Players’ Category ~ Class of 2018
Darren Pang was born in Meaford, Ontario, and grew up playing hockey for the Nepean Raiders in Nepean, Ontario, Canada. He had the great fortune of playing alongside several future NHLers, including Dan Quinn, Doug Smith and Steve Yzerman.
Darren played several years in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), first for the Belleville Bulls (1981-83), winning their first ever game in the OHL. The Bulls traded him to the Ottawa 67’s during the 1982-83 season, where Darren would go on to win the Memorial Cup Championship in 1984 while receiving Memorial Cup All-Star Team honors and garnering the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup Top Goaltender.
Following an extremely successful Junior hockey career, Darren signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 1984 and played in the International Hockey League for the Milwaukee Admirals from 1984-85, during which time he made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks. He would spend 3 years in the minors before playing for Chicago full time beginning in the 1987-88 season.
Darren was named to the NHL All-Rookie team in 1988 and was also a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. Additionally, he holds the Blackhawks record for most assists in a season by a goaltender (6) and the Blackhawks rookie record for most saves in a game (50). Darren played in a total of 81 games for the Blackhawks before a devastating career-ending knee injury during training camp in 1990.
Darren had spent some time as a college hockey analyst while rehabbing his knee during a previous injury, so when he tore the ligament again then Blackhawks General Manager Bob Pulford convinced him that his future in the NHL might just be broadcasting.
Darren has become one of the premier hockey analysts. His broadcasting career has included calling games for media outlets such as ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBC, Fox Sports, SportsNet Canada, and TSN Canada. He has provided coverage of men’s hockey for 3 Olympics – the 1988 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan (CBS), the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City (NBC) and as a studio analyst during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver for TSN/CTV.
Darren has also been involved in amateur hockey as both a coach and hockey director. He served as the goalie coach for both the UIC Flames from 1990-93 and Notre Dame from 1996-1999. He joined the Naperville Sabres coaching staff in 1996 and coached mites through bantams. He took on the role of Hockey Director for the Naperville Sabres in 2001 and served in that role through 2005. In honor of his service to the Sabres, the club awards the Darren Pang Award to an outstanding Northwest Hockey League Player each year at their end-of-season award ceremony.
Darren is currently an analyst on the St. Louis Blues telecasts on FOX Sports Midwest, where he teams with play-by-play announcer John Kelly and studio analyst Bernie Federko. He also spends time as an analyst for Sportsnet and the NHL Network. Darren and his wife Lynn have two children, Tyler and Samantha.
NOTES: The 2018 IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honour on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall located at 1170 West Devon Avenue in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847/269-2922 or e-mail Norm at email@example.com.
The Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of individuals who, through their dedication and tireless efforts, helped to pave the way for the future generations of kids and adults to enjoy the great sport of ice hockey.
The mission statement of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame is as follows:
“To honor the excellence of those individuals who, through their exceptional endeavors both on and off the ice, have contributed in an extraordinary way to enhance the sport and image of hockey in Illinois.”
The IHHF Selection Committee consists of all of the living past and present presidents of the Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, Inc. Please click HERE for further information.