167 points in the 1988-89 season are both single-season franchise records (the goals mark is shared with Randy Heath). On November 23, 1988 against the Kamloops Blazers he set a franchise record, and tied a league record, with seven goals. He added an assist for eight total points that night, tying a team record, a mark he’d equal later that season on February 8, 1989 against the Spokane Chiefs.
That season he led the Winterhawks to the WHL championship series against the Swift Current Broncos. In 19 playoff games, Holland registered 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points.
Mackie, the recipient of the inaugural Brian C. Shaw Award for Meritorious Service to the Organization, came to Portland with Shaw and Hodge as the team’s trainer, a position he held for over 30 years. He was responsible for the physical well-being of every player who put on a Winterhawks uniform in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries.
He was also a well-regarded judge of hockey talent, and was known as “Eagle Eye Innes” for his ability to spot illegal sticks being used by opposing players, which would result in power plays for Portland.