Burton 40: Joe ChwachkaSmokin' Joe Hazard may be long gone from McCormack Park, but his shadow still looms large. For three seasons, his impeccable skating and speed frustrated defencemen, his exceptional stickhandling defied logic and his cannon of a slapshot frightened goaltenders into submission. One of the most intense players in Burton history, Joe always took it upon himself to carry his team on his back and did everything he could to win. He was the man who first introduced the concept of actual defence into Burton, standing back and shutting the gate when he had to. Paradoxically, he was also the owner of one of the most disproportionate goals-to-assists ratios in history, simply because he could and did do everything himself. Who could forget his 15 April 2001 performance where he scored 20 goals in just five games? Or his most memorable moment, where- playing goal, mind you- he charged up the rink on a breakaway and scored! Only 5'7" and yet 180 pounds of pure muscle, he was a physical presence as well. Joe loved Burton Hockey, and it loved him, but his relocation to the South Okanagan after the 2003 season ended his time in Burton. Amazingly, the Polish Prince of Perennial Power remains 13th in all-time goals more than six years since his last game. We all still hold out hope that one day he'll return, even if just for one session (which he's threatened to do). As one of the most fearsome goalscorers and one of the top defensive-minded players in Burton Hockey history, Joe Chwachka was a lock for the Burton 40.
Awards: Most Outstanding Player - 2001; 1st All-Star - 2000, 2001; 2nd All-Star - 2003.