O Canada: The Ottawa Senators hockey team saluted a beloved fellow Canadian, late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, with a moment of silence before their season-opening game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night, ESPN has reported.
During the pre-game salute in which Trebek was hailed as a “Canadian icon,” it was noted that the hockey-lover celebrated his induction as a member of the Order of Canada in 2017 at a Senators home game. Trebek often mentioned his Canadian roots in his chats with “Jeopardy!” contestants and had appeared during All-Star Game events and at the NHL Awards.
The moment of silence was a shared tribute for Trebek and John Muckler, the former general manager of the Senators who died on Jan. 4.
The Senators held a moment of silence before the game to honour Alex Trebek and John Muckler. pic.twitter.com/49yrEE9XxS
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 16, 2021
“Alex was a passionate fan of our game and a true friend of our League,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said upon Trebek’s death. “He always said yes when hockey called. We will miss him and send our condolences to his family and millions of friends and fans.”
During the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft on Oct. 6, at which time he was also in the final stages of his disease, Trebek announced the Senators’ selection of German forward Tim Stuetzle with the No. 3 pick. He did so, of course, in a “Jeopardy!” Q&A format.
“(Senators owner) Eugene Melnyk called me to say, ‘I have an idea for Alex to do the draft pick,'” Steve Mayer, who engineers many NHL marquee events as the League’s chief content office said. “We were like, ‘Of course, that’s fantastic.’ The Senators made the arrangements and Alex was so into it. It had to be one of the last on-camera things he did.”
Trebek, who was born in Sudbury, Ontario, died on Nov. 8 at age 80 at his home in Los Angeles after a public battle with pancreatic cancer. His fans and audiences followed his struggle, often holding up signs of support during tapings, and contestants wished him well from the stage.