Mark Howe, Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk were all inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday as its 2011 Class. The honorees will be formally inducted on November 14 in Toronto.
It's special for Stars fans to see Nieuwendyk and Belfour go in together. The duo were a big part of Dallas' Stanley Cup run and join teammate Brett Hull in the Hall. Defending Big D is thrilled for the players they spent so many years rooting for.
Eddie "the Eagle" Belfour, or if you prefer: "Crazy Eddie" (and we do) is third all-time in wins behind Roy and Brodeur. He won a Stanley Cup, two Vezinas, four Jennings trophies and the Calder trophy for rookie of the year. He was a no-brainer, and it's nice to see hockey put him in on the first try, unlike certain other sports who feel no one is worthy of "first ballot" status.
Meanwhile over at Broad Street Hockey, Flyers fans are torn. They're happy to see Mark Howe, "one of the best defensemen to ever pull orange and black over his head," make it in. They also feel snubbed to watch Fred Shero and Eric Lindros get the shaft again. Still, they'll take Howe's induction, which took a little time.
Howe was overlooked for Hall of Fame induction every year since 1998, when he first became eligible. That's probably due to a number of reasons: he played a huge chunk of his career in WHA with the Whalers and some of the good ole NHL boys that sit on the committee don't particularly like the WHA, and he was certainly overshadowed by his dad, one of the best to ever play.
Speaking of snubs, Devils blog In Lou We Trust just can't believe Pat Burns got passed over yet again.
Simply put, this is ridiculous.
After all, he's the only head coach to have ever won the Jack Adams trophy with three different teams: Montreal in 1989, Toronto in 1993, and Boston in 1998. In his career, he won 501 games in 1,019 games with four different teams, won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, and only cancer kept him from adding to his record in New Jersey.
Two other players who got shutout were Pavel Bure and Adam Oates. Flames blog Matchsticks and Gasoline can understand why these two recognizable names remain on the outside looking in.
Bure and Oates were very good hockey players, but I'm a believer in the idea that the Hockey Hall of Fame is for those players who are not just very good, but absolute legends. Icons of eras. Wayne Gretzky's and Bobby Orr's and Gordie Howe's. Complaining about Pavel Bure not making it in seems a bit like complaining in 15 years that Corey Perry isn't getting enough recognition. A fine player- but not a generational talent.