The Sarnia Sting Hockey Club has announced its inductees for the Hall of Fame Class of 2024: Aaron Brand, Andy Delmore, Bill Abercrombie, and Dr. Duncan MacKinlay.
The All-Seasons Trophies Sarnia Sting Hall of Fame was launched last year when Robert Ciccarelli, Jon Sim and Trevor Letowski were honoured.
Construction of the Hall is ongoing and is located in the south-west corner of Progressive Auto Sales Arena. The Hall of Fame will showcase photos, articles, and memorabilia from the club’s history as well as a wall dedicated to distinguished members who have played a role in its growth both and off the ice. Inductees will be honoured each season during a select home game with an on-ice pre-game induction ceremony.
Members of the 2024 Hall of Fame will be recognized with their families for their contributions in building the success of the Sting in Sarnia-Lambton during an on-ice ceremony when the Sting Host the Guelph Storm Saturday, Feb. 10.
Here’s more on each of the inductees:
1994–96; 132 GP – 194 POINTS
Originally drafted in the 13th round (204th overall) by the Newmarket Royals in 1992 Aaron Brand would go on to be one of the best draft picks in Cornwall/ Newmarket/ Sarnia franchise history.
It would be the 1995 – 1996 season that would ultimately cement Brand’s legacy as one of the most prolific scorers in franchise history. That season Brand would lead not only the Sarnia Sting in points but also finished atop the OHL Leading Scorer race with 119 points.
Along with the leading scorer trophy he would also be named the Top OHL Overage Player that season and was named to the season ending Second All-Star Team.
To go along with his scoring proficiency, Brand also proved to be incredibly durable, not missing a single game in both of his seasons in Sarnia. A lasting memory of Brand’s time with the Sting was the night he signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs at centre ice of the Sarnia Arena.
1994–97; 154 GP – 155 POINTS.
Upon joining the Sting, Delmore would begin to emerge as an offensive threat from the blueline registering 18 points in 27 games. Over the next two seasons (95-96 and 96-97) Delmore would be a fixture on the Sting blueline and would be one of the mainstays of a dangerous Sting power play.
During the 95-96 season he would eclipse the 20-goal mark, a huge accomplishment for any defenseman.
In his final season with the Sting Delmore finished with 78 points in 63 games. At the time of his hall of fame induction (2024) this mark stands as the highest single season total of any Sting defenseman in team history.
Delmore would go on to play 17 years professionally including parts of seven seasons in the NHL.
BILL ABERCROMBIE – Builders Category
Abercrombie began his coaching career in 1985, leading the Petrolia Jets Junior C team. When the OHL’s Newmarket Royals relocated to Sarnia to become the Sting in 1994, Abercrombie joined the Hockey Club and served as an Assistant Coach until 2002. During this period, he helped develop many of the organization’s early stars.
In 2010, Abercrombie made his return to the Sting as Vice President of Hockey Operations before being named the Club’s President in 2014. In this role, Abercrombie worked closely with the Sting Hockey Operations Department while overseeing the Hockey Club’s business activities.
As President, Abercrombie played pivotal roles in many of the Sting’s off-ice accomplishments. He was instrumental in completing the 2018 videoboard and LED ribbon upgrade at Progressive Auto Sales Arena (PASA) which brought new life and modern technology into the Sting gameday experience.
Following the successful completion of this, Bill then spearheaded the construction of a state-of-the-art dressing room. A move that elevated the Sting program, providing a professional space for players and staff that is second to none.
DR. DUNCAN MACKINLAY- Builders Category
In the lead up to the inaugural 1994-95 Sting season, Owner Robert Ciccarelli approached local orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Duncan MacKinlay to see if he would be interested in being the team’s orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. MacKinlay readily agreed, and when asked his salary expectations, he said he would volunteer his time; he just wanted to help play a part in bringing the OHL team to Sarnia and ensuring its success.
Throughout his time with the Sting, Dr. MacKinlay was known to go above and beyond on multiple occasions to ensure the players received the most urgent and professional care required.
In December of 2023, after more than three decades of practicing medicine and thirty seasons of being the team’s official orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. MacKinlay retired from both roles. He estimated that he performed over fifty plus surgeries on members of the Sting, some of whom have gone on to have NHL careers. Though he is retired from his official capacity with the Sting, he remains an avid fan and enjoys attending games with his grandchildren.