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Hall of Fame

Sergei Makarov hopes more Russians receive Hall honor

Notebook: Rogie Vachon remembers late wife; Pat Quinn's daughter will deliver speech

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

TORONTO -- Sergei Makarov is the second member of the famed "KLM Line," third member of the Soviet Union's imposing "Russian Five," and fifth member of the dynastic Red Army team to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

He doesn't think his induction Monday should be the last behind Vladislav Tretiak, Slava Fetisov, Valeri Kharlamov and Igor Larionov.

"I hope not because I wish more of these guys can come into here," Makarov said. "Alexei Kasatonov is good and I think he's supposed to be here. Vladimir [Krutov] is dead, but I think if we're talking about big five, in my mind we're supposed to all be here. I wish."

Tretiak was the first of the Russian players to get inducted in 1989. Fetisov was next 22 years later in 2001. Kharlamov came after him in 2005 and Larionov was inducted in 2008.

The other Russian players in the Hall of Fame, Pavel Bure (Class of 2012) and Sergei Fedorov (Class of 2015), grew up idolizing players like Makarov and tried to follow in their footsteps.

"We opened new era in hockey to the NHL," Makarov said. "We were old already in hockey, like 30, when we got to the NHL, but we opened the way for young guys to make it easy for them to get in the NHL."

Makarov is also hopeful another Russian gets his call soon.

"I think Alexander Mogilny is supposed to be here because he's a great player, but that's just my [opinion]," he said.

Vachon wishes wife could see induction

Rogie Vachon needed a moment. He nearly needed a tissue. He was that emotional.

In the middle of answering a question about what the honor of getting inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame means to him, the 71-year-old former goalie who waited more than 30 years for the honor starting talking about his late wife, Nicole, and nearly broke down.

"It doesn't get any better than this," Vachon said. "The only regret that I have is my wife just passed away."

It was at that moment when Vachon paused. Nicole, his wife of 44 years, died in February from brain cancer. Vachon said she battled it for four months.

"I wish she could be here," Vachon said. "I miss her, but I've got my kid, my grandkids, and you have to move on. This is a great honor, but I wish she was here. I think about her every day. I know she's in the right place, but I wish she'd be here."

Vachon was then asked what Nicole would have said if she were by his side on June 27, when he received the call from Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald informing him that 34 years after he retired, he was going into the Hall.

"She would say, 'It's about time that you made it,'" Vachon said. "We waited over 30 years for this and finally, finally we're in."

Speaking for her dad

Kalli Quinn is tasked with being the voice for her father, the late Pat Quinn, who is being inducted posthumously in the builders' category. Quinn died on Nov. 23, 2014 following a long illness. He was 71.

"It's surreal because I never thought I would be in this position," Kalli Quinn said. "It's easy for me to talk about him because I loved him. He was really my hero. He was more than my dad, he was my hero. It's easy for me to talk about him and to almost brag about him. I don't like the word brag, but I talk very highly of him. He never did. He would never say these things about himself, but this is what I saw in him and what others saw in him."

The thing Kalli said she won't do this weekend is try to channel her father when she speaks, especially when she delivers an acceptance speech on behalf of him on Monday.

"I could never do that," she said. "My dad had a way with words that I could never match. He was so good, and that's the only word I could think of, talking in front of people and capturing them and getting his message across. I couldn't even attempt to do that.

"What I'm going to attempt is to outline the opportunities. People took a chance on this guy from Hamilton is really what it was. Hopefully I'll do him justice. That's my hope."

One thing in common

Other than all being members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016, each of the inductees this year was part of championship teams in the Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey.

Vachon won with Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup, Makarov won the Canada Cup with the Soviet Union in 1981, Lindros helped Canada win the 1991 Canada Cup, and Quinn coached Canada to the championship in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Vachon said the '76 Canada Cup was a highlight of his career because he helped Canada win and he got to play alongside Bobby Orr. Makarov's favorite memory from the 1981 Canada Cup was the championship game against Canada, an 8-1 win for the Soviets.

"It was an easy game against Canada and that never happened," he said.

Lindros recalled being an awestruck 18-year-old in 1991 walking into the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room at Maple Leaf Gardens and seeing the plaques on the wall and the nameplates.

"It's just overwhelming," he said. "It was such a thrill to be there."

Following in grandpa's footsteps

Vachon proudly spoke about his 11-year-old grandson, Calvin, who is a goalie with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and in Toronto this weekend celebrating with his grandfather.

"Wait until you see him," Vachon said, smiling.

Vachon said Calvin has a chance to play in the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament next year. Fellow inductee Eric Lindros played in that tournament when he was a boy.

"He's a great athlete," Vachon said of Calvin. "Loves the game, and he's going to be good."

They said it

"We're here for the end of time, right. Whether it happens in your first year or later on, here we are, right? Here we are." -- Eric Lindros on waiting to get inducted in the Hall of Fame


"He loved [the Hall of Fame]. He was a historian. He loved the game. He thought it was extremely important to preserve the heritage of the game. Without this place we wouldn't be able to understand where we came from, to set a direction of where hockey wanted to go." -- Kalli Quinn on what the Hall of Fame meant to her father, Pat Quinn

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