Sundin, Sakic, Oates, Bure get Hockey Hall of Fame rings
Former NHL forwards Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure were honoured at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday as the hockey shrine welcomed its Class of 2012.
Sporting new blazers as honoured members of the Hall, the quartet received their rings at a morning press conference.
"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these four hockey legends as honoured members," said selection committee co-chair Jim Gregory. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."
A formal induction ceremony was scheduled for Monday night.
Sakic and Sundin, who began their careers as teammates in Quebec City, were selected in their first year of eligibility. Oates and Bure got in after waits of five and six years, respectively.
Between them, the four new members scored 1,967 regular-season goals and added 3,786 assists.
Sakic spent his entire 20-year NHL career with the Nordiques-Colorado Avalanche franchise and served as team captain for 17 seasons. He scored 50 goals twice and had six 100-point seasons.
The Vancouver native, who grew up in Burnaby, B.C., won Stanley Cups in 1996 — when he was playoff MVP — and in 2001.
Sakic won the Hart Trophy and Lester Pearson (now Ted Lindsay) awards in 2001 and played at three Winter Olympics. He helped Canada win gold at the 2002 Games at Salt Lake City.
Sakic, who also won world championship gold in 1994, had 625 goals and 1,016 assists in 1,378 NHL games.
Sundin was a big, rangy centre who dominated the area around the net. The native of Bromma, Sweden made his name mostly as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He never won a Stanley Cup but was captain of Sweden's 2006 Olympic gold medal squad. He was also the first Swedish player to earn 1,000 NHL points.
Sundin was traded to Toronto in 1997 and went on to play 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs, the last 11 as captain. He holds team records for most 20-goal seasons (13), most 30-goal campaigns (10), most game-winning goals (79) and most regular-season overtime goals (14).
He retired after a brief stint with the Canucks in 2008-09. Sundin had 564 goals and 785 assists in 1,346 career games.
Oates was never drafted and signed as a free agent by the Detroit Red Wings in 1985.
The Toronto native was the premier passer of his time. He formed legendary one-two punch combinations with finishers like Brett Hull in St. Louis and Cam Neely in Boston.
Oates had 341 goals and recorded 1,079 assists — good for sixth on the NHL's all-time list — in 19 seasons with seven teams.
Bure, a right-winger known as the Russian Rocket, could pull fans from their seats with his spectacular high-speed rushes up the ice for Vancouver and Florida.
The Moscow native defected from the former Soviet Union to join the Canucks in 1991 and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He became one of the most exciting goal-scorers of his time with 437 goals and 342 assists over 11 seasons with the Canucks, Panthers and New York Rangers.
He had back-to-back 60-goal seasons in the early 1990s and had five seasons of 50-plus goals.
Bure joins fellows Russians Viacheslav Fetisov, Vladislav Tretiak, Igor Larionov and Valeri Kharlamov in the Hall.
Sundin is the second Swede to be inducted. The first was another Toronto great, defenceman Borje Salming.
No builders or women were inducted this year. The Hall's Media Award winners were Buffalo Sabres play-by-play voice Rick Jeanneret and Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor.
Jeanneret won the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster while MacGregor won the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism.