Kariya, Morrison to be inducted into Penticton’s Ring of Honour

Retired NHLers Paul Kariya and Brendan Morrison will join Penticton’s Ring of Honour.

Paul Kariya

Retired NHLers Paul Kariya and Brendan Morrison will join the other greats in Penticton’s Ring of Honour.

The Vees announced Wednesday that the former Panthers will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honour at the 2017 Western Canada Cup (WCC), presented by Sun Life Financial.

Kariya and Morrison will join the original 13 members May 4 during a pre-game ceremony before the Vees final round-robin game at the WCC.

WCC chair, David Michaud, said they’re thrilled to be able to host two such prominent alumni.

“The creation of the Ring of Honour was a huge part of our Western Canada Cup bid. We felt it would add tremendous character to the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC), and the additions of Brendan Morrison and Paul Kariya were obvious choices for the WCC,” said Michaud in a press release. “We thank them for coming back and celebrating this big night in person with us.”

Kariya enjoyed a star-studded career that started in Penticton with the Panthers in 1990. The North Vancouver native took the BC Hockey League (BCHL) by storm, racking up 92 goals and 244 points in just 94 career regular season games over two seasons. He was named the Interior Division Rookie of the Year and was twice named the BCHL MVP. After his time in Penticton, Kariya played parts of two seasons at the University of Maine, winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship and Hobey Baker Award, as college hockey’s top player, in 1993.

Kariya broke into the NHL with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and went on to play 15 seasons between the Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues. In 989 career regular season games, Kariya racked up 402 goals and 989 points. He was named an NHL All-Star five times, and won the Lady Byng Trophy (most sportsmanlike) twice. He also won two Olympic medals, winning gold with Canada in 2002 and silver in 1994.

Morrison played with the Panthers in 1992-93, putting up 35 goals and 94 points in 56 games and was named the Interior Division Rookie of the Year. After Penticton, Morrison spent four seasons at the University of Michigan and won an NCAA national championship in 1996 and was the Hobey Baker award winner in 1997. In his four years at Michigan, Morrison scored 102 goals and 284 points.

Morrison made his NHL debut in the 1997-1998 season with the New Jersey Devils and went on to play 934 career regular season games over 14 seasons with the Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Ducks, Dallas Stars, Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks and finished with 200 goals and 601 points.

WCC ticket packages are on sale now. Fans can buy their $130 “Vees Only” package or the $179 full tournament package by calling the Vees’ Ticket Office, at 250-493-8337 (extension 4). The 2017 WCC presented by Sun Life Financial, runs April 29 to May 7, at the South Okanagan Events Centre.