Posted: 19 Mar 2014
Source: Durham Region News
Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame to add four men, one team and a horse Ed Aru, Sean Brown, Joe Greentree, Gil Hughes, Parkway TV and Northern Dancer to be honoured May 28 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame inductees Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- The 2014 inductees to the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame were introduced to the media. Front from left, Brian McCron and Keith Wilson representing the 1972/73 Oshawa Parkway TV Midget hockey team, Noreen Taylor and Warren Gibson representing Northern Dancer, Gil Hughes, a hockey builder. Back from left, Joe Greentree, a hockey and lacrosse player, Sean Brown, a hockey player, and Joanne Balson representing her father Ed Aru, a football builder. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Ed Aru Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Ed Aru, a football builder, represented by his daughter Joanne Balson, will be inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Sean Brown Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Sean Brown, a hockey player, will be inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Gil Hughes Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Gil Hughes, a hockey builder, will be inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Joe Greentree Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Joe Greentree, a hockey and lacrosse player, will be inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Oshawa Parkway hockey Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Brian McCron, left, and Keith Wilson representing the 1972/73 Oshawa Parkway TV Midget hockey team, one of the 2014 inductees to the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame. January 27, 2014. 2014 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Northern Dancer Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland OSHAWA -- Noreen Taylor and Warren Gibson representing Northern Dancer, one of the 2014 inductees to the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame. January 27, 2014. next play/pause pre 7/7Oshawa This Week By Brian McNair OSHAWA -- If there was any doubt about how much it means to be inducted into a hometown hall of fame, Sean Brown surely laid those to rest Monday. Related Stories Northern Dancer was a stud beyond... Brown, a former NHL defenceman, was introduced Monday as part of the 2014 class of nominees into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame, along with Ed Aru, Joe Greentree, Gil Hughes, the 1972-73 Parkway TV midget hockey team and, as a special tribute, Northern Dancer. The induction ceremony won’t take place until May 28, but that didn’t stop Brown from booking a flight from Edmonton to be in attendance Monday, when the inductees were introduced at Oshawa council and later feted at a reception inside the hall of fame at the General Motors Centre. “I’m obviously very excited,” Brown said at the reception. “I have a lot of great memories of coming through and playing hockey in Oshawa and my family is still here. “When I come back here and see all these familiar faces, the people who put in countless hours of volunteer work to make it possible for me and all the other kids to play hockey, just so much comes back to me,” he added. “I’m just very thankful for those people. I can’t put it into words, just so many great memories.” Brown played 436 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks from 1996 to 2006, before closing out his playing career in Europe. He’s now raising his family in Edmonton and serving as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. One of those familiar faces to Brown was Hughes, who coached the Oshawa Kiwanis midget hockey team from 1985 to 1992 and to this day, at 81, still scouts for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. Hughes also coached the Oshawa major bantam AAA, midget AA and Legionaires Jr. B teams, but found the most success with the Kiwanis squad, which he guided to three Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships and one all-Ontario title. Along the way, he has helped several players reach the NHL, including Brown, Shawn McCosh, Brent Grieve, Iain Fraser, Chris Snell, Rob Pearson, Dale Craigwell and Jason Ward, and coached seven of the players who won a Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals in 1990. “When you get something like this, a whole flood of memories come back to you,” he said Monday. “You think of all the various teams and of course the kids on the teams that played for me ... Years later, it certainly is rewarding. “I was very excited when I first heard about it, that’s for sure,” he added of the induction honour. “I didn’t really expect anything like this.” Greentree, 58, not only played for the Generals, but also suited up for Oshawa’s other renowned junior sports team, the Green Gaels in lacrosse. A defenceman with the Generals from 1972-75, Greentree was an offensive contributor in lacrosse, putting up his best numbers in his final year of junior in 1976, when he had 14 goals and 52 points in 22 games. He won a box lacrosse national championship, the Mann Cup, with Peterborough in 1984, six field lacrosse provincial championships with the Oshawa Blue Knights, and represented Canada at the world championships in Los Angeles in 1984, winning silver. “It means the whole world to me, growing up and playing all my sports in Oshawa,” Greentree said of the induction. “To have this honour, I’m speechless basically.” Hockey will be well-represented, as the Parkway midget all-star team will also join the hall. The team played 76 games in a memorable 1972-73 campaign, which included a tour of Sweden and culminated in an all-Ontario championship. “We were playing a game that we loved and we didn’t really see it as trying to accomplish a championship at the time,” recalled captain Brian McCron. “We just kind of peaked at the right time. Every guy on the team brought something. You couldn’t compare any of the two guys, but they all had something, and the coaches and managers put all these little pieces together, and it was probably the most well-balanced team that I’ve ever been a part of.” The team lost only eight games all season and captured the imagination of hockey fans in Oshawa, who regularly jammed Harman Park Arena to take in their games. Coached by Al Bathe, Parkway TV defeated Peterborough, Kingston, Guelph, Windsor and the Toronto Marlboros before beating Sudbury for the provincial title. “Everyone that I’ve talked to, that I’ve had to get in contact with and inform them, they were all pretty excited,” McCron said of the recognition. “It’s been quite a few years since we’ve all been together as a group. Everybody is excited about it. It’s just like we’re 16 years old again.” Aru’s name has been synonymous with football in Oshawa for over half a century. He started his playing career with the city’s first junior football team, the Imps, in 1959, and was still playing when they became the Hawkeyes in the 1960s. Aru, now 70 and spending his winters in Florida, served as a coach and president with the Hawkeyes and was instrumental in developing a house league program and rep teams at every level. “He put a lot of years into the football program here and I think for him it’s really nice to be recognized and we’re really proud of him,” said his daughter Joanne Balson, who attended the reception in his place. “He helped grow the Hawkeyes program to what it is today.” As a special tribute to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his Kentucky Derby victory, Northern Dancer will become the first non-human to be inducted into the Oshawa hall. Born and raised at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Northern Dancer won 14 of his 18 races and was considered the greatest sire of the 20th century. “We’re incredibly proud of Northern Dancer within our family, we’re incredibly proud of Northern Dancer within Oshawa, but I think all of Canada is proud of this horse,” said Noreen Taylor, daughter-in-law of former Windfields owner E.P. Taylor. “We’ve always been a proud part of this community and being recognized in this manner is emotional.” Tickets for the 29th annual induction ceremony will be available after March 15 for $65 through Ross Jones (905-723-4159) or at the GM Centre box office.