Monday night saw four players who all had illustrious careers enter into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. As I watched the ceremony, it brought back some great memories of the inductees that I had the pleasure of watching all four during their careers. From start to finish. (enough with the old age jokes). To quickly recap, Mark Howe, Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyck and Doug Gilmour all were very deserving of their induction in to the elite of the elite in the hockey world.
I would have to say for many obvious reasons, the one induction that I found to be probably the most rewarding for a player was Ed Belfour’s. An undrafted goaltender who signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks, Eddie went on to win 484 games in the NHL, a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, the Williams Jennings Trohpy four times, and the Vezina Trophy twice. He was a battler, and one of the most competitive netminders who’s ever played the game. Chants of “Eddie Eddie”, rang through the home arena wherever he played on a nightly basis. Eddie finished his career as a Florida Panther winning 27 games in 57 starts in the 2006-2007 season. Panther fans only had a glimpse of Eddie, but take a look at this glove save, which many have called the greastes glove save ever:
Joe Nieuwendyck was another player that was all class, and very professional. A three time Cup winner with Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey, Joe was one of the most complete centerman to play the game. He could score, he could pass, he could win faceoffs, but mostly he led. That was one of the reasons that he was brought to the Florida Panthers late in his career. In watching Joe’s speech MOnday night, I thought it was a very classy move for him to mention finishing his playing career as a Florida Panther.
Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe were also two competitive players who came at the game from different aspects. What Doug lacked on size, he made up for in heart and character. There are some players in the game today that should take a look at how Gilmour’s career was a true representation of the kind of person he is. Mentioning Pat Burns who recently passed away from a long battle with cancer also showed a lot of class. Many like Gilmour feel that Burns should be an automatic in the HHOF.
Mark Howe is the son of legendary Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe. Mark was runner up three times for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman, appeared in two Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, and was a six time all star. One of the people that Mark credited for his success in his speech was his former coach in Philadelphia, Mike Keenan.
A great night, for four great players, Congratulations to all of them. I’ve seen them play, many times against each other, and believe me, these guys are very deserving of this honor.
Here’s TSN’s recap of the evening.
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
Make sure you check out our Movember page and donate to the cause (if you can).
Mark your calender and come out to our Rat Trick Road Watch on November 17th!
Please visit our NHL main page: Too Many Men On The Site.
Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht @joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, Cameron Tahernia @Lord_Panther, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2 and Paige Lewis @peejlewiz. Also, please join our Facebook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and make some comments.