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Hall of Fame

Leetch: Chelios was American team's leader

Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Brian Leetch - Special to

Brian Leetch and Chris Chelios were stalwart defensemen on United States national teams, winning the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup and a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics. Leetch was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

I always tell people that Chris Chelios is America's version of Mark Messier.

They're similar in that they love the game and have a passion for it. They love to compete and winning and doing things as a group are very important to them.

They played with an edge, whether it was a stick up or a glove in the face. They would drop the gloves if they had to. You knew if you were in a competition with either of them it wasn't always going to be clean and you were going to get the worst of it because they would not back down.

Less tape, greater success for Shanahan

Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

As Brett Hull was building his Hall of Fame resume with the St. Louis Blues, his father, Bobby Hull, would spend his time hanging around the team, going into places most people wouldn't dare.

Bobby would be in the dressing room before, during and after games. He'd be in the runway leading to the dressing room as the final buzzer sounded. And, as fate would have it for Brendan Shanahan, Bobby would hang around by the players' sticks, admiring them and, in Shanahan's case, altering them.

"Brendan's goal scoring, you have to give all the credit to my dad," Brett Hull told

Shortly before Christmas in 1991, Shanahan, who had been with the Blues for less than two months at that point, arrived for practice with only a few minutes to spare. He hurriedly strapped on his equipment and grabbed his sticks. He didn't have time to examine them before darting out onto the ice to avoid being late.

Wrist shot, grit made Shanahan an elite power forward

Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

John Davidson recognized Brendan Shanahan's best weapon before Shanahan even realized he had it.

It was Nov. 10, 1987. Davidson and Sam Rosen were calling the game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Shanahan, 18 years old at the time, had just scored his first career goal in his 15th NHL game with a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

He received the puck from Claude Loiselle and saw Rangers defenseman Michel Petit closing on him. Shanahan had no choice but to snap the puck off his stick blade in one quick, short motion.

"I don't know if this is an indication of what kind of shot Shanahan has, but he took that pass and released that shot about as quick as anybody can," Davidson said seconds after the puck came off Shanahan's blade and whizzed past Rangers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck.

Up until that shot Shanahan didn't have a clue how he could score in the League. He was the No. 2 pick in the 1987 NHL Draft, and while he was known as a prolific scorer with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, Shanahan never had to work on his quick release as a junior player because he always had time and space to make a move to get to the net.

But now he was in the NHL and that time and space didn't exist.

Hull: Shanahan finally where he belongs

Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Brett Hull - Special to

Brett Hull was a teammate of Brendan Shanahan's with the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, and won a Stanley Cup together with the Red Wings in 2002. Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

When Brendan Shanahan joined us with the St. Louis Blues he was 22 years and had established himself early in his career as a guy who could score about 25 or 30 goals a season. We knew there was more that he could do. He did too, but all he needed was some guidance.

He stopped, looked, listened and became a two-time 50-goal scorer. The fact that he was willing to do that, to watch and listen and learn from other great players, helped make him a Hall of Fame player.

But Brendan would not have been a Hall of Fame player without his talent. The guy could do it all.

He could fight, and you wouldn't want to drop the gloves with him, that's for sure. He could kill penalties and be your sniper on the power play. He obviously was an unbelievable goal scorer and he could make plays. Beyond that he was a natural leader -- a born leader.

Shero's wisdom, innovation made Flyers into winners

Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Fred Shero is best remembered for nine words he scrawled on a blackboard in a locker room of the Spectrum in Philadelphia on a May day in 1974.

"Win together today and we will walk together forever," was the message, and his Philadelphia Flyers went out that day and beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to become the first expansion team to claim hockey's greatest prize.

Those players did more than win a championship that day; they formed a bond that still holds strong nearly 40 years later. It was a lesson few recognized at the time, but now all realize was prescient.

"All of what Freddie did we recognized later," Bob Clarke, the captain of that Flyers team, told

Clarke: Shero was ahead of his time

Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Bob Clarke - Special to

Bob Clarke captained the Philadelphia Flyers for six seasons while playing for Fred Shero. In that span, he won the Stanley Cup twice and three Hart Trophies.

When Fred Shero got to the Flyers in 1971, I was 22 years old and going into my second NHL season. Back then players didn't just go talk to the coach; eventually the coach would tell you what he wanted or needed from you.

I think in today's world every new coach talks to every player and their wives and their kids and everybody else before the season starts. Freddie never said a word through training camp to me personally until probably 30 games into the season. But it didn't bother me at all, because I don't think he was talking to anybody else.

Daneyko: Niedermayer made it look easy

Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Ken Daneyko - Special to

Ken Daneyko played alongside Scott Niedermayer for 12 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, winning three Stanley Cups in four trips to the Final.

One of the first moments that stood out to me about Scott Niedermayer came during a practice in his first full season, 1992-93. I'm not sure if Scott remembers it, but we had lost a few games in a row and we had one of those no-puck skate-'til-you-drop punishment type of practices that coaches implemented back then. After an hour straight of skating I came in to the locker room and laid down on the floor exhausted. After taking off my equipment I looked like I had just been in the shower, sweating profusely. Nieder comes in maybe 30 seconds later, takes his shoulder pads off and I remember seeing a giant raindrop in the middle of his T-shirt. That was the extent of his sweat. We all looked at him in amazement as I asked, "Wasn't that even remotely hard for you?" His only response was, "No, that was pretty hard," and that was it.

You could tell it was effortless for him. That's when I knew we had something special. He was a machine. He worked just as hard as everybody but for him it came easy.

Niedermayer a winner every time he stepped on the ice

Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Scott Niedermayer's long, graceful skating stride allowed him to glide up and down the ice. He'd get the puck, move it and then he'd be gone. The opposition couldn't keep up with him, knock him down or wear him out.

"He was like a ghost out there," Mike Babcock told "He would just arrive when you wouldn't expect it and make plays."

Bobby Orr opened the ice for skating defensemen in the 1970s, forever changing the way the game would be played during his Hall of Fame career. Paul Coffey followed Orr in the 1980s, carrying his fluid style through two decades of dominance that was good enough to earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame as well.

Niedermayer's skating was so smooth that he fell in line behind Orr and Coffey after he got to the New Jersey Devils in 1992 following a junior career that saw him win gold at the 1991 IIHF World Junior Championship and the Memorial Cup with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League in 1992.

He'd go on to win every team trophy he could, including the Stanley Cup four times (1995, 2000, 2003, 2007), two Olympic gold medals (2002, 2010), gold at the 2004 World Championship and gold at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Niedermayer also took home the Norris Trophy in 2004 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007 after winning the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks.

Heaney 'greatest defenseman' in women's history

Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Cassie Campbell-Pascall - Special to

Cassie Campbell-Pascall played for Canada at three Olympics and captained Canada to gold medals at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics. She is regarded as one of the finest female hockey players ever. However, she credits 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Geraldine Heaney for helping her become the player and person she became.

I never saw the 1990 IIHF World Women’s Championship live. That's where Geraldine Heaney became famous for scoring what is still considered the greatest goal in the history of women's hockey.

But I remember when I was at a tournament in Canada when I was 16 years old some members of Canada's national team came and all the young kids got a chance to meet them. That was the first time I met her. Then, of course, we played together on the national team starting in 1994. I played club hockey with her as well.

Considering all the great experiences I've had with Geraldine, there's no question in my mind that she's earned her place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Heaney was a trailblazer for women's hockey

Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

The list of players in the modern era compared to Bobby Orr is very short. The two most prominent names are Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey, Stanley Cup champions who were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

The third member of that very short list, Geraldine Heaney, is about to join them in the Hall.

Whereas Bourque and Coffey became two of the most decorated players in the NHL, Heaney made her mark at a time when women's hockey players weren't supposed to skate like the boys.

"I started at a time when a lot of girls weren't playing. I was the only girl playing with my brothers. At the time, I never thought only boys played hockey. As a kid you don't care," said Heaney, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 11. "I would always be going to the rink and asked my dad, 'How come I can't play?' At that time the girls weren’t allowed to play with the boys. So he looked for a team for me and I had to play with girls four or five years older."

By age 13 Heaney began playing with the vaunted Toronto Aeros women's club, a team she would play with for almost two decades. As she developed her style as an offensive defenseman always looking to jump into the rush, she won Ontario provincial championships at every level. Her incredible run with the Aeros included four national championships and 15 provincial titles in 17 years. At a time when the women's game still was developing, Heaney was establishing herself as a titan. But her most iconic moment on the ice, and perhaps the most historic play in the history of women's hockey, still was around the corner.

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