Winterhawks to retire Cam Neely’s number 21 and induct four into team’s Hall of Fame
Portland, Ore. – The Portland Winterhawks Hockey Club today announced that the club will retire Cam Neely’s number 21 on Saturday, March 18 when the team hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds for Oregon Hockey History Night. Neely will be the first Winterhawk to have his jersey number retired and raised to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum rafters.
Additionally, Neely and three of his teammates from the 1983 Memorial Cup Championship team will be inducted into the Winterhawks Hall of Fame. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of that championship, Randy Heath, Grant Sasser and Ken Yaremchuk will join Neely to complete the Winterhawks’ 2023 Hall of Fame class.
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All four players were integral to the 1983 championship season, with each notching 50 goals and 100 points including Yaremchuk and Heath’s 150-point campaigns that year. Each made a permanent impact on the organization and helped to build the Winterhawks into what they are today. Click here to learn more about the Winterhawks Hall of Fame.
The four players will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on March 18 which will feature the raising of a Portland Winterhawks Hall of Fame banner in addition to Neely’s #21 banner.
Neely played two seasons in Portland from 1982 to 1984, amassing 64 goals and 82 assists for 146 points in just 91 games. In 19 combined playoff and Memorial Cup tournament games, Neely tallied 29 points to help give Portland its first Memorial Cup championship. Following his time in Portland, Neely enjoyed a 13-year National Hockey League playing career with the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins and was named an NHL All-Star four times. After wrapping up his playing career in 2007, Neely joined the Bruins’ operations staff and is currently serving in his 13th season as team president.
Heath spent three full seasons and part of a fourth in the Rose City, logging 178 goals and 162 assists for 340 points in 199 career regular season games. Heath ranks second in goals, 16th in assists and eighth in points among all-time Winterhawks skaters and produced 11 points in four Memorial Cup games to help lead Portland to victory in ’83. After wrapping up his Winterhawks career with 90 points in 60 games in the 1983-84 season, the 1983 second-round selection of the New York Rangers spent two seasons in the NHL and AHL before moving overseas to play for a handful of teams in the Swedish leagues.
Sasser racked up 117 goals and 157 assists for 274 points in 185 games with the Winterhawks from 1981-1984. A Portland native, Sasser became a fan favorite as he posted back-to-back 100-point seasons with 119 in the Hawks’ Memorial Cup Championship season and 113 the following year. Sasser turned pro at the end of the 1983-84 campaign, logging three games with the Pittsburgh Penguins – who drafted him 94th overall in the 1982 Entry Draft – before spending 70 games in the AHL and IHL during the 1984-85 season. When Sasser donned the Penguins’ sweater, he became the second player born in Oregon to lace up and play in the National Hockey League.
Portland’s third-leading all-time scorer, Yaremchuk’s 424 points trail only Todd Robinson and Dennis Holland in the Winterhawks’ record books. The Edmonton, Alta. native tallied 144 career goals (tied for seventh in team history) and 280 assists (second in team history) in 210 games across three seasons with the Winterhawks from 1980-1983. Incredibly, Yaremchuk tallied 100 or more points in each season played for Portland and was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1982 NHL Draft. After notching a team-leading 160 points in the 1982-83 regular season and 11 in three Memorial Cup games to help the Hawks hoist the trophy, Yaremchuk embarked on a 16-year pro career, including 235 NHL games with Chicago and Toronto.
Join us in celebrating the terrific accomplishments of our alumni and the rest of the 1983 team that will be recognized and honored before we drop the puck on March 18.