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January 1, 2020
While a handful of CCAA National Hockey Champions have been honored in a hall/wall of fame by their post-secondary institution, none have received similar recognition from a provincial or a national governing body for post secondary sport. Adding a team category to the CCAA Hall of Fame is compelling for a number of reasons.
This past spring, coverage of the CCAA Hall of Fame inductions by the Calgary media was abysmal even though two of the inductees had ties to Calgary post secondary institutions. Induction of teams may assist in heightening the profile of the event.
A number of halls of fame focused on post secondary sport already honour teams. In 2019, Canada West established a hall of fame and inducted both men's and women's hockey teams.
In addition to individuals, teams can also win a national championship. International tournament championship performances and/or triumphs over eventual U Sports champions by teams that have won consecutive championships must be immortalized. The length of sustained excellence, the level of dominance and the individual accomplishments of athletes and coaches during the run provide inspiration to those that follow. The team accomplishments often trump the accomplishments of individual team members.
A patchwork of internal wall/hall of fame opportunities exist across the nation. A number of post secondary institution athletic departments and provincial governing boides do not have a wall/hall of fame. Some post secondary institutions athletic departments and provincial governing bodies that have a wall/hall of fame do not induct teams. Others have not made inductions in over a decade.
To date, only three of eight hockey teams that won the first national championship in any sport for their post secondary institution have been recognized by their athletic department in a hall/wall of fame — the 1974-75 Camrose Lutheran College Vikings, the 1977-78 College of Cape Breton Capers and the 1980-81 SAIT Trojans. Two teams that captured the second national hockey title for their polytechnic received the call as well — the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks and the 1999-2000 SAIT Trojans.
As a result, the alternative is recognition in an external hall of fame. Seven CCAA champions from Alberta are in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame -- the 1974-75 Camrose Lutheran College Vikings, the 1980-81 SAIT Trojans, the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks as well as the the 1976-77, the 1978-79 and 1979-80 Red Deer College Kings. Provincial hockey hall of fames do not exist in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Other external halls of fame do not induct teams or can be out of reach.
A team category in the CCAA Hall of Fame would help fill the void.