NHL legend Ken Holland awarded freedom of the city by Vernon

Holland given city freedom

Ken Holland has the freedom of the city.

Vernon council awarded the NHL coaching legend with the city's highest honour Tuesday morning, in recognition of his many contributions to the community.

Holland, general manager of the Edmonton Oilers and former GM of the Detroit Red Wings, said he is "humbled" by the honour.

"Not only has Mr. Holland had a long and prestigious career within the NHL, he has also maintained close ties to his hometown community and has been an outstanding ambassador for both Vernon and the game of hockey on a global scale," Mayor Victor Cumming said in presenting the award.

Holland joined the Edmonton Oilers in 2019, after serving as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings for 22 seasons. He has won the Stanley Cup four times and Olympic gold twice. He has been named the NHL’s GM of the Decade (2000-2009) by Sports Illustrated, has captured four Presidents Trophies, 10 division championships, five regular season conference titles and reached 100 regular season points in 13 of his last 18 seasons.

"Mr. Holland’s most respected character traits are his human side, compassion, integrity and ethical leadership. He’s always flying under the radar for the benefit of others," said Cumming.

"Throughout his life, he has influenced others to move to Vernon and support its residents within the areas of sports, art and culture. He has also personally continued to support the community through generous contributions to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Vernon Kal Rotary Club and many other charitable organizations."

Holland was joined by family members and friends as he accepted the award at City Hall.

"I am very humbled to receive the Vernon Freedom of the City Award," said Holland.

"I am very proud to be born and raised in Vernon and still call Vernon home. The City of Vernon gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion of hockey, and I’m happy to give back whenever I can."

Holland is the city's 21st recipient of the honour.

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