Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame

The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.

The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame was first founded in 1960 by Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Robert Phipps and Omaha Knight general manager Ken Wilson.  After the induction of Gordie Howe in 1961, there were no further additions to the Hall of Fame.  In 2001, the organization was re-founded by the late Jim Semerad and Gary Anderson.  Since then, more than two dozen members have been added to the list. 

 

The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that has donated over $43,000 to charity.  The Foundation is made up of nine individuals who serve on a volunteer board. Its primary focus has been to recognize individuals who have made lasting contributions to Omaha’s hockey heritage.  Those honored have been players, coaches, or builders.  Three are also in the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame. 

 

In 2003, the Motto McLean Service to Hockey Award was first presented.  This award recognizes individuals who have worked behind the scenes, mostly as volunteers, to serve the local hockey community. 

 

The officers include:  David Brisson, president; Brad Madison, vice president; Gary Anderson, secretary-treasurer; board members Dave Ahlers, Stan Benis, Terry Leahy, Jim Kresnik and Mike Vlassakis.

 

For further information or to make a tax deductible contribution, contact Gary Anderson  [email protected]

 

 

Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame

Ted Baer                                           2001

Eddy Bruneteau                                2001

Modere “Mud” Bruneteau                 2005

Andre “Moose” Dupont                     2005

Jack Egers                                       2007

Dan Ellis                                           2017

Bill Fairbairn                                     2003

Jake Forbes                                     2001

Mike Hastings                                  2009

Jeff Hoggan                                      2019

Gordie Howe                                    1960

J.J. “Jake” Isaacson                          2007

Fred Knipscheer                                2002

Mike Kemp                                        2010

Sam Lavitt                                         2002

Don Luce                                          2002

Motto McLean                                  2001

Max McNab                                      2003

Don Martineau                                  2005

Don Morrison                                   2011

Rod Morrison                                   2011

Jed Ortmeyer                                  2015

Marcel Pronovost                            2002

Angelo Ricci                                    2006

Ben Robert                                      2018

Terry Sawchuk                                2003

Fran Serratore                                2003

Wayne Schaab                               2008

Johnny Wilson                                2006

Greg Zanon                                    2019

 

 

Motto McLean Service to Hockey Award

Presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution through their longtime service to the hockey community. 

 

Gary Anderson                    2017

LaVerle Bails                       2003

Joe Cupich                            2003

Bert Duffy                            2003

Mark Hasebroock               2019

Michael Hughes                   2018

Walt Johnson                       2015

Jim Kresnik                          2019

Don Leahy                            2007

Terry Leahy                          2017

Margie Lowndes                 2008

Don Madison                       2018

John Maun                            2005

Dave Murphy                       2015

Terri Phillips                       2017

Jim Regan                              2009

Bev Sanders                          2010

Jerry Sanders                       2010

Neil Schilke                          2018

Jim Semerad                         2005

Shawn Spencer                    2009

Bill Swarbrick                      2011

George Swarbrick               2011

 

 

Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Members

Ted Baer Owner/Builder, Inducted October 11, 2001

As the owner of the Omaha Lancers he brought the sport back to the Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum in 1989.  Under his ownership the team won 10 league titles and and played to nearly 300 straight sellout crowds.  The Lancers won the 2001 national junior championship,  four USHL regular season titles and six playoff  crowns.

 

Eddy Bruneteau Player,  Inducted October 11, 2001

One of the original Omaha Knights in 1939, he played from 1939-41 before moving to the National Hockey League.  He returned to Omaha and the Knights and played from 1949-51.  He shares the all-time record for career goals with 98 with Wayne Schaab.  He was one of  the co-founders of youth hockey in Omaha and also served a half-season as coach of the Lancers.

 

Modere “Mud” Bruneteau  Coach,  Inducted February 11, 2005

Coach of the Knights from 1946-51 in the USHL and again for half a season in 1960 in the IHL.  He led the team to three regular season titles and one playoff crown in the USHL and had a 181-137-46 record.  He was named The Hockey News coach of the year in pro hockey in 1951.  As a Detroit Red Wing in 1936, he scored the only goal in the longest game ever played.

 

Andre “Moose” Dupont  Player,  Inducted February 11, 2005

A defenseman for the Omaha Knights from 1969-71, he helped the team win two regular season and playoff championships in the Central Hockey League.  He was the league rookie of the year in 1970 and CHL co-MVP in 1971.  He went on to play over 800 NHL games and earned two Stanley Cup titles with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 and 1975.

 

Jack Egers  Player,  Inducted February 2, 2007

A high-scoring forward with a booming slap shot, he won the Central Hockey League scoring title in 1969-70 with 42 goals and 48 assists.  He was named The Hockey News minor league player of the year that seasons and went on to play parts of six National Hockey League seasons. 

 

Dan Ellis  Player,  Inducted January 20, 2017

He played the 1999-2000 season with the Omaha Lancers, recording 11 shutouts and a 2.25 goals against average in 55 games.  He went on to star for three years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, playing 119 games, notching seven shutouts and a 2.69 GAA.  He became the first UNO player ever to advance to the NHL as he earned a win in his first appearance for the Dallas Stars in 2003-04.  He played in 212 NHL games over nine seasons.  

 

Bill Fairbairn  Player,  Inducted October 10, 2003

A talented and hard-working forward, he played for the Knights from 1966-69, scoring 51 goals and 80 assists in 141 games.  He was named to the Central Hockey League's second all-star team in 1969 before embarking on a 10-year National Hockey League career with the Rangers, North Stars and Blues, scoring 162 goals.

 

Jake Forbes  Player,  Inducted October 10, 2001

He played in the most games in Knights history, 376, during his 1945-51 career.  An all-star defenseman and team captain he also was one of the founding fathers of youth hockey in Omaha.  He spent several years as a linesman in the IHL and CHL.  Jake scored the longest goal ever recorded with a goalie in the net, a 215-foot shot that he banked off the boards.  He also has the distinction of scoring a goal and then filling in as an emergency goalie in the same game.

 

Mike Hastings  Coach  Inducted January 23, 2009

The all-time leader in the USHL in wins, he led the Lancers to three regular season championships and three playoff titles.  He stepped down after capturing the 2008 national junior championship with a record of 529-210-56, covering 14 seasons behind the Lancer bench.  He was twice named the USHL coach of the year and five times the general manager of the year.

 

Jeff Hoggan  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2019

Jeff Hoggan played for UNO from 1998-2002 and scored 61 goals in 152 games.  He earned second-team All-American honors in 2002 when he set a then-school record 24 goals.  Hoggan  played for Boston, St. Louis, and Phoenix (now Arizona) in the NHL.  He scored 175 goals in the AHL and was captain of the Grand Rapids Griffons.  In 2014-15, he was honored with the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey. 

 

Gordie Howe  Player,  Inducted August 24, 1960

Mr. Hockey signed his first pro contract in 1945 and was assigned to Omaha.  The 17-year-old scored 22 goals and was named to the second all-star team with the Knights in 1945-46.  The next year he joined the parent Detroit Red Wings starting a legendary career in which he scored 975 goals before retiring at age 52. 

 

J.J. “Jake” Isaacson  Owner/Builder, Inducted February 2, 2007

The general manager and executive secretary of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben for 31 years, he brought hockey to Omaha in 1939.  He secured the ice-making equipment from a damaged rink in Duluth as well as a working agreement with the Detroit Red Wings.  He also brought the sport back in 1959 and managed to land three regular-season NHL games and two AHL games in the 1950s.

 

Fred Knipscheer  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2002

The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native scored the winning goal in the Lancers' first-ever win in 1987.  After earning second-team All-American honors at St. Cloud State, he became the first former Lancer to play in the NHL, skating for the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.  He also played several seasons in the IHL and the AHL.

 

Mike Kemp  Coach,  Inducted February 5, 2010

The Duluth native became the program's first NCAA Division I head coach in 1996 and guided the Mavericks through the first 12 years of the program, compiling a 177-204-53 record.  He coached the team to the CCHA championship game in 2000 and to the program's first NCAA tournament berth in 2006.  He recruited and coached five All-Americans.

 

Sam Lavitt  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2002

A star with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in football, he also was a standout defenseman for the Omaha Knights from 1946-49 after serving as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.  After being traded, he returned to Omaha after his playing career and helped lay the foundation for youth hockey in the city.   

 

Don Luce  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2002

His 12-year NHL career was launched in Omaha where, as a center, he scored 22 goals in each of his two seasons and earned first-team all-CHL honors.  He helped lead the Knights to the regular season and playoff titles in 1969-70.  After playing with the Rangers and Red Wings, he starred for Buffalo, scoring 33 goals in 1974-75 and winning the Bill Masterton Trophy.  He  served as director of player development for several NHL teams after his playing career.

 

Motto McLean  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2001

The native of Scotland came to the Knights as a player in 1947 and played four seasons in Omaha.  After his playing career he returned and was one of the primary founders of youth hockey and helped advance the sport at every level over his decades-long service to the community.  His uniform No., 8 was retired by the Lancers and the Hitchcock Ice Arena was renamed in his honor. He played in 251 games in Omaha, second only to Jake Forbes, and scored 84 goals and 183 points.

 

Max McNab  Player,  Inducted October 10, 2003

He played two seasons for the Omaha Knights from 1945-47 and scored 66 goals.  His second-season total of 44 goals in 44 games earned him a spot with the Red Wings, where he was a member of the 1949-50 Stanley Cup champions.  After his playing career he served as a general manager and executive in the NHL and was the president of the Central Hockey League.

 

Don Martineau  Player,  Inducted February 11, 2005

A two-season Omaha Knight from 1972-74, he was a tough and talented wing who scored 34 goals and handed out 54 assists.  His hard-checking style of play helped lead the Knights to the 1973 Adams Cup and finish second in the CHL regular season each year. He went on to play in the NHL for three teams before retiring in Waterloo, Nebraska, and helping with amateur hockey in Omaha.

 

Don Morrison  Player & Owner,  Inducted February 11, 2011

He played two seasons for the Omaha Knights from 1945-47, scoring 64 goals.  He went on to the NHL and played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.  After his career he returned to Omaha and started a construction firm with his brother, Rod.  Together they took over ice activities at Ak-Sar-Ben and operated the Knights in the IHL from 1960-63 and two seasons in the Central Professional Hockey League.

 

Rod Morrison  Player & Owner,  Inducted February 11, 2011

He played one season for the Knights in 1945-46 and six seasons in the American Hockey League.  He spent a half-season with the Red Wings.  After his career, he and brother Don started a construction firm.  In 1960, the brothers took over ice operations at Ak-Sar-Ben and operated the Knights for three IHL seasons and two in the CPHL. 

 

Jed Ortmeyer  Player,  Inducted February 20, 2015

He rose from the ranks of Omaha's youth hockey program to star for the Lancers from 1997-99.  After a standout collegiate career at Michigan, he became the first Omaha native to forge a career in the NHL when he joined the New York Rangers in 2003-04.  In all, he played 345 games over parts of nine seasons in the NHL for the Rangers, Nashville, San Jose and the Minnesota Wild.

 

Marcel Pronovost  Player,  Inducted October 11, 2002

He was a 19-year old rookie when he made his pro debut as an Omaha Knight defenseman in 1949-50.  He scored 13 goals and led the team to the regular season title, while being named Rookie of the Year and to the USHL all-star team .  He went on to play 20 NHL seasons, including Stanley Cup championships with Toronto and Detroit.  He is a member of the NHL Hall of Fame.

 

Angelo Ricci  Player,  Inducted February 3, 2006

He established the Omaha Lancer scoring record during his two-year career from 1989-91.  He scored 72 goals during those seasons and handed out 104 assists and helped the team win one Anderson Cup and two Clark Cup titles.  After a four-year career at Denver University, he played three seasons of minor league professional hockey.

 

Ben Robert  Owner/Builder, Inducted April 13, 2018

Ben Robert owned the Omaha Lancers from 2004-14, leading the team to 10 winning seasons and the 2008 national junior hockey championship.  Robert relocated the team from its Mid-America Center venue in Council Bluffs to the Omaha Civic Auditorium in 2009, before spearheading the team's move into the new Ralston Arena in 2013.

 

Terry Sawchuk  Player,  Inducted October 10, 2003

A member of the NHL Hall of Fame, he got his pro start in Omaha as a 17-year-old for the Omaha Knights in 1947-48 when he earned the USHL Rookie of the Year award.  He missed just five games – when he took three stitches to the eyeball on his 18th birthday.  In the NHL, he had 115 total shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy three times and four Stanley Cups.

 

Frank Serratore  Coach  Inducted October 10, 2003

He  became coach and general manager of the last-place Lancers, who had won just 19 games in three seasons, in 1988-89 and led the team to Anderson Cup and Clark Cup titles and a runner-up finish in the national junior tournament.  That sudden success spurred a rise in attendance and hockey interest that still continues.  He has coached college hockey at Denver U.  and the Air Force Academy.

 

Wayne Schaab  Player,  Inducted February 8, 2008

During his three seasons as an Omaha Knight from 1972-75, he won two Central Hockey League scoring titles and was the league MVP in 1974-75.  He shares the career goal-scoring lead with Eddy Bruneteau with 98 and is third in all-time scoring with 240 points.  He helped the Knights win the 1973 Adams Cup and scored their final goal in the final game April 19, 1975.

 

Johnny Wilson  Player,  Inducted February 3, 2006

As a rookie pro in 1949-50 he scored 41 goals and added 39 assists to lead the Knights to the USHL regular season title.  He went on to an NHL career and played a then-record 580 straight games.  He played on four Stanley Cup winning teams in Detroit and also skated for Chicago and Toronto.  He later coached seven NHL seasons for four teams. 

 

Greg Zanon  Player,  Inducted October 11,. 2019

Greg Zanon played nearly 500 NHL games after his 1999-2003 UNO career.  He was the highest scoring defenseman at UNO and earned second-team All-American honors in 2001 and 2002.  He had 30 career goals, including 12 in 2000-01, and 107 career points.  His NHL career included stops in Nashville, Minnesota, Boston and Colorado as well as five seasons in the AHL.