McGill Receives WHL Distinguished Service Award

Edmonton, AB – WHL Commissioner Ron Robison announced today, on behalf of the WHL Board of Governors, that Bob McGill has been named a recipient of the WHL Distinguished Service Award for the 2015-16 season.

McGill was honoured by WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in Edmonton tonight in a special ceremony prior to the Edmonton Oil Kings’ game against the Red Deer Rebels.

“Congratulations to Bob from the entire Edmonton Oil Kings organization,” said Oil Kings general manager Randy Hansch. “He is a very passionate person about the game of hockey and the WHL. We are really fortunate he has been able to be a part of our group. He has touched the organization in many ways and we are all better for it.”

Bob McGill was born in Camrose, AB and grew up playing minor hockey there. After a cup of coffee with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings in 1965, he played some minor league hockey in Lacombe and a year in Colorado Springs.

Bob joined the Edmonton Fire Department in 1969 and enjoyed a 30-year career there before retiring from that in 1999.

Bob has 26 years of scouting in the WHL under his belt starting with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 1988. In 1991 he joined the Medicine Hat Tigers as their Head Scout for three seasons. After taking two years off he joined the Kelowna Rockets where he scouted for them for 10 years, including three straight Memorial Cup appearances. In 2004 he was part of the Memorial Cup winning team that was held in Kelowna.

Bob had what he calls “a transitional year” in Vancouver with the Giants before coming back home and joining Edmonton for their newest incarnation of the Oil Kings’ inaugural season in 2007-08. He remained with the Oil Kings up until 2014 before retiring from the game. He went out on a high note as the Oil Kings won the WHL Championship and the Memorial Cup in 2013-14.

“Hockey was my life,” said Bob. “I put on a lot of miles and spent hours and hours at the rinks. It was very gratifying and rewarding. I loved the competitive nature, hoping to find ‘that guy’ for your team. Such great people and kids with life-long relationships. That’s what is most important.”

“Bob has spent his entire WHL scouting career working tirelessly behind the scenes evaluating prospects in the Western Canada minor hockey system,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Bob has also played a key role in assembling teams which have captured WHL and Memorial Cup championships in both Kelowna and Edmonton and is most deserving of this prestigious award.” 

Former Oil Kings General Manager, Bob Green, says his presence and accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular.

“He had a huge impact on the WHL. He was in the league a long time, even winning the Memorial Cup with the Kelowna Rockets and then again with us. Edmonton has always been an important area for players…lots of players come out of this area and he was a big part of that.”

Green went on to say that McGill had “such a huge presence in the rink” and all the new guys “learned so much from him”.

The WHL Distinguished Service Award, which was introduced by the WHL in 2004, is presented annually to individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of franchises and in doing so have made an extraordinary contribution at the Club or League level over an extended period of time. The WHL will present Distinguished Service Awards annually to an individual from both the Western and Eastern Conferences.

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