Dale Hawerchuk was a legendary player. From the moment he laced up his skates at a young age, he was a commanding presence on the ice.
A two-time Memorial Cup champion and the 1981 CHL Player of the Year, Hawerchuk was drafted first overall by the Jets in 1981 and went on to win the Calder Trophy his rookie season. By the end of a 16-year career at the age of 34, the Hockey Hall of Famer had notched 1,409 points in 1,188 games for the Jets, Sabres, Blues and Flyers. He also captured two Canada Cup championships and played a key role in Mario Lemieux's clincher in 1987.
Aside from being a dominating force on the ice, Hawerchuk was also coach of the Barrie Colts (OHL) since 2010, having coached current standout NHLers such as the Jets' Mark Scheifele, the Flames' Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane and the Hurricanes' Andrei Svechnikov.
Hawerchuk died on Tuesday after a long battle with stomach cancer. The hockey world took to Twitter to remember and pay respects to the Hockey Hall of Famer:
So sad what a incredible human being ❤️I’m thankful that Ducky was my friend and I had a chance to talked with him yesterday and say goodbye this world is not same place without him,Eric you can be so proud of your dad ❤️Thoughts love and prayers for all your family❤️RIP DALE https://t.co/SKVHfxSFkB— Teemu Selanne (@TeemuSel8nne) August 18, 2020
My thoughts are with the Hawerchuk’s. Dale is the greatest Jet to ever play in this city. I will forever cherish the advice he has given me over the years— Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) August 18, 2020
I had the opportunity to golf with Dale a few times early in my career, & what I remember the most was how down to earth he was. Outside of being a hall of fame hockey player, he was such a nice caring human being. Gone way too soon.The hockey world lost a good man today. pic.twitter.com/Mrhu9TJA60— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) August 18, 2020
It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of our head coach and friend, Dale Hawerchuk.— Barrie Colts (@OHLBarrieColts) August 18, 2020
On behalf of the entire Barrie Colts organization and our fans, our condolences and thoughts are with the Hawerchuk family. pic.twitter.com/nmEiGaGxXj
Rest In Peace Dale, was an honour to play for you.— Rasmus Andersson (@RAndersson19) August 18, 2020
Keeping Coach Hawerchuk's family in my thoughts and prayers. You're always in my heart ♥️ pic.twitter.com/CAHr6GkuQo— Andrei Svechnikov (@ASvechnikov_37) August 18, 2020
Sept 6, 1987 I watched my 1st live hockey game at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton (Canada Cup). Dale and Team Canada tied the Soviet Union 3-3. I was hooked on hockey after that!! Hockey world lost a good one today. #HawerchukStrong https://t.co/S4yWb9Hv90— Kevin Bieksa (@kbieksa3) August 18, 2020
So sad to hear of passing of Dale Hawerchuk. I had the fortune to play with Dale several times over the years. A great player, so smart and crafty. Moreso, he was a gentleman through and through. He will he dearly missed.— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) August 18, 2020
Sad day today. So many wonderful memories together that I will always cherish. Thinking of his Family with this great loss. R.I.P Ducky pic.twitter.com/bVzQUbS7pg— Doug Gilmour (@DougGilmour93) August 18, 2020
Rick Bowness emotional seeing images of Dale Hawerchuk on the video board. Bowness coached Hawerchuk with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1980s. pic.twitter.com/kgqupGi33D— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) August 18, 2020
Dale Hawerchuk was everything we look for at Hockey Canada.— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) August 18, 2020
His love for the game and love to compete - as a player, coach and person - was unrivalled.
We will miss him. pic.twitter.com/XlYa9WAMAT
The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, our players, our alumni, and our fans will miss Dale Hawerchuk dearly, and we will forever be inspired by his passion for the game, his commitment to his team, and his love for our community. #RememberingDucky #HawerchukStrong pic.twitter.com/Vgj78TsSco— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) August 18, 2020
We were privileged to have Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk in a Blue Note when he scored his historic 500th goal during the 1995-96 season. Our condolences go out to Hawerchuk’s friends and family during this difficult time. https://t.co/s3igda5QlS #stlblues pic.twitter.com/Xg6DQCYmIX— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) August 18, 2020
Gutted to hear of the passing of #DaleHawerchuk...the greatest nhljets player of all time! In the 80s I was a hockey FANATIC and Dale was the highly skilled leader of my beloved #WinnipegJets. He scored almost 1200… https://t.co/EtBxb4PY3e— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) August 18, 2020
It was a pleasure and an honour to coach across from you Dale. You touched so many over the years with being the genuine good person you were. The game in the sky got a real good one today, you will be missed and your legend will live on.— Jay McKee (@JayMcKee74) August 18, 2020
My condolences to the Hawerchuk family https://t.co/iCiFzuHFFg
Heaven received a Hall of Famer today.Dale Hawerchuck was one of the best both on & off the ice! He called me yesterday to thank me for our friendship & to say goodbye! He said he was at peace-holding back my tears I was truly honored to be a part of his final hours-RIP Dale— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) August 18, 2020