Four NHL players will become part of the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year as the class of 2012.
The four newest inductees are Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin.
Bure won the Calder Trophy in his first year in the NHL (1991-92) as part of the Vancouver Canucks, the team that drafted him–after he and his family defected from the USSR–and that he was with until 1998. Upon a trade to the Florida Panthers, he won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies as the league’s leading goal-scorer and averaged more than a point per game in his NHL career, which ended in 2005 when he was with the New York Rangers. He also has a bronze and silver Olympic medal from 2002 and 1998, respectively.
It’s been a big day for Oates, who was also named coach of the Washington Capitals. Over his career, Oates played for seven different teams, including the Capitals from 1996 to 2002. Though he never won the Stanley Cup as a player, he did play in five All-Star Games and is sixth all-time in the league in terms of assists with 1,079 over the course of his playing career.
Sakic stayed faithful to one team for 20 years, the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche. He had six seasons with at least 100 points (including a high of 120 in 1995-96), won the Cup twice in 1996 and 2001, played in 12 All-Star Games, won Olympic gold in 2002 and was the Avalanche’s only captain ever until his retirement in 2009.
Sundin made NHL history by being the first European player to go first overall in the draft to the Nordiques. He continued to make history when he became the first European captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1996-97 after he was traded there in 1994. With the Maple Leafs, he set and broke records, becoming the first (and, to date, only) Swedish player to hit 500 goals, first Swedish player to register 1,000 points, Maple Leafs records for goals, assists by a forward, points and so on. He signed with the Canucks in 2008 and played one more year before his 2009 retirement. He has a gold medal from the 2006 Olympics.
Bure, Oates, Sakic and Sundin will be officially inducted at a ceremony in November.