Tuesday afternoon the NHL released the 2012 class for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it includes a number of very deserving names. Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin are your inductee’s after finishing lengthy careers as a professional hockey player.
So, let’s take a minute to remember what each brought to the ice during their hockey playing days.
Joe Sakic, Center
The canadien forward spent 20 years in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado Avalanche (Quebec became Colorado in the 90′s). He played in nearly 1,400 games and tallied 625 goals and 1,016 assists, which makes him the ninth best scorer in league history. Sakic also won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche, a Conn Smythe Trophy in 1996, a Hart Trophy in 2001 and an MVP award at the 2002 Olympic Games. He will always be remembered as a legend at the Pepsi Center, and now his unbelievable numbers will be forever captured at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pavel Bure, Right Wing
Bure didn’t have the longevity of a Joe Sakic, but in his 13-year career he filled up the stat sheet consistently. This is something that can rarely be said about a guy that was selected in the 6th round of an NHL Entry Draft. He played in Vancouver, Florida and New York during his career and finished with 779 points on 437 goals and 342 assists. During that time, he had five seasons with at least 90 points and he competed in the postseason on five different occasions. He also was the winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy and the Maurice Richard Trophy (top goal scorer) twice.
Adam Oates, Center
In 20 seasons, Oates left his mark on numerous NHL clubs. He scored well over 1,400 points (16th in NHL history) with the Red Wings, Blues, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Mighty Ducks and Oilers (I know, quite the mouthful). Most of those points came in the form of terrific puck passing, as he finished in the top five in the league in assists on 10 occasions. Now, his career has continued to progress as he went from assistant coach to head coach of the Washington Capitals on the same day that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame — it gets no better than that.
Mats Sundin, Center
Another dangerous forward and great leader rounds out the list of Hall of Famers in 2012. Sundin played his career in Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver (one season) and — like two of the others — picked up more than 1,000 points over 18 years. He was also an eight-time NHL all-star and as consistent of a scorer as you could find in the league. According to hockeyreference.com, Sundin is ranked 46th on the all-time list of professional hockey players, which obviously explains why he was given a spot with the best.