Frank Selke Jr.
Courtesy Special Olympics Canada
Former Canadiens executive and Hockey Night in Canada intermission host Frank Selke Jr. died Monday at age 83.
Those wishing to honour Selke’s memory are asked by his family to make a donation to Special Olympics Canada.
Selke Jr., the son of legendary Canadiens general manager Frank Selke Sr. during the club’s glorious era from the late 1940s into the 1960s, was a noted executive for the Canadiens from 1951-65. He was part of six Stanley Cup winning photos in 1953 and 1956–60. However, his name does not appear on the Stanley Cup. He was the intermission host on Habs broadcasts for much of the 1960s and was also in charge of the team’s publicity.
Selke Jr. became president of the Oakland Seals (later known as the California Golden Seals) in 1967 and then became the team’s general manager. Selke resigned in 1971 in dispute with the new team owner Charlie Finley. He later became vice-president of the Canadian Sports Network, producers of Hockey Night in Canada.
From Special Olympics Canada:
We at Special Olympics Canada are saddened by the passing of our dear friend, beloved colleague, and tireless champion, Frank D. Selke.
While best known as a celebrated hockey executive and sports broadcaster, Frank became involved with Special Olympics in 1969 as a hockey executive working for the California Golden Seals. Frank stayed involved with the Special Olympics movement for the rest of his life.
In the 1980s, Harry “Red” Foster, Special Olympics Canada’s founder, encouraged Frank to take on a bigger role. As chair of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Ontario, Frank established greater financial stability for the organization by attracting community support. He heightened national awareness by persuading his colleagues at the Canadian Sport Network to include segments about Special Olympics on Hockey Night in Canada.
Frank went on to contribute at the national level, serving on the Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors for eleven years. After retiring from the Canadian Sport Network in 1992, he joined the Special Olympics Canada National Office as Executive Vice President where he helped to establish our national partnership program, and was instrumental in the success of this undertaking and the growth of the Special Olympics movement in Canada.
While Frank was a master at selling the benefits of our organization to corporate sponsors, he was also a tremendous friend to our athletes, and well known to their family and friends. He was an ardent ambassador of – and advocate for – Special Olympics athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities. Frank loved the movement; he understood the power of sport to transform lives and, in his work with our athletes, he contributed to the transformation of many. In his kind and encouraging way, he was a leader, with outstanding personal integrity and generosity, who led with his heart.
The death of Frank Selke is a tremendous loss to our organization and to our country. Our thoughts today are with Frank’s family: his wife Red; his children Gary, Greg and Lisa; and his many grandchildren.
Frank Selke was Special Olympics Canada’s greatest ambassador for 44 years. He was the heart and soul of our movement, and the face of Special Olympics in our country’s boardrooms and locker rooms alike. We are grateful for all that he gave our movement and our athletes, and we know his gifts will continue to strengthen Special Olympics Canada for many years to come.
Video upon Selke Jr.’s induction into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame in 2004:
Below: Frank Selke Jr. (left) and Danny Gallivan in the broadcast booth.
Courtesy Hockey Night In Canada 60 Seasons