Toronto, ON—Bill Hay, Chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Jim Gregory and Pat Quinn, Co-Chairmen of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, announced today the Class of 2013. The newest members that will be inducted into the hall on November 11, 2013 are Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Geraldine Heaney, and Fred Shero.
Every year there are many eligible players, coaches, and pioneers that are up for selection, but only a lucky few are selected. Jim Gregory uttered the following words prior to announcing the four inductees to the Hockey Hall of the Fame,
“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these five hockey legends as Honored Members,” said Jim Gregory. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.“
Scott Niedermayer was a lock to get into hockey’s’ ultimate palace on the first ballot. If there was a player that possibly exceeded all the requirements necessary for induction, Niedermayer had them. He is the only player in history to win every major North American and International championship. He won the Stanley Cup four times (three with New Jersey and one with Anaheim), two gold medals at the Olympics in 2002 and 2010, a Word Championship in 2004, the World Cup of Hockey title in 2004, and a World Junior Hockey Championship in 1991. He also won the Memorial Cup with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992.
Niedermayer was drafted third overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Over his career Niedermayer scored 172 goals and 568 assists in 1,263 career games to go along with 22 goals and 73 assists in 202 career playoffs games. He also appeared in five NHL All-Star Games. The former Devils and Ducks defenseman has pages worth of hardware to pad his resume, including the Norris Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy, three First Team All-Star selections and one Second Team selection. Niedermayer was known as one of the greatest skaters of his generation, and perhaps of all time.
Another lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was defenseman Chris Chelios. Chelios suited up in 1,651 career games (fifth all-time, most among defenseman and most among American-born players) with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers. A three-time Stanley Cup champion (one with Montreal and two with Detroit) and Norris Trophy winner, the Chicago native was a dominant force in his prime and a model of longevity. Over 26 NHL seasons, he scored 185 career goals and 763 assists while adding 31 goals and 113 assists in 266 career playoff games.
Chelios represented the United States at three Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in 2002 and also took part in two Canada Cups and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where he helped the United States defeat Canada to win gold. Asked Tuesday to pick the team he identifies himself most with, Chelios said he didn’t want to offend anyone, so he went with the United States. He was named to the First All-Star Team five times, was twice named a Second Team All-Star and played in nine NHL All-Star Games. Chelios even won an NCAA championship at the University of Wisconsin in 1983.
The final lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was Brendan Shanahan. Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, is a member of the Triple Crown Club like Scott Niedermayer. He won the Stanley Cup three times with the Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002), the Olympic gold in 2002 and the World Championship in 1994. He also played for Canada’s championship team at the 1991 Canada Cup. Shanahan was eligible for the Hall of Fame Class of 2012, but was edged out by fellow first year choices Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic along with Pavel Bure and Adam Oates.
Shanahan is one of 18 members of the NHL’s 600-goal club; he is 13th all-time with 656. He’s 13th all-time in games played with 1,524 and 25th in points with 1,354. He played in 1,524 games with the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers during his 21-year career. Shanahan currently is the NHL Director of Player Safety and Vice President of Hockey and Business Development. Shanahan looks back fondly on his early years as a New Jersey Devils helping the team make the playoffs for the first time back in 1988. So it was a great day to be New Jersey Devils fan as now the Devils have three drafted players in the Hockey Hall of Fame (Niedermayer, Shanahan, and Fetisov).
Fred Shero enters the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders Category as he coached the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He was the first coach to win the Stanley Cup with an expansion team. He also brought the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1976 and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1979. Shero, who passed away in 1990, coached for 10 seasons from 1971-81 and went 390-225-119. He is 11th all-time in winning percentage (.612) and was the first winner of the Jack Adams Award in 1974.
Geraldine Heaney will enter the Hall as one of the pioneers of modern women’s hockey. Heaney represented Canada’s national women’s hockey team on numerous occasions between 1990 and 2002. Over that span, she’s won a combined seven IIHF World Women’s Championship gold medals and Olympic gold and silver medals. She was named best blueliner at the 1992 and 1994 World Championships and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2008 alongside fellow Hockey Hall of Famers Angela James and Cammie Granato. Heaney remains the all-time leading scorer amongst defenders in women’s hockey, scoring 27 goals and 66 assists in 125 career games. She announced her retirement from hockey after winning gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.
Once the players are announced there is always much debate over what players and builders should have gone in over the ones that were elected. Many people are asking why Lindros, and Pat Burns are not in the Hall of Fame yet.
Lindros has been eligible for induction since 2010. He piled up 865 points in 760 games averaging a point per game. In his first eight seasons with the Flyers, Lindros compiled 659 points over 486 games. During the 1994-95 lockout shortened season, he won the Hart Trophy scoring 70 points in 46 games. He followed that up with a career high 115 points. He had to retire in 2006-2007 due to post-concussion symptoms. Just like Shanahan, Lindros will have to wait another year to see if he gets the call to the hall.
Pat Burns coached 16 seasons in the National Hockey League. During that time he coached in 1,019 games. He won the Jack Adams Trophy, for NHL Coach of the Year, on three different occasions, with three different teams- Montreal (1989), Toronto (1993), and Boston (1998). He coached the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2003. Pat ultimately lost his life to cancer in November of 2010. That was his first year of induction eligibility. People in the hockey world petitioned for Burns to get elected in 2010 after his death, but his name was not called. His name was not called again this year and that is a sad state of affairs. How does a man who won the coach of the year three times along with the Stanley Cup not gotten into the hall of fame is hard to comprehend.
Notable players that will be eligible for induction for the first time in the Class of 2014 include: Adam Foote, Peter Forsberg, Mark Recchi, Doug Weight, and Dominik Hasek.
Congratulations go out to the members who were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame this year and let the debate continue about those players who should have gotten in.