Hockey great Scott Niedermayer heads Canada’s Sports HOF inductees
Calgary, AB, Canada (4E Sports) – Hockey legend Scott Niedermayer led eight other sports greats who were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Thursday at Calgary TELUS Convention Centre.
Niedermayer is the only hockey player to win every major North American and international championship in his illustrious playing career. He captured four Stanley Cup titles, the Memorial Cup, the IIHF World Junior and World Championships, the World Cup and two Olympic gold medals.
A defenseman, Niedermayer was drafted third overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1991 and played 18 NHL seasons with the Devils and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks before retiring in 2010. In 1,263 career games, he scored 172 goals and issued 568 assists for 740 points.
Inducted together with Niedermayer were Olympic gold-medal figure-skater David Pelletier, his skating partner Jamie Sale, rower Derek Porter, women’s soccer pioneer Charmaine Hooper, speed skater Jeremy Wotherspoon, Olympic swimmer and women’s sport advocate Marion Lay, bobsledder Pierre Leuders and the late Daryl Seaman.
“As Canadians, we have so much to be proud of. These nine Canadian sport legends remind us how great our country is and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is honoured to share these stories of passion and inspiration,” said Mario Siciliano, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame president and CEO.
With the induction of the Class of 2012, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame now has 529 inductees representing 60 summer and winter sports.
“You look at the other athletes who are in the sport hall of fame, and it’s pretty surreal that a kid from Cranbrook is in there with those other names, and those people who inspired me growing up,” Niedermayer said.
“This is a great way to sum all that up. It means a lot to get recognized for your accomplishments over a long period of time,” he added.
“Growing up, I had two posters in my room — Gilles Villeneuve and Wayne Gretzky — and they’re both here,” said Pelletier. “To think that someday I might inspire someone to achieve what they think is impossible, is an amazing gift.”
For Hooper, who attended the first Canadian women’s soccer camp in 1986, the induction had her taking pride, not only in her own career, but in the way women’s soccer has grown.
“I was there when it was the worst of the worst,” Hooper said. “I stuck my neck out for a long time, and it’s nice to see that was for a reason, and we got results in the end.
Lay, a bronze medalist in the 4×100 m relay at the 1966 Olympics, was pleased to see the Hall reflected the contributions of female athletes.
“I had a chance to look around, and whether it’s the statues or the stories, so many women’s stories are here,” Lay said. “It’s important, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”