Sixteen hockey greats became official charter members of the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame during formal enshrinement ceremonies on Thursday, September 20th at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln.
Charter class inductees, in alphabetical order, are: Bill Belisle, Curt Bennett, Harvey Bennett, Sr., Bryan Berard, Keith Carney, Joe Cavanagh, Sara DeCosta-Hayes, Cammi Granato, Lou Lamoriello, Brian Lawton, Louis A.R. Pieri, Dick Rondeau, Mathieu Schneider, Chris Terreri, Zellio Toppazzini, and Ron Wilson.
In his opening greeting, Hall of Fame chairman, Vincent Cimini, proudly noted, “As players and as pillars of the game, our charter class represents the very best of our state’s rich and illustrious 120-year hockey heritage.
“We conceived this Hall of Fame to be more than simply a tribute to great players or a memorial to fond memories,” he asserted. “It is an investment in the future of Rhode Island hockey – an inheritance of overwhelming evidence and inspiration we leave to future generations that Rhode Island hockey dreams really do come true.”
Video profiles highlighting the development and careers of each inductee preceded their enshrinements. Master of ceremonies, Dale Arnold, noted the significance of their achievements with each introduction and, in some cases, how far they had traveled to be receive their honors – Curt Bennett from Hawaii, Keith Carney from Arizona, and family members from all over the USA. Nearly 400 attended the event.
Several honorees, including Mathieu Schneider, Brian Lawton, Joe Cavanagh, Cammi Granato, and Chris Terreri, unable to attend due to various NHL schedule and personal conflicts, delivered heart-felt video acceptances.
Honorees were each presented with a bronze Hall of Fame medallion showcased in its own mahogany box. Inductees were escorted to the stage by players from the Brown University and Providence College women’s hockey teams, who wore Hall of Fame jerseys personalized with the name of each respective inductee and the year of their class emblazoned on the back.
Also honored at the inaugural event was Ralph Warburton, the first recipient of the Malcolm Greene Chace Trophy awarded for “Lifetime contribution of a Rhode Islander to the Game of Ice Hockey”. The trophy is named after the Rhode Island native widely regarded as the “father” of ice hockey in the United States.
Complete bios on all honorees are posted on the HONORED MEMBERS page of this website.