The IIHF has announced the Hall Of Fame Class of 2020, to be inducted at May’s World Championships in Zürich, Switzerland, with two native Swiss players highlighting the class, as the IIHF will induct Ryan Smyth, Alexei Yashin, Kimmo Timonen and countrymen Mark Streit and Mathias Seger to the Hall.
🇨🇦 Ryan Smyth, affectionately known as “Captain Canada” for his numerous appearances for the national team, joins as one of the most decorated players in international history, bringing Olympic, World Championship, World Cup, World Junior and Spengler Cup Gold to the hall. Spending 15 seasons in Edmonton and another four split between New York, Colorado and Los Angeles, Smyth often found his teams outside of the playoffs, opening him up for the national team on eight occasions (including seven straight from 1999-2005), where he captured two Golds (2003, 2004) and Silver (2005) and set a Canadian record for most games played (61). Smyth also suited up for two Olympics, winning Gold in 2002, as well as at the 2004 World Cup. Smyth also won Gold at the 1995 World Junior Championship, and captained Team Canada to the 2013 Spengler Cup during the latest NHL lockout.
🇷🇺 Alexei Yashin, who split an eventful 21 year pro career between the NHL and Russia, joins as one of the most impressive Russian snipers after the fall of the Soviet Union, joining the Ottawa Senators in 1993 as a highly touted prospect. However, after a series of escalating issues in both Ottawa and with the New York Islanders, Yashin ended his NHL career for good in 2007, returning to the KHL for his final five seasons, split between Lokomotiv, SKA Saint Petersburg and CSKA Moscow. Internationally, Yashin saw more stability and success, suiting up for nine World Championships, three Olympics, two World Cups and two World Junior Championships, capturing Gold at the 1993 Worlds and 1992 World Juniors, silver at the 1998 Olympics, and bronze at the 2002 Olympics and 2005 Worlds. Since 2012, Yashin has been serving as General Manager of the national Russian women’s team.
🇨🇭 Mark Streit, the first Swiss player to captain an NHL team and just the third to win the Stanley Cup, spent 13 years in the NHL after after ten seasons in the Swiss National League, with stops in Fribourg, Davos, Zürich, Montréal, Long Island, Bern, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where he won the Cup in 2017. Streit first joined the Eisgenossen with the junior team in 1996, playing at two World Junior Championship, 13 World Championships (including ten straight appearances from 1998-2007), four Olympics and the 2016 World Cup, captaining the national team since 2002. While Streit did not medal for his home nation, he capped his international career as alternate captain of “Team Europe” at the most recent World Cup of Hockey, where he helped the assembled team of international stars capture a surprising silver medal.
🇫🇮 Kimmo Timonen, who retired after winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2015, his final campaign after 24 pro seasons with stints in the NHL (16 seasons in Nashville, Philadelphia and Chicago) and Liiga (8 seasons with KalPa, TPS and HIFK). Timonen joined the Leijonat junior team in 1993 (playing at the 1993-95 World Junior Championship), and the senior team for the 1996 World Championship, playing at seven World Championships (and winning Silver in 1998, 1999 and 2001), five Olympics (winning Silver in 2006) and the 2004 World Cup (also winning Silver), in addition to Bronze at the 1998, 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
🇨🇭 Mathias Seger, a key member of both the Eisgenossen and ZSC Lions for nearly 20 years, spent 22 seasons in the Swiss National League, with his final 19 in Zürich, winning six national championships and the 2009 Champions League. Joining the national junior team in 1995, he made his senior debut at the 1998 World Championships in Zürich, participating at a stunning sixteen World Championships (1998-2006, 2008-14), as well as at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, winning a Silver medal at the 2013 World Championships in Stockholm and captaining the team from 2010-14.
Special mention also goes out to the other inductees this year – builder Mong-Won Chung (Korea Republic), Bibi Torriani Award winner Ron Berteling (Netherlands) and Paul Loicq Award winner Zoltán Kovács (Hungary).