"I feel like the luckiest guy": Flames legend Lanny McDonald humbled by new honour

Mar 9 2022, 8:19 pm

The man with the moustache is receiving Hockey Canada’s highest honour. 

Calgary Flames legend Lanny McDonald, alongside Guy Lafleur and Kim St-Pierre, has been named to the Order of Hockey in Canada.

“First of all you’re shocked, you’re humbled, you’re thrilled all at the same time,” McDonald told Daily Hive. “You never feel like you’re really deserving of the honour, and especially when you go in with Kim St-Pierre and Guy Lafleur at the same time. 

“What a proud moment for not only myself, our entire family.”

The Order is a Hockey Canada initiative to celebrate individuals for their outstanding contributions or service to the growth and development of the sport of hockey in Canada. 

The trio, which will be recognized for outstanding contributions to the sport at the annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf in Niagara Falls in June, join 33 other men and women named to the Order of Hockey in Canada since it was first introduced in 2012.

“To be named to the Order of Hockey in Canada is one of the most prestigious accomplishments in our sport and all three Distinguished Honourees in the Class of 2022 are incredibly deserving of this honour,” Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada, said in a release.

“On behalf of Hockey Canada, our board and the Order of Hockey in Canada selection committee, I would like to congratulate Guy, Lanny and Kim on this tremendous achievement.”

McDonald, a four-time NHL all-star, co-captained the Flames to its only Stanley Cup in 1989. 

He’s also won the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey, and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given annually to the NHLer who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice, and who has made significant humanitarian contributions to his community.

McDonald also represented Canada twice internationally as a player, including helping his country to the 1976 Canada Cup title, assisting on Darryl Sittler’s double-overtime winner to lift Canada to the championship.

He has served Team Canada as general manager and director of player personnel, too, winning a gold medal as director of player personnel at the 2004 IIHF World Championship.

“When you start to play the game, you’re only trying to find a way to get your feet underneath you and actually perform the way you believe you can,” said McDonald, whose iconic no. 9 has been retired by the Flames. “But you just want to get your footing so you can be a part of whatever team it is, and obviously then once that happens you want to win the Stanley Cup. 

“Winning the Stanley Cup is kind of what you’re after. You don’t even realize a lot of times what it means when you put that jersey on with that Canadian Maple Leaf. 

“To be a part of ’76 and to be lucky enough to be on the ice with Marcel Dionne and Darryl Sittler, both of us assist on Darryl’s winning goal in overtime, that was such a great experience and one I will never forget, and certainly made it so much easier when Hockey Canada asked if I would be a part of their management over the years. It has been so rewarding and this honour just kind of tops everything.”

In all, McDonald had 1,006 points (500 goals, 506 assists) in 1,111 games over a 16-year career with the Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Colorado Rockies.

“I feel like the luckiest guy,” McDonald said. “I have had so much fun in this game and I owe so much, not only to the game, but to Hockey Canada, and I can’t thank the selection committee enough for this honour.”

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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