Sports

Martin Brodeur reflects on career as he steps into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender Martin Brodeur, who also won two Olympic gold medals in his 22-year career, was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame with seven others in Toronto on Wednesday.

'It's special to be part of a class like this and see others live out their dreams'

Martin Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history, was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame with seven others on Wednesday at the CBC in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Winning is fun, said Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur, who finished his 22-year NHL career with a regular-season record 691 victories.

But what you do in the community and for fans is more important, the three-time Stanley Cup champion said Wednesday after being inducted to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame at the CBC in Toronto.

"It's amazing what the power of sport does for children and communities," said Brodeur, who posted a record 125 shutouts in 1,266 games, all but the last seven with the New Jersey Devils. "When kids want a picture or autograph, you reflect later on and realize you did something good.

"Then you see them come back five years later, they're all grown up, have their own lives and they tell you how much you inspired them. You're like, 'Whoa.'

"I just wanted to give back and be nice. I was fortunate to have talent, play on a good team and make the NHL."

Olympic rower Guylaine Bernier, freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau, Paralympian Colette Bourgonje, women's hockey player Jayna Hefford, water polo player Waneek Horn-Miller, marathon swimmer Vicki Keith and former CFL commissioner Doug Mitchell are the other inductees.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2019 inductees, from left: Waneek Horn-Miller, Colette Bourgonje, Jayna Hefford, Doug Mitchell, Guylaine Bernier, Vicki Keith, Alex Bilodeau and Martin. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
"I have so much respect for what you all accomplished in your own careers," Brodeur, who won Olympic in 2002 at Salt Lake City and on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, told his fellow inductees. "It's special to be part of a class like this and see [others] live out their dreams."

Drafted 20th overall by the Devils in 1990, Brodeur also won silver medals at the 1996 and 2005 world hockey championships.

WATCH: Brodeur 'didn't put too much pressure' on himself:

Martin Brodeur won more than his 'fair share' of hockey games

2 years ago
3:35
CBC Sports' Anastasia Bucsis interviews two-time Olympic champion, three-time Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur before his induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. 3:35
When the Montreal native retired in 2015, he held the NHL regular-season mark for games played and minutes played (74,439) and was also first in starts (204) and shutouts (24) in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Brodeur, 47, returned to New Jersey in August 2018 to work as executive vice-president of business development for the Devils after three years as assistant general manager with the St. Louis Blues, with whom he ended his playing career.

Guylaine Bernier

The 71-year-old from St-Léon-de-Grand, Que., enters as a builder after paving the way for women in rowing through her efforts as an athlete, official, volunteer and administrator

After finishing ninth in the four-man event at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, she became an international rowing judge in 1987 and oversaw Summer Games in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Alex Bilodeau

Bilodeau won back-to-back Olympic titles in moguls in 2010 and 2014 in Sochi, Russia, after placing 11th as an 18-year-old at his Winter Games debut in Turin, Italy.

"I hope I can inspire others like many in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inspired me, like [freestyle skier] Jean-Luc Brassard winning [at] the Olympics in '94," said Bilodeau, the 2008-09 overall FIS World Cup champion.

"For me, sport has been the school of life … and more kids in Canada should try Olympic sports."

WATCH | Bilodeau: 'To be inducted with legends is a great honour'

Alex Bilodeau on becoming the 1st Canadian to win Olympic gold on home soil

2 years ago
3:08
In an interview with CBC Sports' Anastasia Bucsis before his induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Alex Bilodeau recalls his memories from becoming the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. 3:08

Colette Bourgonje

A Métis athlete from Saskatchewan, Bourgonje was a 10-time Paralympian that will be inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame next month.

Now 57, she competed at seven Paralympics in nordic skiing and was a wheelchair racer at three others, combining for three silver medals and seven bronze.

The first physical education graduate in a wheelchair from the University of Saskatchewan lives in Prince Albert and continues to coach and teach in her home province.

Jayna Hefford

One of the more prolific women's hockey players, the 42-year-old Hefford's career included four Olympic gold medals in five appearances.

She made the first of her 12 world championship appearances in 1997 and won seven gold medals and five silver. Hefford retired in 2015 with 157 goals and 291 points in 267 games to rank second all-time in Canadian women's hockey.

Jayna Hefford won four gold medals in five Olympic appearances with the Canadian women's hockey team along and played in 12 world championships. (Submitted by Team Canada)

"Coming from a team sport, the individual recognition is often a little uncomfortable," said Hefford, a member of the 2010 Olympic gold medal team that was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Toronto.

"I was fortunate to get an opportunity to play sports in what was considered a male-dominating sport when I started out [and] fortunate to have family that encouraged me to follow my passion."

Waneek Horn-Miller

A pioneer, the 44-year-old is a Mohawk of Kahnawake from Montreal and first water polo player to be inducted to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Horn-Miller won 1999 Pan Am gold in Winnipeg and two years later captained the Canadian team to a breakthrough world championship medal in Japan.

The first Mohawk woman to compete at the Olympic Games, she remains a strong and vocal advocate of Indigenous sport in Canada and internationally.

"I wasn't the best to play the sport of water polo but maybe the most interesting and colourful," said Horn-Miller, co-captain of the first Canadian women's Olympic squad that placed fifth in Sydney in 2000.

"I want to make sure that sport is accessible, not just [by] those who have money or live in the right place, but for all Canadians who live in all parts of Canada.

"Maybe one day," she added, "we'll be watching the Olympics and I'll be sitting with my grandchildren and the announcers won't be saying, 'She's the first Mohawk woman to go to the Olympics.' Instead, they'll be saying, 'Geez, those native athletes winning all the gold. Will you let someone else win for once?'"

Vicki Keith

One of the greatest marathon swimmers in history, the 57-year-old holds 18 world records and is best known for crossing all five Great Lakes.

Now, she coaches the Kingston Y Penguins, a highly successful swim club out of Kingston, Ont., which provides opportunity for aspiring athletes with a disability.

Marathon swimmer Vicki Keith holds up bracelets given to her by children from the Kingston, Ont., YMCA. The first person to swim across the five Great Lakes, she has raised over $1 million for programs to help kids with disabilities. (Stephen D. Cannerelli/The Post-Standard/Associated Press/File)

Keith, who has raised over $1 million for programs to help kids with disabilities, said she is inspired "by every young person I work with stepping forward, fighting through challenges and overcoming their own obstacles to find their own success.

"It's not always about winning medals," continued Keith in an interview with CBC Sports. "Sometimes, it's just being able to step up in the world in their own path and achieving what's important to them."

Doug Mitchell

The great patron of university sport in Canada enters the Hall of Fame as a builder. The commissioner of the CFL in the 1980s went a long way towards saving the league in financially difficult times.

The 80-year-old continues to serve as a member of the CFL's board of directors is a part owner of the Calgary Stampeders.

Mitchell's love for hockey also led to him playing a significant role in promoting the Canadian Olympic program and serving as chair of an advisory group that received funding from Hockey Canada to help ice a competitive team at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., following a 12-year absence.

In 2002, he was inducted to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, followed by the University of British Columbia Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and BC Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

With files from Scott Russell, CBC Sports

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