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US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1994

Joseph Cavanagh, Jr.
Wally Grant
Ned Harkness

1994 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Known for one of the greatest prep hockey players in New England history, Joe Cavanagh was raised in a family of eight children in Warwick, RI and starred for Cranston East H.S. in Cranston, RI.
A talented forward who was renowned for his hard work on the ice, Cavanagh was a three-time all-state selection for the Thunderbolts as he led the state in scoring during the 1964, ’65 and ’66 seasons.  He was also named Rhode Island’s most valuable high school player in ’65 and ’66.  

As a collegian, Cavanagh skated for Harvard for three seasons (freshmen were not allowed to participate in varsity athletics under the NCAA rules of the time). His sophomore season (1968-69) saw Cavanagh make a big impression during his first foray into college hockey.  He was selected as a first team All-American, first team All-East, first team All-Ivy, first team All-New England, named recipient of the Walter Brown Award (given to the best American-born player) and was named most valuable player of the annual Bean-pot tournament, as the Crimson defeated Boston University for the coveted trophy.

After his junior and senior seasons with the Crimson, Cavanagh was again named first team on the All American, All-East, All-Ivy and All-New England squads, and he won the Walter Brown Award again during his final season at Harvard.  He was the team’s leading scorer all three seasons (tied with Robert McNamara as a junior), was given the John Tudor Memorial Cup Award as team most valuable player after his junior and senior seasons.  He currently ranks fifth on the Crimson all-time scoring list with 60 goals and 127 assists His 50 assists during his senior season still stands as a Crimson record.

“He was a great player with outstanding talent, and I’ve never seen a player work as hard on the rink as Joey did – which not all outstanding players do,” said Bill Cleary, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame who coached Cavanagh at Harvard, “Work ethic was as much a part of the package as talent.”

Cavanagh was named to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s All Decade first team for his efforts on the ice. He has coached youth hockey in his hometown since 1982 and serves as vice president on the Warwick Junior Hockey Association’s board of directors.

1994 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Wally, known as a speedy forward, got his start in hockey on the Iron Range of Northeastern Minnesota.  He is best known for the high school and collegiate championships he was part of in Eveleth, Minnesota and at the University of Michigan.  Grant was a participant in the first Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament in 1945, and played a major role in the Eveleth Golden Bears’ third and fourth goals as Eveleth came back to win 4-3.
Playing on a line with Pat Finnigan and Neil Celley, Grant established a high school playoff record with 13 points.  That record remained one of the top five performances in state history for more than four decades.

From Eveleth, Grant moved on to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where his team participated in the first NCAA Ice hockey Championship, in 1948.  Coached by Vic Heyliger, the Wolverines defeated Dartmouth 8-4 in the title game to claim the first championship.  Grant played on Michigan’s infamous “G” line, which included Wally Gacek and Ted Greer.  Each of the three line-mates scored a third-period goal in Michigan’s championship win.

He was never a big player, but made his on-ice points with speed and quickness.  “I was 5’8” and 165 pounds, but I was fast enough to get around some of those defensemen,” he said.  “That was my advantage.”

Grant played four seasons for Michigan between 1945 and 1950, participating in the NCAA tournament in three of those seasons.  He took one season off after his freshman year to serve in the U.S. Military.

Grant worked for General Motors in Michigan for 37 years before he retired. Still following his alma mater, Grant served as vice president of the Dekers Blue Line Club – a Michigan hockey booster organization – as well as being a part of the Graduate “M” Club and Michigan’s Victors Club.  

1994 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Remembered as one of American hockey’s true founding fathers, Ned Harkness established and served hockey programs, organizations and facilities on many levels for more than four decades.  Born in Ontario, Harkness became a naturalized American citizen in 1949.  One year later, he founded the varsity hockey program at Troy, New York’s, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and guided the Engineers to an NCAA championship within the program’s first half-decade.  Harkness coached RPI to a 5-4 overtime win over Minnesota in the 1954 national championship game and led his Engineers to the Eastern championship in 1961.

In 1963, Harkness took over the coaching reins at Cornell, and launched the Big Red on a memorable string of successes.  Under his guidance, Cornell won NCAA titles in 1967 and 1970, while finishing second in 1969 and third in 1968. He was also named national coach of the year in ’68 as well.  During his eight seasons behind the Big Red bench, Harness’ teams also won five Ivy League titles and four Eastern championships.  In addition, the 1970 championship team set a mark that will never be eclipsed, finishing the season with a 29-0 record-the finest win-loss mark in the history of NCAA Division I hockey.

From Cornell, Harkness was appointed coach of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, making him the first coach to go from the American college ranks to the NHL.  He spent four seasons in the Detroit organization, first as head coach and later as general manager.  Harkness then established a hockey program at Schenectady, New York’s Union College, and served as coach and rink director for the Skating Dutchmen until 1977.  A year later, he supervised construction on the Glens Falls (New York) Civic Center and founded the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League in 1979, serving as their general manager.  For his efforts with the Red Wings, Harkness was named the AHL’s executive of the year in 1980, and was given the Daoust Golden Skate Award in 1986 for contributions to the AHL.

In 1982, Harkness was appointed president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid.