The guy at the helm of the Vancouver Giants was lauded for his years of contributions to hockey in B.C.
Ron Toigo, president and majority owner of the Langley-based hockey team, was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Friday evening in Penticton.
The honour was bestowed on Toigo as part of the 25th annual B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame celebrations at the South Okanagan Event Centre.
“It’s certainly something I won’t forget,” he told the Langley Advance. “It was very much appreciated.”
He learned back in January that he was immortalized in the hall of fame, with several other individuals that he knows and respects from the hockey world in B.C.
“I was stunned. It’s not something I really anticipated… It was something right out of left field for me,” Toigo elaborated, recounting when he received the call and was informed he’d be added to the province’s hockey hall of fame.
Usually the people who are recognized with this kind of honour are people who do what they do for the love of the sport, he said. He doesn’t do it for the accolades, but was particularly humbled by the induction.
“It’s an award that was presented to me,” Toigo elaborated, but owing to a large team of people who have been with him on so many endeavours through the years.
Toigo, who serves on the WHL’s Board of Governors, was inducted in the builders category.
The man got his start in junior hockey back in the 1990s. That’s when he owned the Tri-City Americans – from 1991 to 2000. At that point, he sold the team to focus on bringing major junior hockey to Vancouver.
Toigo has been heavily involved in several major events in B.C., including the 2006 World Junior Championships, the 2007 Memorial Cup – which the Giants won on home ice at the Pacific Coliseum – and the upcoming 2019 World Junior Championships.
Toigo, 60, is managing director of Shato Holdings Ltd., a private company founded in 1969 with head offices in Vancouver.
Outside of the hockey realm, Toigo has also made his mark as a director with the Delta police board foundation, the BC World Police & Fire Games, as well as the CKNW Orphan’s Fund.
Other inductees in the BCHHOF class of 2017 included Thomas Gradin, Tony Tanti, Dave Nonis, John Shannon, Brad Lazarowich, and the 1996-97 Powell River Regals.
Toigo and his wife Michele are long-time residents of Tsawwassen. The couple, as well as their four adult children and three grandchildren, plus Toigo’s brother Roy and his wife Monica, were all in attendance for this weekend’s ceremony.
“It was a lot of fun… It was a pretty good evening,” he said. “Actually, it was a pretty great weekend” that mixed a number of casual and formal events where he was surrounded by family and friends.
He received a replica of the plaque that will hang in the hall of fame. While it is currently sitting in his home office, Toigo said he’s not sure where it will eventually call home. It might, he admitted, just stay put at home.
In other Giants news
The G-Men recently signed Czech forward Milos Roman.
The Giants drafted Roman with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 CHL import draft.
“We are glad to add a top six forward to our group,” said general manager Glen Hanlon.
“Milos is a highly skilled and entertaining player who makes his line mates better with his vision and creativity.”
Roman, a Slovak centreman, spent the 2016-17 season with HC Frydek-Mistek in the second tier of professional hockey in the Czech Republic.
The 17-year-old tallied four goals and two assists in 29 regular season games.
He has represented his country at multiple tournaments.
Roman scored a goal and an assist in four games for Slovakia at the 2017 World Junior Championships where he played alongside former Giant Radovan Bondra.
He also had two points in five games at the 2017 Under-18 World Championships, and amassed five points in four games at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
Roman was selected by HC Slovan Bratislava in the third round of the 2016 KHL draft and is not eligible for the NHL draft until 2018.
“I’m really happy to go to a great team and a beautiful city,” said Roman.
“It is a great opportunity for me, and I’m very excited to try and help the Giants win games next season while representing my country, my hometown and my family,” he said.
Vancouver Giants season tickets for 2017-18 are already on sale.
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