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Hall of Fame

Tales from Hockey Hall of Fame red carpet

Sights, sounds from hockey luminaries at induction ceremony

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO -- Prior to the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday, hockey luminaries walked the red carpet toward the Adam Lambert Galleria in Toronto's Brookfield Place, one floor above the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2017 included Dave Andreychuk, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi, Teemu Selanne, Clare Drake, Jeremy Jacobs and Danielle Goyette.

Here are some of the highlights: 

Ron Ellis, program director of the Hockey Hall of Fame Development Association, apologized as he broke away from an interview briefly to deal with a "minor emergency," which was 93-year-old goaltender Johnny Bower calling to say he'd not be attending.

"John had an event this afternoon and he's just a little tired," Ellis said of the Class of 1976 inductee, who has made numerous appearances in recent days.

 

[RELATED: Highlights from HHOF speeches | Selanne makes weekend memorable for lifelong fan]

 

ELLIS ON MEMORABLE PERSONAL MOMENT: "Every one has been special in its own way but when Borje Salming was inducted (in 1996), that was really something. I was so pleased for him, being the first player to come over from Europe and break into the NHL. He did it so gracefully and had to battle his way for respect, but he got that. Then to have him inducted in the Hall of Fame, my goodness, I was just so proud of him. That one stands out. Was quite emotional that night."

JIM RUTHERFORD ON MARK RECCHI'S IMPACT: As general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, Jim Rutherford acquired Mark Recchi for the stretch run in 2005-06. Recchi helped the Hurricanes with the Stanley Cup that season, and also won with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91 and the Boston Bruins in 2010-11.

"He always made an impact everywhere he went, certainly with us in '06," Rutherford said. "In some ways, he played a little different role on each team. But when you needed something to happen, Rex was the guy you wanted on the ice. He scored big goals. He played in different situations, and he always did well."

Now Rutherford, GM of the Penguins, has Recchi as an assistant coach.

"When you play as long as he played, you're going to learn a lot of things, and you're going to see a lot of different coaches and different players and different ways of going about things," Rutherford said. "And so he has a lot of experience, and he's got the communication skills. Players respect him, so it's just the natural place for him to be now."

Video: Recchi on his upcoming Hockey Hall of Fame induction

STARS GM JIM NILL ON CLARE DRAKE: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill played for Clare Drake at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, when Drake, Lorne Davis and Tom Watt coached Canada as a three-man unit.

"He was just such a humble man," Nill said. "Really the thing with him was, 'The game, yes, it's big, but there's a bigger picture in life.' That's where he was a great man."

FORMER NHL COACH AND BROADCASTER HARRY NEALE ON INDUCTEE DAVE ANDREYCHUK: "I watched him score a lot of goals against teams (when Neale worked) on Leafs TV. He was not as skilled as a number of players who scored the number of goals he did, but once he got in front of the net or into that area, he was awful tough to get out of there. He had great hands and a great stick and a big guy."

FRANK MAHOVLICH, CLASS OF 1981: "It's so special to see my friends I played with. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame with some great players (John Bucyk and Allan Stanley). Occasionally, my old friends come around, so I'll see them again. We're on the same road."

SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, 2013 INDUCTEE ON FORMER TEAMMATE MARTIN BRODEUR: "I wouldn't miss it for the world," said Niedermayer, on returning in 2018 when Brodeur likely will be inducted. "After all, you know who is going to be put in the Hall at that time. Marty. Marty Brodeur. Come on, he's as much a slam dunk as you can get. I already have my tickets."

Niedermayer and Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins (691) and shutouts (125), were teammates with the New Jersey Devils from 1993-2004. They won the Stanley Cup together three times (1995, 2000, 2003).

Steve Yzerman, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, said Brodeur was one of the best. Brodeur and the Devils swept the Detroit Red Wings, captained by Yzerman, in four games in the 1995 Stanley Cup Final.

"Marty played in an era where there were a lot of great goalies like Dominik Hasek, Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour," Yzerman said. "And he distinguished himself in that era in a very significant manner. ... Marty was one of the best."

Video: Scott Niedermayer talks about Selanne and Kariya

MARTIN ST. LOUIS ON DAVE ANDREYCHUK: "Time wasn't on his side, so when an older guy gets a chance to hoist that Cup, you feel for him. For us, we were happy he could finally check that off his list (in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning).

"Pure leadership, to me he's probably the best leader I've played with. On and off the ice, just the continued pulse that he had on everybody on the team, navigating as a captain between the coaching staff and the players, he was just a guy that we looked up to right away."

Video: EJ Hradek talks with Martin St. Louis at HHOF

CALGARY FLAMES HOCKEY OPERATIONS PRESIDENT BRIAN BURKE ON TEEMU SELANNE: "Oh, I couldn't stand him, he was a nightmare to have as a player! No, he was great, he was a wonderful kid, always happy, always upbeat which is a great asset to have for a hockey team. So he was way more than a great player, he was a positive influence."

YZERMAN ON SELANNE AND PAUL KARIYA: "I got them when they first came into the League in their heyday in Anaheim. Both really explosive players, fast and dynamic. You think you'd have them under control for most of the game and they get that one split second at the top of the circle and the puck's in the back of the net so both really, really good players, fast, skilled and competed very hard."

YZERMAN ON WHETHER SELANNE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IN TODAY'S NHL: "There's a lot of things about the game today that are tremendous and fun to watch. But Teemu scored 76 his first year. When was the last time somebody scored 70? As great as the game is today, guys aren't scoring 70."

Video: Steve Yzerman on playing against Selanne and Kariya

NIEDERMAYER ON SELANNE: "I don't think it's anything that's a secret to anybody, you just see it on his face all the time, that smile and the joy that he played the game with, the excitement was pretty evident to all of us. As his teammate that's what stood out to me. Obviously, his skill but then just how much he enjoyed playing the game."

NIEDERMAYER ON WHETHER RECCHI GOT ENOUGH RECOGNITION DURING HIS CAREER: "He probably didn't. He was on some good teams with some real superstars but he was a big reason why those teams had success because he was a guy who could do everything. He could play with the best players and have success with them, yet he could play different roles if the team needed him to. It's great to see those guys get recognized. Guys who play and have seen what it takes to have success recognize that those type of guys are as important as anybody if you want to try and win."

TIE DOMI ON SELANNE: "I played with him a long time ago but it was one of the best years of my career and most memorable. Being around a person like him, it's very special. He lights up the room every time he walked in then and he still does it the last few nights here, I can't wait until he leaves town, to be honest with you!"

HALL OF FAME SELECTION COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JOHN DAVIDSON ON INDUCTION NIGHT: "For me, the best part of induction night is seeing it all come together. And to see the people who are going in and their families. You need a support system to become a great player or a great person involved with the game. The families are having the time of their lives. People who deserve to go in, to see them finally hit this milestone, it means a lot."

DAVIDSON ON THE CLASS OF 2017: "It's a great class. Every year's a great class. Once in a while, you find one who really shoots over the top of the moon, but those don't happen that often. This is a good class. These people have been around the league a long time, done a lot of good things, a lot of leadership and character. I absolutely love being a part of it."

Video: EJ and Nick Cotsonika discuss the HHOF inductees

PHIL ESPOSITO, CLASS OF 1984, ON ANDREYCHUK SAYING HE THAT HE PATTERNED HIS GAME AFTER HIM: "That's because he couldn't skate like me! I just made sure I got it done, and that's all you have to do, man. Whatever way it takes. The guy scored over 600 goals. Period. I don't care if he played 23 years. In fact, that should be a bonus. I'm not one of these people who think you have to win a Stanley Cup to get it because the Cup is a team thing. 

"It's what you do individually within that team that warrants whether you get into the Hall of Fame. Not that you don't want to win the Stanley Cup, I just don't agree with that part of it and I never have. I thought (Andreychuk) should have been in pretty quickly. He scored only 640 goals. Plus, he beat my (regular-season) power-play record. But it did take him 23 years and it only took me 18 1/2."

ESPOSITO ON ANDREYCHUK'S IMPACT ON THE LIGHTNING: "David was the glue that got these guys to the (2004) Stanley Cup. He was a terrific liaison between Torts (coach John Tortorella), who could be hard on players, and the guys. Dave would calm everybody down. I've said this before: I don't think they would have won a Stanley Cup without Dave Andreychuk because of the things he did."

Video: Phil Esposito on Dave Andreychuk's induction

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