By Lincoln DePradine
In another posthumous recognition of the late Herb Carnegie – widely regarded as “the best Black hockey player to never play in the NHL’’ – he’s about to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
A Hall of Fame weekend of activities begins this Friday, November 11. Ahead of the events, The Toronto Six – a professional women’s hockey team participating in the Premier Hockey Federation – hosted a “Herb Carnegie Day’’ at Canlan Sports arena in North York on Sunday, November 6, during a competitive match against the Minnesota Whitecaps.
As part of the ceremony, the puck was dropped by Carnegie’s daughter Bernice, co-founder of the “Carnegie Initiative’’.
The “Carnegie Initiative for Inclusion and Acceptance in Hockey’’ is aimed at ensuring “that hockey is inclusive, supportive and welcoming to all’’.
The Hockey Hall of Fame 2022 induction celebration will be held Monday, November 17, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Carnegie is one of six people who will receive Hockey Hall of Fame Honoured Membership. “The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as Honoured Members,” said Mike Gartner, chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
Carnegie, who worked tirelessly to further diversity in the game of hockey until his death in 2012, will be inducted in the “Builder Category’’.
He was born in 1919 in Toronto, where he learned to play hockey. Despite his exceptional playing skills, Carnegie never was offered a contract to play in the National Hockey League because of his race.
Carnegie, who died in March 2012 at 92, is not new to honours. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Overall, he is a member of 14 Halls of Fame.