SIJHL’s Annelin named 2018-19 recipient of the Gary Cook Memorial Award

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Sunday that SIJHL director of communications Tom Annelin has been named the 2018-19 recipient of its prestigious Gary Cook Memorial Award.

This distinguished honour is presented annually by the SIJHL to an individual in recognition of their efforts, commitment and contributions to the league.

“It is a privilege to work everyday with a person that is so dedicated to the SIJHL,” offered league commissioner Bryan Graham, in making the announcement.

“Tom has put in countless hours into the league, since it’s inception, including many late nights, updating fans with media releases, scores and statistics in such a professional manner,” added Graham.

“His continued contributions to the SIJHL, on a daily basis, are indeed well-worthy of our recognition. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award and I know Mr. Cook would be very proud of this honour for Tom as the two were also great friends over their many years involved in hockey together.

Along with his role with the SIJHL, Annelin also serves in a similar capacity with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Thunder Bay Kings AAA program.

He also written a weekly hockey column in The Chronicle-Journal, that has run for the past 22 years, which continues to this day.


The Gary Cook Memorial Award is presented annually by the SIJHL in honour of the late hockey icon for his five decades of hockey-related service to the community of Thunder Bay.

An honoured member of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Mr. Cook was the ultimate hockey executive who boasted a resume of championship clubs that was second to none in hockey circles around North America.

Among his many accomplishments as a general manager and executive with multiple Thunder Bay-based franchises, was a record five Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championships, three Colonial Hockey League crowns, a CHL executive of the year award, a trio of SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup titles and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup trophy all the while earning the admiration and respect of the many, many people he was associated with over the years.

The following are the all-time Gary Cook Memorial Award recipients:

2018-19: Tom Annelin, SIJHL Director of Communications
2017-18: Eric Vastamaki, Referee
2016-17: Doug Colbon, Thunder Bay North Stars
2015-16: Milt Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
2014-15: Ron Whitehead, Former SIJHL President/Commissioner
2013-14: Mike Ebbeling, CKDR Radio Dryden
2012-13: Trevor Hosanna, Hockey Northwestern Ontario
2011-12: Malcolm Robertson, Dryden Ice Dogs
2010-11: Rod Aldoff, Wisconsin Wilderness
2009-10: Ted Lake, Dryden Ice Dogs
2008-09: Doug Lawrance, Sioux Lookout Flyers
2007-08: Carolyn/Scott Kellaway, Fort Frances Jr. Sabres

Gary Cook Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame Bio