Art Berglund savoured his fifth—and likely final—Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Buffalo, N.Y. last Thursday night.
In addition to Berglund, some major names in American hockey were inducted, including NHL’ers Jeremy Roenick, and Kevin and Derian Hatcher, along with sports physician Dr. George Nagobads.
Roenick, in particular, acknowledged admiration at Berglund’s feats during his induction speech.
“That’s probably one of the best parts of tonight. I’m going in with Art Berglund,” the Associated Press quoted Roenick as saying.
“That was one of the highlights,” enthused Berglund.
“The highlights were having [commissioner] Gary Bettman and [deputy commissioner] Bill Daly there from the National Hockey League, Brian Burke from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and having my closest friends from Colorado Springs and Fort Frances,” he added.
“It was nice having my close friends there to share the award with.”
Berglund with introduced with a video in which Burke, 1980 U.S. Olympian Mark Johnson, and 1984 U.S. Olympic coach Lou Vairo spoke about him.
Berglund then gave a speech reminiscing on how he got his start in the game.
“I reflected on my childhood of playing street hockey and boot hockey, how I got a love for the game,” he remarked.
“Working the 1962 world championships in Colorado Springs, I got my desire to get into international hockey.
“It [the speech] was well-received, with a standing ovation,” he added.
Berglund’s capper to his speech also drew from when he was a youngster growing up in Fort Frances, reciting Foster Hewitt’s weekly introduction to Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts.
“I ended my speech with a quote from Foster Hewitt,” Berglund recalled. “People loved it.
“When I was a kid, we didn’t have TV,” he noted. “Saturday night, you’d have your bath, get in front of the radio, and listen to Foster Hewitt from Maple Leaf Gardens.”
Several family and friends from the region were on hand for Berglund’s induction, including his brother, Jon Berglund of Owatonna, Mn., and long-time friends, Bill Selman, 2005 inductee Keith “Huffer” Christiansen, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod, and Cliff Huber.
As well, Mike “Lefty” Curran of International Falls, who was enshrined in 1998, was present.
“It’s just nice to be recognized and to have so many friends and family there,” Berglund enthused.
“I had my wife there, Charlotte, and I told her she’s my Hall-of-Famer.
“She always is.”
Berglund was inducted for his work helping USA Hockey rise from an also-ran to a force to be reckoned with on the international scene.
He had a hand in organizing the 1980 Olympic team, which pulled off the “Miracle on Ice”—defeating the powerhouse team from the former Soviet Union en route to capturing the gold medal on home ice at Lake Placid, N.Y.
He began his Olympic experience serving as GM of the 1976 Olympic team, a role he also took on for the 1988 team.
Berglund also was the director of player personnel on three occasions, including for the 2002 silver-medallists.
As well, he was the GM of eight world junior squads, including the 1986 bronze-medallists.
Berglund also is enshrined in the Northwestern Ontario Hall of Fame in Thunder Bay, the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, and the IIHF Hall of Fame, which is headquartered in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Although the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Eveleth, Mn., Berglund said this year’s ceremony was held in Buffalo in conjunction with the world junior hockey championships, which will kick off there in December.