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Hall call makes for some unique stories

by Dan Rosen /

TORONTO -- The phone call is one every player with Hall of Fame credentials waits for on that June day, when the Selection Committee meets and decides on the next class of legends to be enshrined in Toronto.

Where the inductees are when they get that call is always interesting.

Adam Oates has the best story this year, because the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was notified on the same day that he was hired to be the head coach of the Washington Capitals. So, not long after he was notified by Capitals GM George McPhee that he was getting the job in D.C., Oates had a number with a 416 area code calling him.

He initially did not pick up the call because he thought it was a media member looking to talk to him about the Capitals' job, which hadn't yet been announced by the team. But McPhee called him back and told Oates he ought to pick that one up because it was a call he was going to want to take.

He did, and his unbelievable day just got better. The first person Oates called after receiving word from the Hall of Fame was his dad.

Joe Sakic was with his family in their RV driving from Denver to Vancouver when he heard from the Hall. Sakic said he pulled over in Ellensburg, Wash., to take the call and start his celebration.

Sakic said he was speechless and immediately called his parents from the side of the road.

Mats Sundin was out to dinner with his pregnant wife in Stockholm when he got the call. He also called his parents immediately and then toasted the honor with a glass of champagne.

As for Pavel Bure, he said he wasn't even aware that he was nominated or that the Selection Committee was meeting on June 26.

Bure was out to dinner with some friends in Moscow and initially didn't pick up the phone. He said he usually doesn't pick up when he doesn't know who is calling, but another call came in from the same number, so this time he picked it up and on the other line was Hockey Hall of Fame President Bill Hay and his ex-coach Pat Quinn, who is on the Selection Committee.

Bure celebrated his honor with his friends that were already out with him, but not before calling his mother.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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