Former Pats forward Brad Hornung passed away.
The Regina Pats announced that Hornung passed away on Tuesday evening at 52, following a battle with cancer.
Pats Vice-President of Hockey Operations, Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock said Hornung was an inspiration.
“This is a sad day for the hockey world, the WHL, the Regina Pats and the Hornung family,” he said. “Brad set an example that was passed on to him by his dad and family that we as Regina Pats look to emulate.”
“As a promising young player, Brad was dealt a difficult hand that stopped his playing career but did not stop his life and all that he accomplished, which included earning a degree, becoming an NHL scout, remaining a faithful fan and having his number 8 retired. More importantly, he was encouraging and an inspiration to all who crossed paths with him. Brad lived his life to the fullest and was such a loyal man. Forever a Regina Pat; Rest in Peace, Brad,” he continued.
Hornung, a native of Regina, played two seasons with Pats from 1985 to 1987. On March 1, 1987, he suffered a severe spinal cord injury following an on-ice collision, rendering him a quadriplegic.
Over a year after the accident in April of 1988, the WHL restructured its awards format, including introducing the Brad Hornung Trophy, awarded annually to the WHL player who best displays the same attributes as Brad. Talent, desire, and an unmistakable sportsmanlike attitude.
“Brad was not only a great friend to all of us at the WHL, but his positive outlook on life was an inspiration to everyone who knew him,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Brad will always have a special place in our hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
After the accident, Hornung stayed in the game he loved serving as a scout for many years, including stints with the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL’s Central Scouting Service. He remained a fixture at the Brandt Centre, where his No. 8 hangs from the rafters.
Hornung was joined in his final moments were his mother Terry, sister Leanne and family friend and former coach Doug Sauter.