The HHOF immortalized a new class, full of people who grew the sport and compiled a long list of achievements.
On Monday, November 13, 2017, six men and one woman were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame at a star-studded ceremony in Toronto. The 64th HHOF class is comprised of players Dave Andreychuk, Danielle Goyette, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Teemu Selanne and builders Clare Drake and Jeremy Jacobs.
Andreychuk, Kariya, Recchi and Selanne all made tremendous impacts during their time as players in the NHL. Andreychuk, 54, is sixth all-time for goals played in the league and 14th all-time for goals scored. He won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Recchi, 49, played in seven NHL All-Star Games and won the Stanley Cup three times as a player, each with a different team, and twice more as a Development Coach.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett, Getty Images)
Kariya and Selanne became fast friends and formed a potent duo during their six seasons together with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Kariya, 43, was a point-per-game player in his career, and he won the Lady Byng Trophy twice for gentlemanly conduct. Selanne, 47, who later played with the team when they became the Anaheim Ducks, won a Stanley Cup with them in 2007. He also played in ten NHL All-Star Games and was named the Finnish ice hockey player of the year by his home country nine times.
Jacobs, 77, has owned the Boston Bruins since 1975, and is the man responsible for making the changes that helped his team win the Stanley Cup in 2011. He’s been the chairman of the NHL Board of Governors since 2007, as well, and was a recipient of the 2015 Lester Patrick Award for his contributions to the sport of hockey.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is not exclusively for the NHL, however, and two inductees made their invaluable mark in the sport’s history without any involvement in that league. Clare Drake, 89, was the head coach for the University of Alberta Golden Bears for 28 seasons, capturing 17 western conference championships and six Canadian championships. He also coached the Canadian Men’s Olympic team in 1980 and received the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2014.
Danielle Goyette, 51, led the Canadian Women’s team to a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, and she captured the gold with them in 2002 and 2006. She was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2013 after winning seven gold medals, and one silver medal, in the IIHF World Championships.
The HHOF has inducted 276 players, 107 builders (coaches, owners, managers, etc.) and 16 referees and linesmen since its inception in 1945. Women were first admitted as players starting in 2010, and Goyette became the fifth woman selected. Most men selected as players have at least some NHL experience, and the last man admitted without any, as of 2017, was Valeri Kharlamov of CSKA Moscow. He was honored posthumously in 2005.
Only 29 of the players inducted hail from a country besides Canada; Selanne became just the second Finnish player to achieve the honor after Jari Kurri was selected in 2001.
The 2018 HHOF can only be speculated at right now, although the rules for induction state that any potential nominees must exhibit sportsmanship, character and contributions to their team or organization. Likely candidates include goaltender Martin Brodeur, who set the NHL’s all-time record for wins, and Daniel Alfredsson, who played in over 1,200 NHL games and won both a gold medal and a silver medal in Olympic play. Furthermore, Boris Mikhailov, who won two Olympic gold medals, 11 Soviet League championships with CSKA Moscow and eight IIHF World Championships, will be an eligible player who never skated in the NHL.
The 2017 Hall of Famers are all well-deserving of their induction. Hockey fans the world over can only wait to see how next year’s class compares to these honorable giants of the game.
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