The BC Hockey League has renamed one of its year-end awards after one of Canada’s top sports broadcasters – South Surrey resident Jim Hughson.
Earlier this summer, the junior ‘A’ circuit announced that, at its annual general meeting, the board of governors unanimously voted in favour of updating the names of several league awards, including its Broadcaster of the Year honour, which moving forwarded will be called the Jim Hughson Award.
Hughson, who is now retired, began his long sports broadcasting career by calling games for the Penticton Vees and the Kelowna Buckaroos in the BC junior league during the 1970s, before moving on to the professional ranks.
“This is incredibly flattering, humbling and, I hope for some young broadcasters, it’s inspiring,” Hughson said.
“I hope that, in time, for those broadcasters, I can be an inspiration to them. (The BCHL) was my training ground. It’s where I learned to broadcast a game. It’s where I learned to love the game even more than I had as a kid and as a player.
“It’s just a fantastic experience. It’s a very humbling honour.”
The 65-year-old Hughson, who is originally from Fort St. John, is most well-known as being the voice of the Vancouver Canucks – he worked Canucks games on radio from 1990 until 1998, and on television from 1999 until 2007 – and also as a play-by-play broadcaster for Hockey Night in Canada, where he worked from ‘05 until 2021. He was Hockey Night’s lead broadcaster for his final 11 years there.
In addition to calling 12 Stanley Cup finals, he also served as the play-by-play voice for men’s hockey in two Winter Olympics – in 2006 and ‘14. In 2019, he was honoured with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Locally, Hughson has been a major part of KidSport BC’s local chapter, having served multiple times as the MC for the organization’s annual Nite of Champions gala.
“Jim is just so passionate about our community and about our cause, and it’s largely because of him that (Nite of Champions) has become such a successful event,” KidSport BC chair Ronnie Paterson said of Hughson back in 2017, in a conversation with Peace Arch News.
Hughson currently serves as the chairman of the board for the BC Hockey Hall of Fame.