For anyone who has been involved in minor hockey in Canada during the past 50 years, they no doubt have met Lou Salatino. From the 1940s to the 1990s, Lou has been involved in hockey as a player, coach, referee and executive member from the local to the national level.
First learning the game while growing up in Fort William's East End, 'Salty' moved behind the bench in the early 1950s, serving as a coach with the Fort William Hurricanes. Following two successful seasons, including a City Bantam title in 1953, Lou made his way to the Fort William Canadiens taking over the helm of the Juvenile squad, leading them to the district title. After being ejected from a game in the late 1950s, for what was no doubt a 'bad call', Lou decided he would try his hand at refereeing. For over 20 years he called the shots from the minor to the senior level, as well as, serving as Referee-in-Chief with both the Fort William Minor Hockey Association (FWMHA) and the Thunder Bay Amateur Hockey Association (TBAHA).
Turning to the executive side of the game, Lou served two terms as President of the FWMHA and led the Board of the TBAHA from 1989-95, holding many posts within the association including Director of Senior Hockey. With a great knowledge of the game and concern for it's status in northwestern Ontario, Lou was influential at the provincial and national levels. He sat as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Hockey Association from 1989-95 and the Hockey Development Centre of Ontario since 1990, serving as that organization's Vice-Chairman in 1996.
Lou's dedication has not gone unnoticed, having received Life Memberships and Awards from both the FWMHA and the TBAHA and the 1992-93 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Canadian Hockey Association. So what is it that drives a man to volunteer over 50 years of his life to a sport? According to Lou his goal for the minor hockey system has always been the development of skills and good sportsmanship. The many fine graduates of this region's hockey system, and the fact that many of his children and grandchildren are involved in the game, is a fine tribute to his dedication.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25, 1999