Hockey Hall Of Fame, The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee announced Tuesday that first-time eligible candidates Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic would be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 12 in Toronto, along with holdovers Pavel Bure and Adam Oates.
Sakic and Sundin both retired from the NHL following the 2008-09 season and as per the Hall’s rules were eligible following the required three year waiting period. Bure – who retired in 2003 – has been eligible for induction since 2006 and Oates –who retired in 2004 – has been eligible since 2007.
While Sakic was a shoo-in in his first year, another first-timer didn’t earn the honor this year. Brendan Shanahan will now have to wait another season along with Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph, Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley and plenty of others.
But the four inductees were excited to be honored with the game’s all-time greats.
“I fell in love with playing hockey. That’s all I wanted to do, whether it was on the ice or street hockey, it didn’t really matter,” Sakic told NHL.com.
Drafted 15th overall in 1987, Sakic won everything he could have in his 20-year NHL career, including two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, the Hart Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2002, where he was tournament MVP. He played his entire career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise and finished with 1,641 points on 625 goals and 1,016 helpers.
Sundin was a former teammate of Sakic’s during his days in Quebec but played his best during his Toronto Maple Leafs years. Though he never won a Stanley Cup with the Leafs, he was the face of the franchise and the team’s captain for 11 seasons and he also holds the honor of being the first European-born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
Much like Sundin, Bure failed to win a Cup during his 12 seasons in the NHL. He only played in 702 games because of chronic knee problems but scored 779 points, averaging 36.7 goals per season. He broke into the league with Vancouver in 1992 after defecting from Russia and went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie, finishing with 34 goals and 60 points. He still holds several Vancouver records including most goals in a game, most goals in a season and most shorthanded goals. (Crave Online)