Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Two of the most talented European-born players — goaltender Dominik Hasek of the Czech Republic and Swedish center Peter Forsberg – to see action in the NHL lead the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014, which was announced Monday.
Aside from Hasek and Forsberg, American center Mike Modano, defenseman Rob Blake, coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary were also selected to this year’s list of inductees.
The inductees were chosen by an 18-person committee this past weekend in Toronto. The 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Nov. 17.
“When we go through the meetings, we make it very clear that is the Hockey Hall of Fame. It is a world-renowned Hall of Fame,” said Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson, who is chairman of the selection committee.
“This tells me our game is growing worldwide and our game is being recognized all over the world for the great game that it is. When we have a class like this that is coming into the Hall, I think it says a lot about our game and how worldwide it really is,” he added.
Also being honored are USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen, the winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, who received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting.
Hasek won the Vezina Trophy six times in his 16-year NHL career, which is tied for the second-most of all time behind Jacques Plante. He’s also the only goaltender to win the Hart Trophy more than once, earning League MVP honors in 1996-97 and 1997-98 with the Buffalo Sabres.
He won 389 games, 11th in League history, and led the NHL in save percentage six times. Hasek did not win the Stanley Cup until later in his career, twice with the Detroit Red Wings.
Hasek also led Czech Republic to a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, the first time NHL players participated.
“To be honest, in 1992 I was thinking about going back to Europe because I was in the minors, I was with the Indianapolis Ice,” Hasek said. “However I stayed and I got the chance in 1992 when I was traded to Buffalo.”
Forsberg became a national hero before becoming an NHL champion with the Colorado Avalanche. His shootout goal to help Sweden secure the gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics is the most famous in the 1-on-1 format in the sport’s history. The moment has been commemorated on a postage stamp in Sweden.
Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, Forsberg became part of the massive package used to acquire the rights to Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques in 1992, and Forsberg went on to be one of the best players of his generation while winning the Stanley Cup twice with Colorado.
Forsberg captured the Calder Trophy in 1994-95, the Hart Trophy in 2002-03 and the Cup in 1996 and 2001.
However, his career was cut short by injuries, but he finished with 249 goals and 885 points in 708 career games. His 1.25 points-per-game average is eighth all-time, and his 0.90 assists per game rank fifth.
Forsberg is also 11th all-time in points per game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, having totaled 171 points in 151 playoff games.