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A St. Lawrence University graduate is set to be inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame in Sunrise, Florida.

National Hockey League Hall of Famer and Florida Panthers Alternate Governor William A. Torrey '57 will be inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame on November 16. Torrey will be honored along with five other inductees, i ncluding three-time Super Bowl Champion Michael Irvin; U.S. Olympic Diving Team Coach Ron O’Brien; scuba diving record-holder Neal Watson; NBC 6 anchor Tony Segreto and former Notre Dame quarterback William Zloch.

"The level of commitment these six Broward County residents have shown for their respective sports and the recognition they have brought to the county through their achievements is the reason they were chosen," said John Webb, vice president, sports development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In all, Torrey spent 36 years in the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995. Under Torrey’s guidance, the Panthers broke expansion records for wins (33), points (83) and winning percentage (.494). The team also made it to the Stanley Cup Finals faster than any other post-1967 expansion team in NHL history. He is also credited with bringing the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and 2003 NHL All-Star game to South Florida for the first time. The estimated economic impact of the draft and the All-Star game on the South Florida economy exceeded $12 million. Torrey was also responsible for the club’s move into the state-of-the-art Office Depot Center in the city of Sunrise.

Torrey was born in Montreal, Quebec. He began his NHL career in 1967 as executive vice president of the Oakland Seals. Prior to joining the Panthers, Torrey spent 21 years with the New York Islanders, the first 20 as general manager. Under his direction, the team won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

"This is a well deserved honor for Bill," Panthers owner and Chief Executive Officer Alan Cohen said. "He was one of the pioneers behind the development of the Panthers and is one of the most respected men in hockey. On behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Bill on his induction."

The Broward County Sports Hall of Fame was established to honor and recognize coaches, athletes and pioneers who are or have been Broward County residents. The six inductees were nominated by Broward County residents and chosen by 12 local members of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame Committee.

Torrey, whose St. Lawrence degree is in psychology, is also a member of the St. Lawrence University Athletic Hall of Fame, and has been awarded an Alumni Citation by the University.

Posted: November 5, 2004