Colorado Springs, CO, United States (4E Sports) – Former New Jersey Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski and three others will be enshrined in the US Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 Class.
Aside from Rafalski, a veteran of 11 NHL seasons, the 2014 class also includes his former college coach Jeff Sauer, women’s hockey legend Karyn Bye Dietz and former NHL coach and 1984 U.S. Olympic coach Lou Vairo.
The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, said USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio.
“The class of 2014 is an extraordinary collection of individuals that have had an immensely positive impact on hockey in our country,” said DeGregorio.
“Cumulatively, they have been involved at every level of hockey and this group is a big reason why our sport has advanced to the point it has in the United States,” he added.
Rafalski helped the Devils captured Stanley Cup championships in 2000 and 2003. He also was a member of the Detroit Red Wings’ Stanley Cup championship team in 2008.
In 833 NHL games, he had 79 goals and 436 assists. Rafalski helped USA win the silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Olympic Games.
A power forward, Dietz is viewed as one of the pioneer’s of women’s hockey. Dietz and Cammi Granato were the dominant forwards of the U.S. women’s program in the 1990s. Dietz has already been inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sitting here and getting inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame,” Dietz said. “It was just something one never thought, especially being a female hockey player.”
Sauer has spent more than 40 years in coaching, racking up 655 wins as a college hockey coach, ranking him seventh all-time. He led Wisconsin to NCAA championships in 1983 and 1990. This year, he coached the 2014 U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team to a gold medal in Sochi, Russia
Vairo has been a fixture in the USA Hockey program since the 1970s. He was a scout for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, a head coach of the 1984 team and an assistant on the silver-medal team in 2002. He has coached the U.S. Men’s National Team five times. He has been one of the sport’s great ambassadors at the international level.