Blaney McMurtry congratulates Michael Penman, Partner Emeritus, for being named the 2020 Hockey Canada Order of Merit (Central) recipient for his extensive contributions to minor hockey.
The annual “Hockey Canada Meritorious Awards” honour those individuals who for many years have served amateur hockey faithfully, having participated as players, served as coaches and association members, and made outstanding contributions to Canadian amateur hockey.
Blaneys' partner Larry Reimer notes that “for many years our firm and our clients had the benefit of Michael’s wisdom and mentorship. We continue to try to follow his legacy by giving practical and sound advice, like he did. Hockey and other sports organizations face many challenging issues and we are thankful for Michael’s influence on our ongoing work.”
Partner John Polyzogopoulos, adds “I worked with Michael on hockey-related matters from the very beginning of my career and over the better part of the last two decades. It is in large part due to his efforts that Blaneys built, and continues to have, a strong and thriving hockey and sports law practice. Michael is most deserving of this award, and I congratulate him on this achievement. I also thank him for the mentorship he provided to me all these years, and for introducing me to all of his clients whom I am privileged to continue to serve to this day.”
In recognition of this prestigious award, Hockey Canada says of Michael:
He played the game growing up in Toronto and proudly coached his sons through their minor hockey journey with the Humber Valley Sharks, but it is in the boardroom where Michael Penman has made his most significant impact on Canada’s game.
A skilled lawyer with Blaney McMurtry, Michael first got involved as counsel with the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) in 1979, beginning a relationship that would last 36 years. He joined the GTHL Executive Committee in 1996, the same year he chaired the GTHL Constitution Committee, and rose to join the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Board of Directors in 2000. Upon his appointment as chair of the OHF Constitution Committee in 2002, Michael led the process to consolidate the regulations of the OHF into one clear and concise document.
His ability to see the practical but achievable approach in the game led Michael to be a leader with the OHF, and in 2015 he took on the position of first vice-president. That ended his full-time affiliation with the GTHL, and he was made an Honorary Life Member. In his final years of service, Michael led a major governance change, spearheading the move to an independent OHF Board of Directors before his retirement in 2018.
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