NOJHL honours a gentleman

March 9, 2017

It is only fitting that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has decided to recognize long-time statistician and historian David Harrison by naming its Most Gentlemanly Player award after him.

I have known Harrison for more than 40 years dating back to when I first met him as the statistician for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

Whenever Sudbury was playing the Soo, Harrison was a regular guest of broadcaster Harry Wolfe, who did the play-by-play of Greyhounds games on CKCY Radio.

And let me say that in the 40-plus years that I have been working in the sports media, Harrison stands out as a true gentleman.

Ergo, it is only fitting that the NOJHL’s Most Gentlemanly Player award will now be dubbed the David Harrison Trophy.

A resident of Espanola and a life-long friend of Hockey Canada chairman of the board Joe Drago — a retired educator, former co-owner and general manager of the OHL Wolves and erstwhile NOJHL commissioner — the 78-year old Harrison is the consummate volunteer.

Whether giving his time on behalf of the NOJHL or the OHL Wolves, Harrison has spent many years providing countless hours of service with his tireless efforts in maintaining statistics and record books.

NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca — a former standout defenseman with the OHL Wolves — has plenty of good words to say about good guy Harrison.

“We at the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League would like to commend David for his tremendous assistance all these many years,” offered Mazzuca.

“David’s multitude of behind-the-scenes contributions to junior hockey across northern Ontario have not only made a long-lasting impression within our league, but to all of member clubs, past and present, as well as to everyone who has followed the NOJHL the past four decades.

“With the renaming of our Most Gentlemanly Player award in his honour, it’s a token of the league’s appreciation for his incredible assistance and dedication to the NOJHL. We look forward to working alongside him for many years to come,” added Mazzuca.

Well said, Mr. Commissioner.

What you think about “NOJHL honours a gentleman”

  1. Randy:
    It was a real pleasure to read your column today especially to see that the league is honouring my good friend Dave Harrison. He has given so many years of volunteerism with dedication and commitment. No one can complete stats better than Dave. I have known Dave since we were young kids in Espanola. He was always so strong in math so I tried to sit behind him in class in case I needed a peek or two. I asked Dave to come to the Wolves and the NOJHA ( as it was called then ) to start us with a solid stats package. He did and is still on the scene doing a terrific job. As you mentioned, Dave Harrison is a true gentleman who is always willing to help. I salute and congratulate Dave and also the league for recognizing his tireless work.

  2. Well said Randy, Dave is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and is an asset to the league. Good to see the “stats man” get the recognition he deserves from the Commish and the league.

  3. Dave Harrison is a mentor of a mine who I have leaned on heavily over the years for advice and guidance. More importantly, he has become a very trusted friend. He has given tirelessly to this League over his career and I couldn’t be happier for him. Dave Harrison WAS analytics long before analytics became cool. Kudos to Rob Mazzucca and the NOJHL for recognizing Dave’s efforts and honouring him in a fitting way.

  4. During my 14 years as the radio voice of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, Dave provided me with stats that helped me during the broadcast. He certainly made me sound like I knew what I was talking about. No matter what the topic, year or player Dave had the stats. But more than that he was a good person and an even better friend. Way to go NOJHL and congrats Dave…well deserved.

  5. It was indeed an honour to have my name associated with a trophy in the NOJHL. While I have never played the game, or even been on skates for that matter hockey has been in my blood since attending an Espasnola K-Vees Intermediate “A” days back in the late 1950’s after arriving in Espanola from England in 1953. Times have changed over the years and I have met some great people while pursuing the hockey stats trail. Thanks to everyone who has congratulated me in the past couple of days its an honour.

  6. He is definitely your go to guy for stats related facts or questions from the past. Although I have never met the man , I was always impressed with his matter of the fact quick responses .
    Well deserved.

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