Winnipeg hockey legend Ab McDonald honoured with St. James Civic Centre displays

The first-ever captain of the original WHA incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets was honoured by the city Friday with a new display at the St. James Civic Centre.

Photos, stories, stats and more from the late Ab McDonald’s long hockey career now grace the lobby of the newly renovated centre as part of an installation designed by Anikó Szabó with contributions from Dave Stubbs and Murray Peterson.

Mayor Scott Gillingham said Friday that the civic centre’s display and its arena — named for McDonald — are a fitting tribute to the Winnipeg legend, who died in 2018.

“Ab McDonald is one of the true legends of hockey in Winnipeg,” Gillingham said.

“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.”

In addition to the lobby display, a pair of murals were unveiled inside the arena, donated by True North Sports + Entertainment, owners of the current Jets. The murals, designed by True North’s Marc Gomez, highlight McDonald’s tenure with the Jets.

The St. James Civic Centre recently received upgrades to critical building systems, as well as improvements to accessibility.

In a statement, McDonald’s family said it’s an honour for him to be recognized in this way.

“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.

“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.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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