Henderson founded the Cannons, the first minority hockey program in the United States
WASHINGTON – Today, USA Hockey announced Neal Henderson, the coach and co-founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, also known as the Cannons, has been selected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019. Henderson, along with Gary Bettman, Krissy Wendell, Brian Gionta, and Tim Thomas, will be inducted into the Hall in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2019.
Established in 1973 with the goal of preserving the history of the game, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Famerecognizes the contributions of extraordinary players, coaches, administrators, officials, and teams.
“Coach Neal Henderson has been a leader in the community and has contributed immensely to advancing the sport in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Coach Neal and the Cannons are inaugural members of NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone program, encouraging and inspiring youth and their families in the District for more than four decades. His longstanding commitment to cultivating leaders through hockey, on and off the ice, does not go without notice, and we are excited Coach Neal is receiving one of hockey’s most prestigious honors,” said Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League.
New members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame are inducted annually and must have a track record of providing exceptional contributions to the tradition of hockey throughout their career. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, better known as the National Shrine of American Hockey, is located in Eveleth, Minnesota and is dedicated to honoring these great legends of American hockey.
“I am honored to receive this recognition, and I am proud of our work to build a strong and united community around the game of hockey. More than 40 years ago, we started the Cannons program to bring hockey to kids in Washington, D.C. who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to play, and now it has turned into something we could not have imagined. Our alumni have become trailblazers in their own right, and the ripple effect of their work stretches far beyond the District. The Cannons inspire me every day with their perseverance, passion, and drive for the sport and I share this honor with them,” said Coach Neal Henderson.