2018 Hockey Hall of Fame Class

The weekly sports column for the 100 Mile Free Press

The Hockey Hall of Fame had four new (player) members inducted this year, with Martin Brodeur, Jayna Hefford, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Yakushev receiving the honour on Nov. 12 in Toronto.

Of course, all four players are deserving. Martin Brodeur played in 1,266 games and won 691 of them, including 125 shutouts. He is the winningest goalie in the NHL of all time and has three Stanely Cups with his name as a member of the New Jersey Devils. He also has one World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals.

Martin St. Louis played in 1,134 games in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and the Calgary Flames. The bulk of those games were with Tampa Bay. He scored 1,033 points (391 goals, 643 assists) and won the cup in 2014 and also has one world cup title and an Olympic gold medal to his name.

Hefford and Yakushev are probably the least known of the 2018 class inductees.

Hefford was a forward for the Canadian Women’s team and played domestically for the Brampton Thunder and Mississauga Chiefs. Currently, she is the commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. As an international player, she scored 291 points in 267 games. Only Haley Wickenheiser has more points than her. She also has won four Olympic golds and seven gold medals in the World Women’s Championships.

Yakushev will most likely be unknown to anyone born after the 1972 Summit Series, where he had a key role in. He was the Soviet Union’s leader in scoring for the tournament with seven goals and four assists. He’s the third player from the Soviet team in the 1972 series to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The other two are Vladislav Tretiak and Valeri Kharlamov.

Several other players were eligible to make the Hall of Fame this year but did not. A full list is available at www.hhof.com.

Sergei Gonchar, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Daniel Alfredsson, Tony Amonte, Brian Bellows, Jason Arnott, Rod Brind’Amour, Vincent Damphousse, Ray Ferraro, Theoren Fleury, Dale Hunter, Alex Kovalev, Steve Larmer, Rick Middleton, Alexander Mogilny, Mats Naslund,Gary Roberts, Jeremy Roenick, Dave Taylor, Keith Tkachuk, Pierre Turgeon, Par Verbeek, Doug Weight and Ray Whitney are some of the more well-known NHL players who did not make the cut.

Curtis Joesph, Chris Osgood Mike Vernon are some goalies who were also not selected.

Alfredsson, who became eligible for selection in 2017, has now been passed over twice. Ottawa’s best player, who leads the franchise in team scoring with 1,108 points (Jason Spezza is the next with 687) is one of the more deserving players eligible for selection.

The Swede finished his NHL career with 1,157 points (scoring 49 with the Detroit Red Wings in the last season of his NHL career). He has also been a prominent international player, winning one Olympic gold medal. He was also the first European-born and trained captain to lead a team to the Stanley Cup finals (in 2007). His only fault is that he never won a Stanley Cup.


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