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Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame names Pat Quinn new chairman

Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 10:35 AM / Hall of Fame

NHL.com

Former NHL defenseman, coach and general manager Pat Quinn has been selected to take over as the new Chairman of the Board for the Hockey Hall of Fame effective Aug. 1. Bill Hay, who has been the Hall's Chairman and CEO for 15 years, will be retiring effective July 31.

Jeff Denomme, the current President of the Hockey Hall of Fame, will add Chief Executive Officer to his title.

Hay was appointed Chairman and CEO in July 1998. He has served the Hall of Fame for 33 years, including 15 as a member of the Selection Committee (1980-95) and 18 on the Board of Directors (1995-2013).

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Niedermayer remains humble about chances for Hall

Friday, 11.16.2012 / 9:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Scott Niedermayer
Defense - NHL
G: 172 | A: 568 | PTS: 740
SOG: 2,436 | +/-: 167

The weekend that Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates converged on downtown Toronto to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, four-time Stanley-Cup winner Scott Niedermayer also happened to be in town.

But he wasn't there to partake in the festivities. He was there for his 11-year-old son, who was participating in a hockey tournament in the area. The two-time Olympic champion didn't even set foot anywhere near downtown Toronto.

"I ran into [former teammate] Joe Nieuwendyk, who was there to see Sundin," Niedermayer told NHL.com. "But I never got downtown to see any of that."

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Niedermayer, Chelios among 2013 HHOF candidates

Wednesday, 11.14.2012 / 5:30 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Let the great debates rage.

Another class of legends has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, which means the typically lively conversations that sometimes turn into arguments in living rooms, bars and press boxes across the hockey world soon will spark up again.

Who among the plethora of eligible former players will make it into the Hall next year?

Let's look at the possibilities, remembering a maximum of four players can be inducted in a single year:

LOCKS

Scott Niedermayer -- If the former New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks defenseman is not the first name written on the ballots of all 18 Selection Committee members, they'll need to hire an outside group to conduct an investigation.

Class of 2012 inductee Joe Sakic said Niedermayer was one of the two toughest players he ever played against (the other was Nicklas Lidstrom). There probably are dozens of other players who would echo Sakic's sentiment.

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Legends have fond memories of 2012 Hall of Famers

Wednesday, 11.14.2012 / 2:07 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The red carpet walk before the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony is a place where legends are found and legendary tales are told. This year was no different.

Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Joe Sakic brought out a crowd that included an array of former teammates, respected opponents, fellow honored members, family and friends. Here are some of the comments and stories many of the red carpet walkers told to NHL.com prior to the induction ceremony Monday night:

His Hall of Fame class

Pat Quinn, a member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, has a special connection to this year's class, having coached three of the four inductees. Quinn had Pavel Bure in Vancouver, Mats Sundin in Toronto and Joe Sakic on Team Canada three different times, including at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"I see it as good fortune for me to be around these men because not only did they turn out to be great athletes, they're all terrific people," Quinn said. "I think that's why I'm so happy with this class -- because of the quality of people in it. They were leaders for their team.

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Trade to Toronto jump-started Sundin to greatness

Monday, 11.12.2012 / 2:55 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- It's been 18 years since Mats Sundin was moved from Quebec to Toronto in a blockbuster, franchise-changing trade. Throughout all this time, Joe Sakic admittedly has thought about one question.

What if the Nordiques never traded Sundin?

Would they have won that first-round series against the Rangers in 1995? Would they have gone on to more success in the playoffs that spring? Would the Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup more than twice? Would Sakic and Sundin have gone down in history as one of the greatest tandems of all time -- if not the greatest?

In a Hall of Fame career that featured well over 500 goals and 1,300 points, one of Matt Sundin's greatest privileges was to serve as Maple Leafs captain in a city where hockey was ingrained as a way of life. (Photo: Getty Images)

"You can only imagine what it could be like if he was on our team," Sakic said Monday morning at the Hockey Hall of Fame, where he, Sundin, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates will be enshrined forever at the evening's induction ceremony.

The people in Toronto can't even bring themselves to imagine what life would have been like had Cliff Fletcher never pulled the trigger on the Sundin blockbuster. It was a trade that sent the popular Wendel Clark to Quebec City but brought back a player in Sundin who would turn into the Maple Leafs' all-time leading scorer and their captain for 11 consecutive seasons from 1997-2008.

It was a trade that brought a new face of hockey to the city that can't get enough of the sport.

"What a tremendous captain," said Sakic, who wasn't too bad of a captain himself from 1995-2009 for the Quebec/Colorado franchise. "And he did it with nothing but class. He was a tremendous leader. What a hockey player.

"He had some great players [with him on the Maple Leafs] as well, but really when you thought of the Toronto Maple Leafs it was Mats Sundin. He really carried this franchise."

For Sundin, that was one of his greatest privileges, his greatest honors. He loved playing in Toronto and wearing the Maple Leafs sweater. He loved the passion and the highs that came with winning in this city.

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Hall of Fame inductees discuss careers at Fan Forum

Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 6:10 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- It was their turn to say thank you, congratulations, and to ask to the question they've always wanted to ask to their favorite legend.

The Fan Forum on Sunday morning during Hockey Hall of Fame weekend has been a tradition since 1999, when Wayne Gretzky decided he wanted to do something special to get up close and personal with the people that followed his career and, in some ways, helped to make him the superstar he became.

Once again, the informal Q&A session, MC'd by ex-Maple Leafs GM and Toronto radio personality Gord Stellick, brought people wearing jerseys of all different colors.

They wore their old Nordiques jerseys to honor Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin. They came wearing their Vancouver sweaters and gold t-shirts to honor Pavel Bure. A few had on Blues' sweaters to pay homage to Adam Oates. There were plenty of Avalanche No. 19 jerseys in the crowd.

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Quebec saw genesis of Sundin's Hall of Fame career

Friday, 11.09.2012 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Hear the name Mats Sundin, and very likely it conjures an image of the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Swedish star wearing the blue sweater of the Toronto Maple Leafs for 13 NHL seasons.

Sundin used his unique combination of size and finesse, strength and skill to score 420 of his 564 goals and 987 of his 1,349 points in Toronto. He played in 77 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Leafs, but never reached the Stanley Cup Final in what officially will become a Hall of Fame career when he's enshrined Monday in Toronto.

He finished his career in 2009 after a season with the Vancouver Canucks. Only 26 players had more career points in the regular season and 20 had more career goals when he retired.

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Bure battled injuries to display elite offensive skills

Wednesday, 11.07.2012 / 9:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Pavel Bure's skating, speed and goal-scoring IQ separated him from the rest in his rookie class. So, too, did his experience.

By the time Bure got to the National Hockey League in 1991 he had already won gold for the Soviet Union in both the World Junior Championship (1989) and the World Championship (1990), and had played three full professional seasons for his Central Red Army team -- scoring 35 goals as a 19-year-old.

"At the World Juniors I was voted the best forward and some guys that participated in the World Juniors, they already played and played well in the NHL," Bure told NHL.com from Moscow. "I thought to myself, 'I can score more goals than those guys so I should be OK.'"

Just OK?

Bure needed just one NHL season to prove he was better than that. He won the Calder Trophy in 1992 after scoring 60 points in 65 games for the Vancouver Canucks.

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Oates finally rewarded for legendary passing skills

Monday, 11.05.2012 / 12:11 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Adam Oates once was an undrafted high school dropout working as a gas station attendant. In November, he'll be able to call himself an honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"I can't say I really thought it would happen," Oates, now the coach of the Washington Capitals, told NHL.com.

Not many would have 27 years ago, when Oates signed with the Detroit Red Wings after becoming a back-to-back All-America selection and NCAA champion at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was a sought-after college free agent, but his entry into the National Hockey League wasn't smooth.

Oates bounced between the Red Wings and their American Hockey League affiliate in Adirondack during the 1985-86 season. It was a come-back-to-earth time for Oates, who dominated the college ranks and even scored a goal in his first NHL game, only to go the next 16 without a point.

"Humbling, frustrating," Oates said in describing his rookie season. "There's always a part of you that thinks it didn't have to be that way, but I didn't play good and our team was struggling. It was overwhelming a little bit. We're talking back in '85, when there was a lot of fighting in the game and I wasn't a fighter. It was tough and I had to figure out a niche to play.

"Going to the minors clears your head, makes you fight for it a little harder. It took a little while to get going, but I got into a groove."

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'Hull and Oates' made beautiful music on the ice

Monday, 11.05.2012 / 12:01 PM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

To Brett Hull, Adam Oates was the teammate a goal scorer typically encounters only in his dreams.

"To be able to play with a guy that loved to set up a goal as much or more than score a goal, how can you ask for anything more than that," Hull told NHL.com of Oates, his soon-to-be fellow honored member in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Oates, who finished his career with 1,079 assists and 1,420 points in 1,337 games, will be enshrined in Toronto on Nov. 12 along with Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure.

"He was so smart, so hockey smart, that he saw things in where to go and how to beat guys that I didn't even fathom -- and I thought I knew the game," Hull added. "He saw what everybody was doing, on our team and on their team. It was a treat to play with him."

Hull and Oates -- as the duo was dubbed in connection to the band Hall & Oates -- gave hockey fans in St. Louis a rare treat for more than two and a half seasons, from 1989-92.

For the short time Oates was with the Blues -- from the start of the 1989-90 season to Feb. 7, 1992, when he was traded to the Boston Bruins -- Hull scored 212 goals and Oates had 228 assists. Do the math for a per-game average and you'll find that Hull scored exactly one goal for every game he played while Oates averaged 1.17 assists over 195 games.

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