The Ducks would like to congratulate Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille on his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Ducks also congratulate Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and Brian Leetch, who join Robitaille in the 2009 Induction Class, and New Jersey Devils President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello, who was selected for induction in the Builders category. Induction ceremonies are set for Nov. 9 in Toronto.
Robitaille played 19 NHL seasons, ranking 10th among NHL players all time in scoring, and his eight 40+ goal seasons are only surpassed by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy. He is the highest scoring left wing in NHL history and the all-time Kings leader in goals.
"My goal was always just to play in the NHL and I never dreamed of anything beyond that," said Robitaille. "To be honored in the same room as The Rocket, Guy Lafleur and Wayne Gretzky is a tremendous honor."
A native of Belleville, Ontario, Hull played college hockey for two seasons at the University of Minnesota Duluth, before embarking on his professional career in 1986. Hull played 19 NHL seasons, earning First Team All-Star selection on three occasions and winning Stanley Cups with Detroit and Dallas. Along with his father Bobby, the duo is the only NHL father and son to each record 600 goals and 1,000 career points.
"It is hard to put into words what this means to me, especially since I'm joining my father in the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Hull. "Simply getting to the NHL was a challenge for me, and I would like to thank all of my supporters who made many sacrifices on my behalf."
Leetch played his collegiate hockey at Boston College and was drafted in the first round (9th overall) in 1986. He turned pro with the Rangers in 1987 and went on to play 18 NHL seasons, winning the James Norris trophy twice. Leetch was a key member of the Rangers' 1993-94 Stanley Cup winning team and became the first U.S. born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's playoff MVP.
"I am humbled and excited by this honor, particularly since for me it is difficult to think of myself as a member of the Hall of Fame," said Leetch. "My hockey career has been a long and enjoyable process. I am appreciative of all those who have helped me. From my father as my youth coach, to Mark Messier who helped me out so much -- both on and off the ice surface."
Yzerman was selected 4th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1983 Entry Draft and went on to play 22 seasons for the Wings. The longest serving team captain in Red Wings history (1986 until 2006), Yzerman holds numerous team records, led the team to three Stanley Cups and was a member of Canada's gold medal winning Olympic team in 2002.
"It is a tremendous honor to receive this news," said Steve Yzerman. "I want to thank the Selection Committee for recognizing my contributions — I truly had chills down my spine when I got the news."
In the Builder Category, Lamoriello was honored for his over 40 years of contributions to the game — both at the collegiate and NHL levels. Under his leadership the Devils have won three Stanley Cups: in 1995, 2000 and 2003.
"This award is completely unexpected," said Lamoriello. "Over my career I have been fortunate to have been associated with great players and coaches, and this award recognizes their contributions to my career."
The 2009 Induction Celebration will be held on Monday, November 9th at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these five hockey legends as Honored Members," said Jim Gregory, Co-Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."
Established in 1943, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a museum and place of entertainment offering state-of-the-art multimedia presentations and exhibits from its premises at Brookfield Place, Toronto, Canada. Its mandate is to recognize and honor the achievements of individuals who bring special distinction to the game of hockey, and to collect and preserve objects, images and resource materials connected with the game as it is played in Canada and throughout the world.