Poile, 68, is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins (1,333) by a general manager in a career spent with the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals. Nashville’s 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on March 1 gave Poile his 1,320th victory as a GM, surpassing Glen Sather for the most in NHL history. He is 739-578-147 with 60 ties with the Predators since they entered the NHL in 1998 and was 594-454 with 132 ties in 15 seasons with Washington from 1982-97.
“It all started for me back in 1966 when I went to Northeastern University to play hockey and hopefully get a good education and that’s when my eyes opened up very wide to all the possibilities in hockey,” Poile said.
He won the NHL General Manager of the Year Award in 2017 and has been a finalist for the honor four times since its inception in 2010, the most of any GM.
Poile, born in Toronto and a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, began his career in hockey management in 1972 as an administrative assistant with the Atlanta Flames. He then became an assistant GM with the Flames and remained on the staff when they moved to Calgary in 1980. Poile became general manager of the Capitals in 1982 and was hired by the Predators as GM in 1997.
“We were successful in Washington,” Poile said. “The last 20 years I’ve been in Nashville with another expansion team and it’s been a really neat experience to be able to write your own script and introducing hockey to a new market and putting your blueprint together on ice for organizational success.”
Stewart, a 65-year-old Boston native, was an NHL referee for 17 years, starting in March 1986. He refereed 1,010 regular-season games, 49 Stanley Cup Playoff games, two Canada Cup tournaments and two NHL All-Star Games — all without a helmet — before retiring in April 2003.
Stewart played 21 NHL games for the Quebec Nordiques in 1979-80; he is the only American who has played and refereed in the League.
“If I’ve been able to transfer [what I’ve learned] into bettering officiating… then I was heartened this past June when we had our USA level one classes with 189 new people showing up and I think that, to me is part of the responsibility and part of the legacy that I would like to leave for hockey,” Stewart said.
Berenson, 78, was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and coached the University of Michigan for 33 seasons before retiring on April 10, 2017. He guided the Wolverines to the national championship in 1996 and 1998 and to 11 appearances in the Frozen Four. Berenson’s teams went 848-426 with 92 ties and played in 23 NCAA tournaments, making a record 22 straight appearances from 1991 through 2012. He is fourth all-time in wins among NCAA Division I coaches, trailing Jerry York (1,053), Ron Mason (924) and Jack Parker (897).
“I never thought I’d be a college coach but after my career I look back and going back to Michigan was a great thing,” Berenson said. “It was college hockey that prepared me for this situation and I hope I’ve helped college hockey grow.”
Berenson played for Michigan and was named an All-America and team MVP in his junior and senior seasons (1960-61, 1961-62), and went straight from college to the NHL after signing with the Montreal Canadiens. He also played for the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings during an NHL career that lasted 16 seasons (1962-78). He had 658 points (261 goals, 397 assists) in 987 regular-season games.
Berenson coached the Blues for three seasons and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 1980-81. He reunited with his former coach, Scotty Bowman, as an assistant with the Buffalo Sabres in 1982 before taking over at Michigan in 1984.
Darwitz played with boys teams while growing up in Eagan, Minnesota, and at age 15 was the youngest player ever selected for the U.S. Women’s National Team. She played three seasons at the University of Minnesota and was a member of back-to-back NCAA championship teams in 2004 and 2005. She finished with 246 points (102 goals, 144 assists) in 99 games at Minnesota.
Darwitz represented the U.S. at the Winter Olympics three times (2002, 2006, 2010) and at the IIHF World Women’s Championship eight times. She was captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2007-10 and was named 2005 Woman Player of the Year by USA Hockey.
“I grew up playing with the boys,” Darwitz said. “Never did I lace up the skates thinking I was going ot be an Olympian or possibly in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.”
Harrington, born in Melrose, Massachusetts, will be honored posthumously. He played 48 games during two seasons with the Boston Bruins (1925-26, 1927-28) and 24 games with the Canadiens in 1932-33. He had 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 72 NHL games.
Harrington was 54 when he died on July 1, 1959.
“I know my father would be very honored,” Harrington’s daughter Sally said. “Our cellar was filled with hockey sticks and hockey pucks, so I had plenty of boys hanging around the house. I was hoping they were for me but I don’t think so.”