This evening, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour will officially become members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. News of their selection came back in June, but the ceremony will be held in Toronto tonight. Joining them in the class of 2011 are Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe (second from left and far right, respectively).
Joe Nieuwendyk spent 80 of his 1257 games in the NHL with the Florida Panthers. He is better known for his 9 seasons with the Calgary Flames from 1986-1995 (one Stanley Cup), and 7 seasons from 1995-2002 (one Stanley Cup) with the Dallas Stars (Belfour in net). The Flames traded him to the Stars in exchange for Dallas’ prospect Jarome Iginla. Signed as a free agent after the lockout by Panthers GM Mike Keenan, Nieuwendyk went on to score 31 goals in those games. After starting the 2006-07 season (his second with the Panthers) with 5 goals with 3 assists in 15 games, Nieuwendyk decided to end his 20 year career. If scoring 1126 points in his 1257 games wasn’t impressive enough, Nieuwendyk was also was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy by scoring 51 goals in the 1987-88′ season. He lifted the Stanley Cup three separate times, the last being with New Jersey in 02-03. This was his second year eligible to enter the Hall of Fame.
Ed Belfour spend one season with the Panthers, 2006-07. Starting 27 consecutive games, 58 total that season, he posted above average numbers with a 2.77 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. “Eddie the eagle” was a nickname bestowed to him because of his unique mask, and former coach Mike Keenan is believed to have been the first to call him “the eagle”, during his time with the Chicago Blackhawks. Belfour’s time with Panthers has been remembered as positive, except for a practical joke played on fellow Panthers goaltender Alexander Auld, that turned into a bit of controversy. Belfour spent 18 seasons in the NHL, most with the Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. He won the Vezina Trophy two times in 1991 and 1993, including the Calder Trophy in that 90-91′ season as well. He won the Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars, posting a 1.26 GAA in a goalie battle with Dominik Hasek (1.68). Over his entire career his numbers tell the story of competitor, 963 games played with 484 games won, a 2.50 GAA, and .906 saver percentage.
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