The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/01/13 at 03:28 AM ET
The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame chose to hold its 2013 inductions at Detroit's MotorCity Casino for three very important reasons--Plymouth Whalers and Carolina Hurricanes owner and Compuware Hockey founder Peter Karmanos, legendary Michigan State University coach Ron Mason and Warren's Doug Weight are among this year's induction class's headliners.
The Free Press's Helene St. James does a fine job of framing Monday's event, noting that USA Today's Kevin Allen will also be recognized for his journalistic endeavors, and that Bill Guerin and Cindy Curley round out this year's induciton class:
It’s impossible to estimate how many thousands of children have benefited from Karmanos’ decision to cofound Detroit Compuware Hockey in the late 1970s, creating an organization that nurtured players from AAA to Junior A. In 1989, he acquired ownership of an Ontario Hockey League franchise known in its current incarnation as the Plymouth Whalers, who play at a jewel of an OHL home in Compuware Arena. When the Detroit Red Wings needed a place to stage their lockout-shortened training camp in January of 2013, this was where they came.
Karmanos has had success at every level of hockey, becoming an NHL champion in 2006 when his Carolina Hurricanes didn’t finish playing until they partied with the Stanley Cup. Through all his success at the moneyed level, Karmanos, a graduate of Wayne State and former CEO of Compuware Corporation, has kept sponsoring youth hockey programs within the state.
Where Karmanos looked after the very young that populate the beginnings of hockey and the very rich that populate it’s ultimate destination, Mason guided teenagers and young adults in the balance between collegiate hockey and academics. Born in Blyth, Ontario, it was in Michigan that Mason made his name, starting at Lake State, securing his legacy at Michigan State.
Mason led the Spartans to the NCAA championship in 1986, and back to the title game the following season. In 1993, 14 years after he was hired at MSU, Mason became college hockey’s all-time winningest coach with 674 victories. By the time he retired from coaching in 2002 to become the school’s athletic director, Mason had 924 victories, a feat that wasn’t surpassed until 2012.
Under Mason, Michigan State hockey had a reputation as one of college hockey’s best programs. He was instrumental in helping found the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in 1972. He imbued the CCHA with legitimacy while at Bowling Green State University, where the Falcons in 1977 were the conference’s first entry into the NCAA tournament. Since 2000, conference tournament trophy has been known as the Mason Cup.
Weight was schooled through Junior A Compuware while attending Harper Woods Notre Dame high school, before playing two years at Lake Superior State University. There he caught the attention of the New York Rangers, who made him a second-round pick in 1990.
I'll let St. James tell the rest of Weight's story. He's currently working for the New York Islanders, but he happens to have his name on the Stanley Cup very close to Mr. Karmanos' name...
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.