The Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday inducted four more members to its list of heroes as part of the 2011 class. Mark Howe, Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk will all join the Hall in the players category, as decided by the 18-member Selection Committee.
The honorees will be formally inducted on November 14 in Toronto. We don't know which players were voted in by which members, as the ballots aren't publicly announced as in other sports.
Belfour and Nieuwendyk were both members of the 1999 Dallas Stars team that won the Stanley Cup over the Buffalo Sabres. In addition to that title, Belfour was a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and an Olympic gold medalist with Canada in 2002. Nieuwendyk, now the general manager of the Stars, also won the Cup in 1989 with Calgary and New Jersey in 2003.
Gilmour won that '89 Cup with Nieuwendyk and the Flames, right in the middle of his 20 year NHL career. The forward scored 450 goals and 964 assists in his 1,474 NHL games with Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Chicago, New Jersey, Calgary and St. Louis. He's currently the head coach of the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.
Howe never won a Cup, but he still ranks among the best defensemen in Philadelphia Flyers history. His career began in 1973 with the WHA's Houston Aeros, and he didn't retire until 1995 while playing with the Detroit Red Wings. He played with the New England Whalers of the WHA for two seasons before the league merged with the NHL. After three more years with the renamed Hartford Whalers, Howe joined the Flyers, where he played for 10 more seasons. His father, of course, is Gordie Howe.
Among the snubs this year: former Flyers head coach Fred Shero, who won two Cups in the 70s, and Pat Burns, the former Devils head coach that led them to the Cup in '03 before passing away in 2010. Eric Lindros could also be considered a snub, as well as Pavel Bure. But as Howe, who was snubbed for years before finally getting in this year, would tell you, there's always next year.