Skip to content

Scouts Wall of Honour to be housed in Okotoks

Hockey: New foundation hosting ‘Celebrity Roast of Ron MacLean’ on Sept. 30
The Western Canada Professional Hockey Scouts Foundation's inaugural banquet, the Celebrity Roast of Ron MacLean, will be held on Sept. 30 in Okotoks. (Great West Media File Photo)

One of the most unheralded jobs in hockey will be getting a much-deserved spotlight in Okotoks.

The Western Canada Professional Hockey Scouts Foundation (WCPHSF) ‘Scouts Wall of Honour’ is set to be on permanent digital display inside the Okotoks Centennial Arenas, adjacent to the site of the non-profit’s first banquet, the ‘Celebrity Roast of Ron MacLean’ later this month.

“It’s recognition that most of the community will know about, certainly the players and the older people will know,” said Okotoks Jr. A Oilers chairman of the board Wayne Lauinger, a director with the WCPHSF. “And as you move along, those younger guys are going to fall into that category as well.

“I see it as a plus for anybody visiting the community, people in the rink who come here to watch our games or minor hockey will be able to stand out here and read it and see it.”

Okotoks came into the equation after Lauinger and fellow-director Garth Malarchuk, both former police officers, had a discussion about the challenges in finding a spot for the wall.

“He’s in town scouting the game one night and we go out for dinner afterwards and he tells me he’s been wanting this thing about recognizing scouts that hang around the old rinks,” Lauinger said. “He wanted to show some recognition to those guys by creating a wall of fame and he’d been looking at different places and couldn’t find anything.”

It just so happens, the lobby of the Okotoks Centennial Arenas has some prime real estate on the northwest facing wall.

“In the rink you’ll notice the wall has the list of donors on it and the other wall is empty,” Lauinger said. “His idea was to do a digital board.”

The idea was presented to the Town of Okotoks pre-pandemic and was stuck from there and revisited earlier this winter.

“The digital board will be first class, we’re looking at Matrix who did our jumbotron,” Lauinger said. “It’s a big investment, but it will stay here in the community and be the community’s, if anybody moves into the rink or somebody decides to move on, it becomes the property of the arena.

“So with that in place we needed a fundraiser.”

The Celebrity Roast of Ron MacLean is at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the Foothills Centennial Centre.

Taking place on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the event will include an auction of five to six Indigenous player sweaters with funds raised then donated to Indigenous charities in the Okotoks and Calgary area.

In addition, an auction will be held including NHL memorabilia, signed sweaters from the likes of Connor Bedard, Alexander Ovechkin and Nazem Kadri, NHL ticket packages, tickets and accommodations to the National Finals Rodeo as well as donated golf bags personally signed by Mike Weir and Nick Taylor.

Among the list of hockey celebrities part of the festivities include famed broadcasters Elliotte Friedman, Peter Maher, Dennis Beyak and John Shannon along with Flames alumni legends Lanny McDonald, Tim Hunter and Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman Kevin Lowe.

“Any time you have the opportunity to roast somebody and then they get the opportunity to take a shot at the roasters, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said WCPHSF director Ross Mahoney, the assistant general manager of the Washington Capitals.

“The hockey fraternity is such a good fraternity and Ron MacLean has had such a great career, he’s an Alberta guy and I think it will be a real exciting night with lots of great stories.

“It’s a really good cause and we really appreciate the support we’ve been getting, especially from different people in the Okotoks area, it’s been awesome.”

The foundation membership boasts stalwarts in the scouting community and significant builders in the sport, from Vegas Golden Knights scout Erin Ginnell, Winnipeg Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger, former player agent and current New York Rangers executive Mike Barnett and Vancouver Canucks amateur scout Ron Delorme to TSN director of scouting Craig Button and four-time Olympic gold medallist Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, to name just a few.

“It started with just a bunch of us talking and just trying to make sure that people involved in the business aren’t going to be forgotten,” Mahoney said. “And to recognize the contributions they made to teams they worked for and for hockey in general and the communities that they live in.

“We thought what could we do keep their names out there? Because these are the scouts that are sort of the icons in Western Canada and there’s a lot of history behind a lot of these people.”

Mahoney, a scout with the Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and Capitals before joining the front office, described the scouting community as extremely tight-knit.

“It’s a bunch of hard workers and real good people,” he said. “Yes, they’re on different teams, but with the amount of travel you do it’s a different job and how much you’re away from your families. Obviously, you don’t trade secrets on what your team does, but there’s a real strong camaraderie (in) the scouting fraternity.”

Lauinger said the focus of the foundation is to help those in the hockey community who need support as well as lending a hand to local minor hockey organizations.

The foundation’s annual fundraising banquets will have inductees onto the Scouts Wall of Honour, starting with this year’s event.

The event runs during the same weekend as the Alberta Junior Hockey League Showcase, the premier scouting event for the provincial loop, hosted this year by the Calgary Canucks.

Tickets for the roast can be purchased on the Okotoks Oilers website at

To find out more about the foundation, visit

Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks