2024 Ring of Honor Inductee Jason McCrimmon
DANBURY — The Danbury Hat Tricks are proud to announce the third inductee of this year’s Ring of Honor class, a member of the 2011-12 Danbury Whalers, Jason McCrimmon.
Along with three other members, McCrimmon will be inducted into the Danbury Ring of Honor on Alumni Night (March 9) when the Hat Tricks take on the Binghamton Black Bears at the Danbury Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. with all honorees and alumni introduced on the ice after the first period.
McCrimmon joins the Danbury Ring of Honor fresh off a summer where he was globally recognized by the National Hockey League. On June 26, 2023, at the NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, McCrimmon received the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award.
The award is given for exemplary efforts to the community and give-back to the game. The honor is named after Willie O’Ree, who became the NHL’s first Black player when he debuted with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 18, 1958. O’Ree presented the annual award to McCrimmon.
“It was unreal to be recognized like that by the National Hockey League and a living legend like Willie O’Ree," McCrimmon said. "To give back to the community and create opportunities for others has been my goal. I’ve been fortunate and I am forever grateful to be mentioned in the same sentence as Willie O’Ree.”
McCrimmon, a 40-year old Detroit native, played collegiately at Northland College, UMASS-Boston, and Suffollk University. His professional career consisted of stops in the International Hockey League (Muskegon and Flint), Central Hockey League (Mississippi), and overseas in Finland. His final year came in Danbury with the Whalers (FHL/FPHL) who reached the league Finals against the Jersey Outlaws.
Nicknamed the “Motor City Hitter", standing at 6-foot-4-inches, 240 pounds, Jason used his size and strength to create space and opportunities for both himself and his teammates on the ice. He is still considered one of the toughest players to play against in Federal Hockey League history and one of the most popular to wear a Danbury sweater.
Since his playing days, Jason returned to his home state of Michigan and launched his program Detroit Ice Dreams, which makes ice hockey more accessible and affordable for children from underrepresented communities. From there, McCrimmon founded the Motor City Gamblers of the United States Premier Hockey League where players can showcase their skills for collegiate and major junior hockey programs. Additionally, McCrimmon is an ambassador for the Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score, a program launched in 2020 that focuses on lowering systemic barriers by providing equitable access to hockey in various forms to children across the city. It includes street hockey within physical education curriculum for all schools from kindergarten through eighth grade.
“I owe my love of the game to my older brothers Garr and Anthony," McCrimmon stated. "They pushed me and were my guides. They taught me the game and it took me places I never could have dreamed of. Hockey has given me so much.”
McCrimmon's thoughts on his time in Danbury:
"The fan base is everything. I love the fans there. Showing so much love, being supportive, just so fortunate I got to be a part of it. My favorite place – TK’s American Café – the wings did it for me there. Much love for TK’s, one of the best places I have ever been. We pulled out some crazy games. The team was on fire, but looking back it was the time with the fans that is what was just as special."
“The Motor City Hitter is one of my all-time favorites," Danbury Hat Tricks President Herm Sorcher stated. "He is such an incredible person and to have him on the wall here to mark his time in Danbury is a great testament to where the game can take you. To think, a person plays in Danbury and then later in their career is recognized by the National Hockey League. It's amazing. There are no limits and Jason proves it. We are so happy for Jason and are looking forward to this night.”
On Alumni Night, the Danbury Hat Tricks will induct four members into the Danbury Hockey Ring of Honor. A banner featuring the names of the honorees will hang alongside the team banners, the previous Ring of Honor members, and Corey Fulton’s (Whalers) retired number 15.
The previous honorees include, Jim Galante (Trashers), AJ Galante (Trashers), Corey Fulton (Whalers), Dave MacIssac (Trashers, Mad Hatters, & Hat Tricks), Nick Niedert (Whalers, Titans, & Hat Tricks), Matt Caranci (Whalers & Titans), Ed Campbell (Trashers & Whalers), Steve Brown (Whalers, Titans & Hat Tricks), and Alan Friedman (Whalers).
As part of the weekend, all Danbury hockey alumni will be invited to participate in an afternoon Alumni Game prior to the Hat Tricks game against Binghamton. There will be a pre-game reception in the Axe Tricks Lounge and all alumni will be honored at the first intermission of the game. All alumni (players, management, staff, ownership, etc.) of the Danbury hockey family are invited to RSVP.
The Hat Tricks are more than midway through their regular season Cup defense and we still want you to be a part of it! Season and single-game tickets are still available for purchase. Partial season packages can save fans up to 30% and include benefits such as FREE parking and season passes to the Danbury NAHL/NA3HL Hat Tricks games. Call Herm Sorcher at (973) 713-7547 to secure yours today or press here to learn more. To buy single-game tickets press here.