MJHL mourns the passing of Wayne Hawrysh

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is saddened to report the recent passing (October 31) of Mr. Wayne Hawrysh. Wayne was a dedicated and committed member of the league for many years and made his greatest contribution to Junior hockey with the OCN Blizzard. The league passes its heartfelt condolences to Wayne’s wife Nancy and their family.
Below is a piece written by the OCN Blizzard for a recent ceremony by the club where they recognized the contributions of Wayne Hawrysh.
Wayne began his career in Hockey as a young boy living in Dauphin Manitoba, where he found his love for the sport alongside his father, Steve “Boomer” Hawrysh, a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.   Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings round #3 Amateur Draft in 1969, Wayne played in five leagues over the course of his career, American Hockey League, Eastern Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Southern Hockey League & Western Hockey league.
Wayne began his coaching career back home in Dauphin where he served as Dauphin Kings assistant coach in the 74 /75 season and Head coach in 75/76.  Wayne then moved to The Pas where he brought his love for the sport and dedicated his desire to inspire youth in hockey.
In the Spring of 1996 the community of OCN secured a franchise in the MJHL and from there it all began.  It was an awesome team and a great board of directors.  They used to call Wayne “Mr Everything” as he was the assistant coach, governor and director of hockey operations.  He held those positions for the first 3 years and then continued to help out as assistant coach for most of the next 15 years.  His last winter was 2012-13 when he came home from Texas to help Clay and Derek.
Wayne and Nancy loved to make the players feel at home – whether billeting players like Brian MacIntosh and Tobias Hall over the years or holding Blizzard Christmas dinners for the players at their cabin.  Wayne loved to talk Blizzard hockey and is connected with many of the past OCN Blizzard Players.
Through the years, Wayne was a leader at every level, holding many positions and helped maintain the structure of the club. Whether in the boardroom as Director of Player Personnel, a Coach,  Manager, Marketing or Trainer – Wayne knew what it would take to put the OCN Blizzard ‘On the Map’ in the world of Canadian Junior hockey.  No one can deny that Wayne provided the expertise and backbone needed to foster a successful team.
Wayne has been a devoted ambassador for the OCN Blizzard and to Junior Hockey in our region and the Province overall; he has truly demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship both on and off the ice, and through his continued dedication and commitment to the sport and the organization he has held in high regard, the ideals of a true sportsman and all around great citizenship to the community and the hockey world at large.  The youth program in Hockey would not be what it is today for those involved in minor hockey in northern Manitoba without his vision and commitment to the sport.
Wayne has supported the OCN Blizzard Hockey organization and has worked hard through the years, it is his dedication and loyalty to the team that gives us great honor to name this award the “Wayne Hawrysh Award of Dedication”.
The goal of the “Wayne Hawrysh Award of Dedication” is to develop, recognize and reward exemplary character and sportsmanship demonstrated by our members and players involved in the Blizzard Organization. Deserving candidates are selected based on a number of factors that demonstrate “character”, many of the characteristics we look up to with Wayne, including: positive attitude, outstanding sportsmanship, excellent work ethic, unselfish team dedication, respect & responsibility, exemplary citizenship, and, overall, a great role model for our sport in northern Manitoba.
The Wayne Hawrysh Award of Dedication will be awarded to the individual who consistently exemplifies these qualities and has done so within the framework of the Manitoba Junior Hockey league. The recipient of this Award may be a volunteer, a member of the OCN Blizzard organization, a community member or player who, through their commitment and dedication to the Team, the community and the region, does what it takes to ensure the success of the Blizzard Hockey organization and has put in many countless hours of work and displaying professionalism to promote the organization positively.
The recipient of the Award will be named annually at the OCN Blizzard Awards Ceremony.
Thank you Wayne for all of your support in the last 20 years!