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WHL  

Posthumously honoured

A member of the Kelowna Rockets family has been recognized for his behind-the-scenes work with the team, and the Western Hockey League.

During a touching, and moving ceremony Wednesday night, league commissioner Ron Robison presented the league's Distinguished Service Award to the family of the late Norbert Heinzelmann
 
“Given his remarkable dedication and commitment to the Rockets franchise and the WHL for over 20 years, it is only fitting Norbert Heinzelmann is honoured tonight with the WHL Distinguished Service Award,” said Robison.

“We salute Norbert and his family for their love of the game and for being such an integral part of Rockets WHL hockey games for over two decades.”
 
Heinzelmann served as head scorekeeper and head of off-ice officials for the Rockets upon their relocation from Tacoma, WA, in 1995. In addition to his regular duties on Rockets’ gamedays, Heinzelmann also worked all national events hosted by the Rockets, including the MasterCard Memorial Cup, IIHF World Junior Championship, Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and CIBC Canada-Russia Series games.
 
By all accounts, Heinzelmann was renowned for his courteous and respectful disposition towards all visiting coaches and trainers, as well as for paying great attention to detail while ensuring the official scoresheet was properly completed for each game.
 
"Norbert could write a book on what he heard sitting in the penalty box between some of the great characters in the WHL. He was one of the most respected off-ice officials to work in the Western Hockey League," said Bruce Hamilton, owner, president and general manager of the Rockets.
 
Heinzelmann passed away Sept. 2, 2016, at the age of 57.
 
The WHL Distinguished Service Award, introduced in 2004, is presented annually to individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of franchises and in doing so have made an extraordinary contribution at the club or league level over an extended period.

Heinzelmann is the second member of the Rockets to receive the award. Head scout and assistant GM Lorne Frey was honoured in 2011.



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