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Inductees rank honor of making the Hall

by Dan Rosen

TORONTO -- The question of what means more, a Stanley Cup championship or an Olympic gold medal, is tried and true and asked and re-asked in hockey circles across the globe.

There is no right or wrong answer.

On Monday, though, some of the Class of 2012 inductees were asked how getting into the Hall of Fame differs in terms of personal accomplishments such as winning the Cup, winning a gold medal, scoring 60 goals, or centering not one but two guys that scored 50 goals in 50 games.

For Joe Sakic, who has two Cup rings and an Olympic gold medal, the Hall of Fame is better than anything else.

"You always dream about winning the Stanley Cup, and we just started going to the Olympics in '98 so you start thinking about representing your country and playing for Olympic gold," Sakic said. "But this tops it all. To be inducted here, just to be going in with all the players that are in here already, all your heroes that you watched growing up, to be part of that is just special.

"Just realizing that now you're included with all these guys, who really made the game what it is today, it's something to be really proud of."

The Hall of Fame honor has a similar meaning to Pavel Bure, who never won a Cup or an Olympic gold but did score 60 goals twice and at least 50 three more times.

"I think it's the biggest achievement you can get in hockey," Bure said. "It combines everything. The selection committee combines everything that you've done for hockey worldwide. It feels great."

Adam Oates called the honor "the icing on the cake," because it puts him in the same Great Hall where all of his hockey idols have been previously honored.

"To be grouped with these guys that are in here, the guys I grew up idolizing and some of the guys that I played with that I thought were special, it's just another lucky thing in your life," Oates said. "I got to play a long time and get this on top of it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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