Eddie Olczyk featured speaker at Hilltopper Banquet


Eddie Olczyk, 16-year NHL veteran, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member, and current color analyst for Chicago Blackhawks hockey, will be the featured speaker at the Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Association’s Hilltopper Banquet to be held Thursday, February 12 in the school’s Student Activity Center (Joliet).

Olczyk is in his ninth season as the Television Color Analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9.

Olczyk, a 16-year NHL veteran, scored 342 goals and recorded 794 points in 1,031 games with Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles, winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994. The third overall choice in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, he was also a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and represented the U.S. in numerous international competitions.

Olczyk began his NHL career as an 18-year-old with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in 1984-85. He played three seasons, recording 180 points (65G, 115A) in 228 games. He then spent three and a half seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1987-91), scoring a career-high 42 goals during the 1987-88 campaign and recording a career-high 90 points during the 1988-89 season.

Olczyk was traded to Winnipeg and played two and a half seasons with the Jets from 1990 to 1992, recording 142 points (66G, 76A) in 150 games. He played for the Rangers (1992-95) before heading back to Winnipeg, scoring 27 goals with the Jets in their last season in Winnipeg (1995-96). He began the 1996-97 season with Los Angeles before being traded to the Penguins late in the season. Olczyk played parts of two seasons with Pittsburgh before returning to Chicago and finishing his NHL career with the Blackhawks. He retired from the league in 2000.

Following his playing career, Olczyk embarked on a career as a broadcaster, working on Pittsburgh Penguins television broadcasts for Fox SportsNet Pittsburgh (2000-03) and calling games for ESPN, ESPN2 and NHL Radio.

Olczyk was named Head Coach of the Penguins on June 11, 2003, and posted a 31-68-14 record while behind the Penguins bench (2003-05). Olczyk returned to broadcasting during the 2005-06 NHL season, serving as an analyst and studio host for Versus and NBC.

On July 11, 2012, Olczyk became the 16th Blackhawk elected into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and he was officially inducted on Oct. 15, 2012, in a ceremony in Dallas. The Blackhawks honored Olczyk for his induction in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 22, 2013, at the United Center. In 2009, Olczyk received an Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming,” followed by a 2012 Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs – Sporting Event/Game – Live/Unedited Program/Special.” He was also inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

“Eddie O,” as he is affectionately known, and his wife, Diana, have four children: sons Eddie, Tommy and Nicholas, and daughter, Alexandra.

The Hilltopper Banquet begins with a cash bar at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m. This event is open to everyone…alumni, parents, and friends. Tickets priced at $50 per person and reserved tables for $500 can be purchased by contacting Sue Bebar, Director of Alumni Relations, at 815.741.0500, ext. 269 or sbebar@jca-online.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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