Paul Stewart among inductees for US Hockey Hall of Fame
The US Hockey Hall of Fame released its Class of 2018 inductees on Thursday, and two of the newest members have local roots.
Paul Stewart, born in Dorchester, was the first American referee to officiate more than 1,000 NHL regular season games. He still stands today as the only American who played and refereed in the NHL.
Even while battling Stage 3 colon cancer in 1998, he returned to the ice later that year while still undergoing chemotherapy. Now residing in Walpole, he ended his career having officiated 1,010 regular season games, along with 49 Stanley Cup playoff and two All-Star games.
“Being inducted in the Hall of Fame is something that I never dreamed would happen,” said Stewart in a blog posted on Hockeybuzz.com.
“I’m just a rough-around-the-edges kid from Dorchester and Jamaica Plain who would do anything to be at the rink. When I look at the company that I am being included with in the U.S. Hall -- the best officials, the great players, coaches, and builders of the game in our country -- it is humbling.”
Joining Stewart in the Hall of Fame will be another Massachusetts local, the late Leland “Hago” Harrington, who attended Melrose High School before going on to have a lengthy professional career. Harrington passed away in 1959.
Former Michigan coach Gordon “Red” Berenson, former U.S. women’s national team captain Natalie Darwitz and former Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals general manager, David Poile, will join Stewart and Harrington for the induction ceremony in Nashville on December 12.