Former Colorado Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg and defenseman Rob Blake will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced today. Forsberg and Blake, along with Dominik Hasek, Mike Modano, Pat Burns and Bill McCreary, will be officially inducted Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 in Toronto.
Forsberg, 40, and Blake, 45, will be the fifth and sixth former Avalanche players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Jari Kurri (class of 2001), Ray Bourque (class of 2004), Patrick Roy (class of 2006) and Joe Sakic (class of 2012). All six made it their first year of eligibility.
Forsberg was selected sixth overall by Philadelphia in the 1991 Entry Draft and was dealt to the Quebec Nordiques on June 30, 1992. He spent his first 12 seasons with the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise, helping them win two Stanley Cup championships (1996, 2001) and a league-record nine consecutive division titles (1995 to 2003).
He captured the 2003 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP after leading the league with 106 points (29g/77a) in 75 games that year. The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native also earned the Art Ross Trophy in 2003, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1994-95, was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team on three occasions (1997-98, 1998-99 and 2002-03) and was selected to seven NHL All-Star Games.
Overall, Forsberg tallied 885 points (249g/636a) in 708 regular-season games with Quebec/Colorado, Philadelphia and Nashville. At the time of his retirement he was 10th all-time in points per game (1.25) and fourth in assists per game (.898). He also averaged better than a point per game in the playoffs, tallying 171 points (64g/107a) in 151 postseason games.
He retired as the fourth-highest scorer in franchise history with 755 points (217g/538a) in 591 career games with the Avalanche/Nordiques. Forsberg ranks second in franchise history in playoff scoring with 159 points (58g/101a) in 140 career postseason contests. The Avalanche organization retired Forsberg’s No. 21 jersey during a pregame ceremony on Oct. 8, 2011.
Forsberg helped his native Sweden capture two Olympic gold medals, in 1994 and 2006. All in all, he represented his country at four Olympics, five World Championships, two World Cups of Hockey and two World Junior Championships.
He retired as the fourth-highest scoring Swedish-born player in NHL history, as only Mats Sundin (1349), Nicklas Lidstrom (1142) and Daniel Alfredsson (1157) had more points.
Blake was drafted in 1998 with Los Angeles’ fourth selection (70th overall), and he joined the Avalanche via trade on Feb. 21, 2001. He played 14 of his 20 NHL seasons with the Kings (1990-01 and 2006-08) but helped the Avalanche win the 2001 Stanley Cup.
He had 777 points (240g/537a) in 1,270 regular-season games, including 208 points (62g/146a) in 322 regular-season games with Colorado.
Blake also played two seasons (2008-09, 2009-10) with the San Jose Sharks in addition to his international career, which included appearing in three Olympics (1998, 2002, 2006) five World Championships, winning gold in 1994 and 1997, and one World Cup of Hockey (1996). He’s one of 11 members of the prestigious Triple Gold Club, having won the Stanley Cup with Colorado and Olympics and World Championship gold medals.
A native of Simcoe, Ontario, Blake played college hockey at Bowling Green State University. He made his NHL debut during the 1989-90 season and is currently an assistant general manager with the Kings.