Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
LeBel, Robert

LeBel, Robert

Throughout his career Robert "Bob" LeBel dedicated himself to the progression of hockey at the grass roots level in Quebec, coast to coast in Canada, and internationally. A successful politician who served as mayor of Chambly, Quebec, he instilled a positive attitude and confidence wherever he worked.

The Quebec City native rose through the local minor hockey system before joining the respected Cote de Beaupre Junior League. Later, he suited up in the Quebec Senior League and various amateur hockey outfits in New York State.

LeBel's first major accomplishment as a hockey administrator was as the founder and president of the Interprovincial Senior League from 1944 to 1947. His work was noticed by hockey authorities across Canada and in 1955 he was chosen to lead the Quebec Amateur Hockey League for a two year term.

Between 1957 and 1969 he served as president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) where his outstanding reputation was solidified. In 1960 LeBel was elected president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) where he served until 1962. In both cases he made history by becoming the first French Canadian to ascend to either office. In 1964, LeBel was named a life member of the QAHA and CAHA. He also represented the CAHA on the Governing Committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame when it opened on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto in 1961.

Lebel later served as president of the Quebec Junior A League and had a division named after him in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). His commitment to Canadian amateur hockey was recognized when he was made a trustee of both the George T. Richardson Memorial trophy (awarded to the champions of the Eastern Canada Junior League) and the W.G. Hardy trophy (presented to the Canadian Intermediate champions). After retiring, Lebel settled in Chambly until his death in 1999.

He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970.

Esso hockey medals of achievement