Hockey's exclusive club found out who its four newest members would be Tuesday, as the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that its 2011 class would include Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Belfour, affectionately known as Eddie the Eagle, has the third most wins for a goaltender in NHL history to go along with two Vezina trophies and a Stanley Cup Championship in 1999 with the Dallas Stars. In 963 career games with Chicago, San Jose, Dallas, Toronto and Florida, Belfour won 484 games to go along with 76 career shutouts. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning Canada team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Prior to his professional career, Belfour won an NCAA national championship with the University of North Dakota in 1987.
One of Belfour's teammates on the 1999 Stanley Cup champions is fellow inductee Joe Nieuwendyk, who won the Conn Smyth Trophy as the postseason MVP with Dallas that year. Nieuwendyk holds one of the more unique distinctions in NHL history as one of just four players to win a Stanley Cup with three different teams -- and he did it in three different decades, winning in 1989 with Calgary, 1999 with Dallas and 2003 with New Jersey. A four-time all-star and a member of Canada's 2002 gold medal-winning Olympic team, Nieuwendyk won the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 1988. A player who was able to both score and pass, he finished with 564 goals and 562 assists in his NHL career.
Nieuwendyk did manage to one-up his fellow inductee and one-time teammate Belfour in that he doesn't just have one former teammates whom he won a Cup with entering the Hall this year. He has two, having played with Gilmour as a member of the 1989 Calgary Flames. Gilmour, who won the Hart Trophy as the League's MVP in 1993 following a 127-point season for Toronto, tallied 450 goals and 964 assists over a 20-season career with St. Louis, Calgary, Toronto, New Jersey, Chicago, Buffalo and Montreal.
Rounding out the class is Howe, who had 742 points over a 16-year NHL career. That came after six seasons in the WHA, where he tallied 504 points and famously played alongside his brother Marty and his father, Gordie. Undaunted by his legendary father's enormous shoes, Howe carved out a career that was impressive all its own, garnering him four All-Star Game appearances once he joined the NHL.
The four will be formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 14, 2011.
Author: David Kalan | NHL.com Staff Writer