The Hockey Hall Of Fame tonight inducted their 2016 Class, inducting four world-class players to their ranks with a number of tremendous international achievements.
As first noted upon the announcement of the class in June, the Class of 2016 (and their corresponding achievements) are as follows:
🇨🇦 Eric Lindros, the dominating forward who sent shockwaves through the NHL as early as his draft year, spent 13 seasons with Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas and the New York Rangers, spending the majority (8 seasons) with the Flyers, anchoring the feared “Legion of Doom” line with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg. “The Big E” was a seven-time All Star, and the winner of the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in 1995, but continuing concussion issues forced his early retirement from hockey in 2007. Internationally, Lindros played in three Olympics (1992, 1998 and 2002), one World Championship (1993) and in both a Canada (1991) and World Cup (1996), winning Olympic gold in 2002 and silver in 1992.
🇷🇺 Sergei Makarov was the right wing anchor on the famed “KLM Line” that terrorized opponents throughout the 1980’s, and dominated the international hockey, capturing World Championship Gold on eight separate occasions, along with two Olympic titles (in 1984 and 1988) and a handful of silver and bronze medals. Makarov’s induction comes long overdue, as his NHL career did not begin until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, winning the Calder Trophy as a 31-year old rookie with the Calgary Flames, after spending 11 seasons with CSKA Moscow, winning the Soviet MVP title three times. Makarov was named to the IIHF’s Centennial All Star Team in 2008, alongside fellow Soviet forward Valeri Kharlamov and Canadian Wayne Gretzky.
🇨🇦 Rogatien Vachon spent 16 seasons as an NHL goaltender, with memorable stints in both Montréal and Los Angeles, as well as short stints in Detroit and Boston, helping backstop the Canadiens to three Stanley Cups and establishing the expansion Kings squad as a viable contender. “Rogie” also brought home the Vezina Trophy as top NHL goalie in 1968, and played in three All Star Games. While Vachon did not play in an era where pros could lace up internationally at the Olympics or World Championships, Vachon was the backstop at the first Canada Cup in 1976, winning six games and recording two shutouts en route to Canada’s first ever Cup.
🇨🇦 Pat Quinn was certainly a powerful player, but became far more renowned for his prowess behind the bench, spending 20 seasons coaching in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton, making the playoffs in all but four seasons, coming within one game of the Stanley Cup in 1994, and winning the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1980 and 1992. “The Big Irishman” from Hamilton, Ontario first served as Canada’s bench boss at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, leading Canada to their first Gold Medal since 1952, again coaching at Canada’s 2004 World Cup victory and at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Quinn passed away in 2014, and was represented at the induction by his daughter, Kalli.
Also honoured were Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner Sam Rosen, broadcaster of the New York Rangers, and Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner Bob Verdi, the Chicago Tribune writer for the Blackhawks. Our congratulations to the full Class of 2016!