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Hockey Legend Ab McDonald Honoured at City Arena

December 10, 2022 8:11 AM | Sports


Alvin "Ab" McDonald

Alvin “Ab” Brian McDonald appears at the NHL Heritage Classic game in Winnipeg on October 23, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Visitors to the St. James Civic Centre will be enthralled by the contributions made to the game of hockey by the legendary Ab McDonald.

The City of Winnipeg and True North Sports + Entertainment unveiled several displays inside the arena on Friday to honour the life and career of the former Winnipeg Jet.

A new installation in the lobby features images, stories, and statistics from McDonald’s decades-long professional hockey career.

Ab McDonald is one of the true legends of hockey in Winnipeg,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham. “He was a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, he scored a Cup-winning goal in 1961, and he was the first-ever captain of both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Winnipeg Jets. Renaming this arena is a fitting honour for someone who represented this city with great class throughout the hockey world, and these displays will share his story with future generations of players.”

The arena recently underwent renovations, which replaced critical building systems, improved accessibility, and refreshed spaces within the facility. The installation was funded by the city at a cost of $14,500.

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True North also donated two murals within the now-renamed Ab McDonald Arena. The murals, designed by TNSE hockey creative lead, Marc Gomez, feature imagery of Ab McDonald from his playing career, and commemorate his time with the Winnipeg Jets and induction into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame.

“It is such an honour for our dad’s legacy to be remembered by naming an arena after him in the city that he lived in and loved,” said the McDonald family, in a statement.

“He was respected for his outstanding hockey career, but his greatest attribute was how he cared for and supported the people of Winnipeg and the community of Manitoba. Our family is so humbled that his city and community wanted to honour him, and we thank the City of Winnipeg and True North Sports + Entertainment for contributing these displays that will allow generations of Winnipeggers to learn his story.”

McDonald passed away in 2018 at the age of 82.