2017 Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame inductees announced

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TOLEDO, OH-- The Toledo Walleye along with the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame Committee are pleased to announce the inductees to the 2017 Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame class.

• William “Chick” Chalmers – Forward (Blades: 1963-68, 69-70; Hornets: 1970-71)
• Mark Deazeley- Forward (Storm: 1992-95, 97-2000)
• Dirk Graham- Forward (Goaldiggers: 1980-83)
• Greg Jablonski- Forward (Blades: 1963-70; Hornets: 1970-73)
• Paul Tantardini- Forward (Goaldiggers: 1974-75, 1976-79, 1980-84)

“The mark these five men made in the game of hockey and for Toledo hockey makes us honored to name them to the second Hall of Fame class,” says Neil Neukam, Toledo Walleye Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Chick Chalmers, a member of the One Game Wonder Club, played until the age of 37 and spent eight years in Toledo. Fans will remember Mark Deazeley for scoring one of the most famous goals in Toledo hockey history. Dirk Graham became the first player of African descent to be named team captain in the NHL. Greg Jablonski made his mark by putting the puck in the net and remains Toledo’s all-time leading scorer, and Paul Tantardini helped Toledo win three Turner Cups.”

The Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame was created to honor those individuals who have excelled as athletes, as coaches, and those individuals or staff members who have been fervent supporters helping to shape Toledo’s hockey heritage.

The nomination and subsequent selection of candidates was determined by the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame committee, made up of former coaches, players, team historians, and media, with input from Toledo hockey fans during the voting phase.

The Stratford, Ontario, native arrived in Toledo in 1963 when the Omaha Knights relocated to the Glass City to become the Blades. A 15-year International Hockey League veteran who spent a total of seven seasons with the Blades and Hornets, Chalmers totaled 562 points – the second highest amount in Toledo hockey history. Named the second-greatest center in the history of the International Hockey League, Chalmers ranks third overall in the history of the IHL with 843 career assists and fifth all-time in points with 1,235. A member of the Blades’ Turner Cup championship teams in 1964 and 1967, he won the James Gatschene Memorial Trophy as the IHL’s most valuable player during Toledo’s 1964-65 season. He holds the IHL record for the longest consecutive game – 40 - point scoring streak and appeared in one National Hockey League game with the New York Rangers.

Nicknamed “The Diesel” for his imposing 6-4, 237-pound frame, the Toronto, Ontario-born Deazeley was an integral part of the Toledo Storm’s 1993 and 1994 East Coast Hockey League Riley Cup championship teams with his scoring touch around the net and bruising style of play. He scored 24 goals and added 16 assists in 29 post-season games during those title runs while adding 103 minutes in penalties. His 16 playoff goals in 1994 are the second-highest total in the history of the ECHL and earned him a contract with the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets. Deazeley played a total of six seasons for the Storm, recording 120 goals, 85 assists and 1,002 penalty minutes in 258 regular season and playoff games.

Acquired on waivers from the Fort Wayne Komets in 1980, Graham played on the Goaldiggers’ Turner Cup championship teams in 1982 and 1983, before appearing in more National Hockey League games than anyone in Toledo hockey history. Signed to an NHL contract by the Minnesota North Stars during the 1982-83 season when he scored 70 goals and was named a first team International Hockey League all-star for Toledo, the Regina, Saskatchewan, native would go on to play a total of 862 regular season and playoff games over 13 seasons in the NHL, primarily with the Chicago Black Hawks. Nicknamed “Magic” for the things he could do on the ice, Graham went on to serve as captain of the Black Hawks and later as Chicago’s head coach. He scored 182 goals and 174 assists for 356 points in 235 games in Toledo.

The all-time leading point scorer in Toledo hockey history was a model of consistency in his 10-year career, never posting less than 40 points per season for the Blades and Hornets, while providing outstanding two-way play. Raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, Jablonski scored 281 goals and 365 assists, for a total of 646 points in 742 Toledo regular season and playoff games during a decade-long run which saw him make Toledo his home. Tendered by the Detroit Red Wings as a junior, Jablonski was a gentlemanly skater who was a leader on the Blades’ 1964 and 1967 Turner Cup title teams. He never recorded more than 18 penalty minutes in a season for Toledo.

One of the most beloved figures in Toledo hockey history was assigned to the expansion Goaldiggers by the National Hockey League’s California Golden Seals in 1974, and, along with Doug Mahood and Willie Trognitz, formed a line dubbed “Murder, Inc.” for its physical style of play. The Guelph, Ontario, native racked up 338 penalty minutes in just 38 regular season games for that club - known as the ‘Miracle on Main Street’ – which won the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup. Tantardini went on to play 471 games during eight seasons in Toledo and was a member of all four of the Goaldiggers’ Turner Cup teams. He posted 134 goals, 235 assists, 369 points and a whopping 1,958 minutes in penalties in his Toledo career. His two goal, five assist game versus Milwaukee in May of 1983, ranks as the best individual playoff point performance in the modern history of the IHL, with the five assists also a league record.

The Toledo Walleye will hold a special induction luncheon and ceremony on Saturday, February 25, beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets for the event are $36 ($23 if you already have a game ticket). There will also be a special banner raising ceremony before the Walleye game beginning at 7 p.m. For more information or to order tickets call 419-725-9255 or go online at www.toledowalleye.com.