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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Sundin grateful to Leafs fans for wonderful memories

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin was a hero in Toronto.

Now he's a Hall of Famer in Toronto.

As James Duthie pointed out, Sundin won the admiration of both Leafs Nation and Sweden. He only won a championship with one of them (not the Leafs), but he'll forever be remembered as one of the great Leafs of all time, if not the greatest.

He is the franchise's all-time leading scorer. He's the only Swede to score 500 goals in the NHL.

Sundin opened his speech by using the year 1966 and he reeled off the Hall of Fame class from that year. That same year his dad took his mom on their first date -- a hockey game.

"Five years later, I was born," Sundin said. "Forty-six years after that date, I'm standing here being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame."

He thanked his parents first.

"Without your support, I would not be standing here today," Sundin said.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

New HHOF member Sakic lived up to the hype

TORONTO -- As TSN host James Duthie talked about in his introduction, Joe Sakic was all hype as a young player in junior hockey.

He lived up to the hype -- and then some.

Sakic won the Stanley Cup twice. He won an Olympic gold medal, scoring four points in the gold-medal game. He finished with 1,641 career points.

Sakic always had a place reserved in the Hall of Fame. Now he is finally going to occupy it.

"Joe belongs to the Hockey Hall of Fame because he is a special player," Patrick Roy said on the TSN broadcast. "He is a player that was a difference maker in our game."

In his first remarks as a Hall of Famer, Sakic congratulated his fellow inductees -- showing his humble, selfless side.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Bettman: Inductees 'elevated our sport'

TORONTO -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman took the podium after the first two inductees.

"Tonight the all-time roster of the Hockey Hall of Fame is further enriched by four remarkable performers," Commissioner Bettman said. "Four legendary scorers. Four outstanding leaders who hail from four different parts of the hockey world."

Commissioner Bettman told the inductees that they "elevated our sport."

"These players earned the reverence of their teammates and the respect of their opponents -- even the defensemen they tormented and the goaltenders they humbled," he said.

Commissioner Bettman said the stat sheets can't measure the millions of fans the inductees thrilled and the memories they created.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Unscripted Oates thanks many in HHOF speech

TORONTO -- Adam Oates gave so much in his career that finally the Hockey Hall of Fame decided to honor him with a gift.

He gave the puck to Brett Hull, to Cam Neely, to Peter Bondra -- and they all scored 50 goals with Oates as their center. Hull and Neely did it in 50 games or less.

In fact, Oates said centering two 50-in-50 goal scorers is what he loves most about his long career. He dished out 1,079 assists (sixth all time) and even scored 341 times.

Oates, the second inductee in the Class of 2012, was "Gretzky-like" in his vision and passing, according to Hull.

"Adam belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he's one of the greatest players to play the game," Hull said on the TSN broadcast.

For his speech, Oates stepped up to the podium and did not have a sheet of paper. He did not read -- he either spoke from memory or simply from the heart.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 7:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Bure takes his place in the Hall

TORONTO -- In the opening video before introducing the first inductee, Pat Quinn compared Pavel Bure's yearning to be the best to that of Bobby Orr.

Pretty high praise for the first inductee in the Class of 2012, but certainly hard to argue against it considering the career that Bure had on both the international and National Hockey League level.

The Russian Rocket scored 437 goals and 779 points in an injury-shortened 702-game NHL career. He got up to 60 twice and scored in the 50s three more times. His hands were remarkable and his skating was, well, untouchable.

"Pretty rocket like," Quinn said. "He was a scoring machine."

Bure, wearing a bow tie, received his plaque from Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Bill Hay and stepped to the podium.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 7:48 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

'Best hockey night' is underway

TORONTO -- The 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony has started.

"This is the best hockey night on the calendar," TSN host James Duthie said in his opening remarks. "Tonight we celebrate the game, it's legacy, and the individuals that make the game so great."

Duthie continued in his remarks by going through the list of legends being honored -- Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates.

"They have earned this moment, hockey immortality," Duthie said before turning the microphone over to Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Bill Hay.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 3:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Hall call makes for some unique stories

TORONTO -- The phone call is one every player with Hall of Fame credentials waits for on that June day, when the Selection Committee meets and decides on the next class of legends to be enshrined in Toronto.

Where the inductees are when they get that call is always interesting.

Adam Oates has the best story this year, because the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was notified on the same day that he was hired to be the head coach of the Washington Capitals. So, not long after he was notified by Capitals GM George McPhee that he was getting the job in D.C., Oates had a number with a 416 area code calling him.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 2:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Inductees rank honor of making the Hall

TORONTO -- The question of what means more, a Stanley Cup championship or an Olympic gold medal, is tried and true and asked and re-asked in hockey circles across the globe.

There is no right or wrong answer.

On Monday, though, some of the Class of 2012 inductees were asked how getting into the Hall of Fame differs in terms of personal accomplishments such as winning the Cup, winning a gold medal, scoring 60 goals, or centering not one but two guys that scored 50 goals in 50 games.

For Joe Sakic, who has two Cup rings and an Olympic gold medal, the Hall of Fame is better than anything else.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 1:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Roberts: Sundin was workout warrior

TORONTO -- Joe Sakic was known for his wrist shot. Pavel Bure made headlines with his speed and hands. Adam Oates' passing ability set him apart.

But what was it that pushed Mats Sundin into the Hall of Fame?

Gary Roberts, Sundin's teammate in Toronto from 2000-04, believes it was the power that the Swedish star got out of his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame.

"I think it's the ability to skate with the puck and get to the net with two or three guys climbing on him," Roberts said. "I remember many nights he'd just say to me, 'Robs, meet me at the net.' I knew eventually he'd get there with two or three guys on his back. He was just a workhorse. The more he played the better he played.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:04 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Salming, Sundin teaming up for charity

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin and Borje Salming were using their fame and their friendship for charity on Sunday.

Both Swedish stars and ex-Maple Leafs greats were using the same type of stick that would go to charity after the Legends Classic, which was played at Air Canada Centre.

The stick, designed by Salming, has a twist on the bottom of the shaft near the toe that is designed for a better release.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Sakic gets tour of Hall, remains humbled

TORONTO -- Joe Sakic still can't get over the fact that come Monday night he'll have a plaque that will go alongside all the others inside the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"They showed us where it's going to be," Sakic said Sunday at the Legends Classic. "I haven't seen it yet."

He won't until Monday night's induction ceremony, but Sakic, who said his speech will be short and sweet, said he remains incredible humbled just being here in Toronto for the event.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

CuJo recalls Oates' Gretzky-like ability

TORONTO -- For parts of two seasons ex-NHL goalie Curtis Joseph got an up close and personal view of one of the wonders of the National Hockey League -- Adam Oates' passing ability.

Joseph and Oates were teammates in St. Louis from 1990-92 and the goalie vividly recalls the Gretzky-like ability he saw from Oates every single day in practice.

"He was such a deceptive player," Joseph told NHL.com Sunday at the Legends Classic. "He changed speeds and always had the other team off balance. Obviously everybody knows about his passing ability, but he sees the ice like very few."

Was it really Gretzky-like?

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Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona Coyotes forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being draftedd