NA3HL names Championship Trophy in memory of Fraser Ritchie
September 11, 2017
The Silver Cup, annually awarded to the National Playoff Champion of the NA3HL, will now be known as The Fraser Cup.
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) is proud and honored to announce that the Championship Trophy awarded to the annual winner of the NA3HL Playoffs will now and forever be known as The Fraser Cup. Formerly the Silver Cup, the first Fraser Cup will be awarded to the NA3HL’s Playoff Champion at the end of the Fraser Cup Championship, which will take place from March 27-31, 2018 in Romeoville, Illinois.
The Fraser Cup is named after Robert ‘Fraser’ Ritchie, a long-time staff member of the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL. On June 10, 2017, Ritchie passed away peacefully with family at his side after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Although Ritchie ultimately lost his battle with the disease, his influence and daily interactions with all of the owners, coaches, staff, volunteers and administrators in the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL, will never be forgotten.
“Fraser had a special place in his heart for the mission of the NA3HL and its most importantly, its players, so when we approached the idea of memorializing him with the renaming of the Championship trophy with the NA3HL leadership and the Ritchie family, they were unanimous in their support. We all felt honoring his memory in this fashion was a way to remind people of his influence on the NA3HL,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Despite the diagnosis of cancer towards the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Fraser remained committed and determined to not let it affect him or his commitment to our leagues and teams. Throughout all the challenges, Fraser fought through it with his patented workhorse style and loyalty, which has endeared him to so many people over the course of his time with us. His influence and professionalism towards everyone is something that we will dearly miss, but will now be remembered forever with the Fraser Cup.”
Ritchie had just completed his eighth season in 2016-17 with the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL in his role as Director of Hockey Administration. He oversaw league logistics, scheduling, operations and daily support for member organizations and league operations. He also was in charge of the tracking and accuracy of all statistics and standings for the NAHL, NA3HL, and NAPHL as the HockeyTech and LeagueStat administrator.
“We are very honored that the NA3HL and its leadership has decided to change the name of their Championship Trophy to the Fraser Cup. Fraser had a life-long love and passion for the game of hockey and was all about the kids, so we can’t think of a better way to annually celebrate his life and legacy than with the awarding of such a prestigious trophy,” said Fraser’s wife, Michelle Ritchie.
Ritchie had previously served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Junior Hockey Association and the Allen High School Hockey Club, Advisor to the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League and served as President of the North Texas Hockey League for three years. In 2006-07, Ritchie was named the Volunteer of the Year for Youth Hockey by the Dallas Stars. Away from the rink, the former minor league hockey player spent 38 years with Nortel Networks, specializing in engineering sales support, project management of large multi-million dollar programs and customer service.
Ritchie is survived his wife, Michelle, and two sons Trent and Derek, along with two grandchildren.