Dale Hawerchuk's quiet brilliance made Winnipeg, and Canada, a winner - Sportsnet.ca

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Dale Hawerchuk’s quiet brilliance made Winnipeg, and Canada, a winner. By: SachdevaSonny

’ bench, seeing it unfold in an instant in front of him — a brief moment in which potential and expectation met reality.

Lukowich soon learned flashes of brilliance like these were par for the course for the then-18-year-old. The accumulation of them led Hawerchuk to 45 goals and 103 points in that rookie year — the first of seven campaigns above the 40-goal plateau — and the Calder Trophy. The Jets, meanwhile, went from nine wins without him to 33 wins with him leading the charge, good for a 48-point difference in the standings that ranked as the league’s best-ever single-season turnaround at the time.

Hawerchuk’s skillset seemed ahead of its time — as if a prodigy of today’s dynamic, creative age was dropped in the ’80s. He was an elite playmaker, a dog on any loose puck that dared float into a corner with him present, and, at 18, as patient and poised with the puck as No. 99, says Lukowich. And, of course, he was an ever-deceptive goal-scorer.

The clock had wound down to its final few minutes, with the score between Canada and the USSR knotted at 5–5 and the title on the line. Head coach Mike Keenan tapped Hawerchuk — still just 24 — to head over the boards to take a draw deep in Canada’s zone, the fate of the tournament seemingly resting on his shoulders. Flanked by the two greatest talents the game has ever seen, Nos.

Playing nine years in Winnipeg and five more in Buffalo before concluding his career with stints in St. Louis and Philadelphia, Hawerchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

 

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SachdevaSonny Rest In Peace Dale, my condolences to the Hawerchuk Family.

SachdevaSonny That sucks big time. Met the man numerous times. A wonderful human being. It's a kick to nuts. RIP my friend. The pain has gone 💔

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