Red Deer, AB – Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation announced the 2011 Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame inductees today, and Oil Kings Memorial Cup champion Roger Bourbonnais will be receiving the prestigious honour.
Bourbonnais, a native of Riviere Qui Barre, started his hockey career with the Oil Kings in 1960 and played with them through 1963. In his final year with the Edmonton squad, he was the team captain that led them to a Memorial Cup victory.
It was the Oil Kings’ first-ever Memorial Cup championship, as they defeated Niagara Falls 4-1 in a best-of-seven series at the Edmonton Gardens. The 1963 Oil Kings also included Pat Quinn and Glen Sather, and they were coached by Buster Brayshaw.
Bourbonnais then joined the newly-founded Canadian National Hockey Team and travelled with them to the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, where he contributed two goals to Canada’s fourth-place finish. Following the 1964 Olympics, Bourbonnais laced up his skates for Canada in the 1965, 1966 and 1967 IIHF World Championships, capturing two bronze medals in three years.
In 1968, he once again represented Canada in the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, where he would score four goals in seven games to finish with a bronze medal. Bourbonnais also spent some time with the Edmonton Nuggets of the Western Canada Senior Hockey League during the 1967-68 season.
He turned down offers to play pro hockey with the Detroit Red Wings and instead pursued his law degree, which he obtained in 1967. Bourbonnais was given the honour of being inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame in 1999.
Bourbonnais will be inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame under the Achievement Category alongside two teams, the 1976-77, 1978-79 and 1979-80 Red Deer College Kings, as well as the 1999-2000 University of Alberta Pandas. In the Builder Category, Leo Wurtz, Dave Manning and Loretta Normandeau are being honoured this year, while Edmonton Northlands will be inducted under the Pioneer Category.
“We look forward each year to honouring those who have made hockey in Alberta, Canada and around the world what it is today,” said Scott Robinson, executive director, Hockey Alberta Foundation. “The Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame is an important showcase of our game’s history in Alberta and all of these inductees have made significant contributions.”
The 2011 inductees were chosen from nominations based on select criteria. Nominees must have lived in Alberta for at least five years, must have personal and or professional accomplishments in the game of hockey, must have made an impact in the game beyond a local or regional level and must have received significant other recognitions. Nominations could be made for either an individual or team active or retired.
This year’s inductees will be recognized at the Hockey Alberta Awards Gala taking place on Saturday, June 11, at the Capri Hotel & Convention Centre in Red Deer.