On Tuesday afternoon in a live press conference aired on TSN 2 and tsn.ca, the Hockey Hall of Fame Committee revealed the four men that will make their way into the Shrine this upcoming November. Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Mark Howe will have the privilege of having their names engraved in to the most historical place in all of hockey history. Each of these men were phenomenal hockey players. Surprisingly, there was plenty of controversy with the announcement. Hockey fans all around the world were wondering why men such as Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, and Pat Burns were left off the list. I personally believe that the Hockey Hall of Fame Committee made the right selections for this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction. They chose 4 incredible players that have had historical careers and if Pat Burns would have been selected this year people would have asked the question why not last year when he was alive. As we all know Burns unfortunately died late last year due to colon cancer. Pat will definitely be in the Hall some day soon but I completely agree with the decision to leave him out this year. An interesting note is that there are 3 former Toronto Maple Leafs being inducted. Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, and Joe Nieuwendyk gave it everything they had for the Leafs and for the fans of Toronto. Each one of these players just came up short of their goal and unfortunately did not lead Toronto to a Stanley Cup victory. Leaf fans still a wait to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory, as the team has not won since 1967.
Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour is 3rd all time in goaltending wins and he also has 2 Vezina trophies to his name. He won the Calder trophy in his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks and he won his 1st and only Stanley Cup in 1999 as a member of the Dallas Stars. Belfour is 1st all time in Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending wins and he was a runner up for the Vezina trophy in his first season with Toronto.
Doug Gilmour one of the greatest leader’s in all of hockey history won his 1st and only Stanley Cup in 1989 as a member of the Calgary Flames. He was the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dougie is best known for his great playoff performances. He is 7th all time in playoff scoring and he said the one thing he regrets the most about his career is not winning a cup in Toronto. Gilmour played an unbelievable 20 NHL seasons and he recorded 1,414 points in those 20 years. Gilmour had one of the most historical careers in all of hockey.
Joe Nieuwendyk, the current General Manager of the Dallas Stars won an extraordinary 3 Stanley Cups in his career. Joe recorded 564 goals in his 20 years in the NHL. He won the Calder trophy back in 1988 as the best rookie in the NHL. Joe was also the captain of the Calgary Flames from 1991-1995. He finished up his historic career in 2007 as a member of the Florida Panthers. Nieuwendyk now has the duty of trying to make the Dallas Stars a Stanley Cup contender.
Mark Howe, the son of the legendary Gordie Howe recorded 1,240 career NHL points. He was the runner up for the Norris trophy 3 times and made 2 Stanley Cup Final appearances. Mark unfortunately never won the Cup. He was a long time Philadelphia Flyer playing 10 of his 16 NHL seasons with the white and orange before finishing his career in Detroit as a member of the Red Wings.
Next year’s Hockey Hall of Fame eligible players include the great Joe Sakic, the long time Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin, and the former Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund.
I hope all of you enjoy the HHOF induction ceremony this fall. I would love to hear your opinions on the selections for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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