This week I bring you some bad news, but then I have some better news to report on. The bad news is the lockout continues, with no end in site. But with that being said we will leave the lockout and its gloom for next week since it looks like it will still be here next week and instead focus on the joy and history of the NHL and discuss the recent inductions into the NHL Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame inductions occurred Monday night in Toronto Canada and the lockout was put on the back burner as the night focused on the four players being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Those players were Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Mats Sundin, and Pavel Bure. Unfortunately, none of them played in the Sunbelt region but Sakic as a member of the Avalanche did plenty to break the hearts of Sunbelt teams like San Jose and Florida.
Sakic’s 21 years in the NHL was unique because technically he played for only one
franchise, but that franchise the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado in 1995, so Sakic not only was part of a relocation but was part of the NHL’s move from smaller Canadian markets to larger and more southern American markets. As a player, we could fill up this whole article with accolades and still not name them all. But what Sakic will be most remembered for will be the 2 Stanley Cup Championships, most notably the second one where he immediately handed the cup off to Raymond Bourque, who had played 20 years in the NHL as a Bruin and never won the cup.
Speaking of Bruins, the next inductee was Adam Oates who played along side Bourque for many years in Boston. Oates sadly never got to hoist the cup, but he was a 5 time all- star and will be the head coach of the Washington Capitals once the lockout ends.
The next inductee is a player Sunbelt fans should know well, Pavel Bure played 4 years with the Florida Panthers after he had been in Vancouver for 4 years. Bure will be remembered for being on the Vancouver team that lost to the Rangers in seven games in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, and for being on a Florida team that never lived up to expectations as they missed the playoffs 3 out of the 4 years Bure played for them.
The final inductee for 2012 was Mats Sundin, who is best known for his 13 years playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sundin like Oates and Bure never got to hoist the Cup but he was the face of a franchise for many of his years in Toronto, where he holds the franchise record for both Goals and Points.
Overall this is a pretty amazing hall of fame class, many of them had their later years taken by prior lockouts and many of them never got to win the Stanley Cup, but the Cup isn’t the only indicator of greatness as these 4 players showed greatness no matter where they played and no matter what circumstances they played under.