The World Juniors might still be two months away, but the energy of these coming attractions was on full display last night at HSBC Arena, as 400 guests took part in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fames annual dinner and induction ceremonies.
Five inductees, players Jeremy Roenick, Derian Hatcher and Kevin Hatcher, and administrator George Berglund and physician Dr. George Nagobads were this years entrants into the Hall, in an emotional program full of speeches, remembrances and standing ovations. The final speaker, Jeremy Roenick, admitted that he could no longer compete with today’s better class of faster, stronger and better conditioned athletes. “Back in the day we would go to the back of the bus and drink beer and play poker,” said Roenick. “Today the guys are drinking vitamin shakes and playing games on their nintendoes.”
The event was hosted by the Buffalo Sabres, with primary sponsorship by Rich Products. In attendance were NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, as well as top officials from U.S. Hockey.
The United States junior hockey team will defend its world title this December at HSBC Arena. The World Juniors is set to begin on December 26, with the final game on January 5, and ten countries will compete in the tournament.
Above – Jeremy Roenick receives his Hall of Fame plaque. Below – the five award recipients on stage.