The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 was revealed Tuesday, with Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Willie O’Ree, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Alexander Yakushev, and Jayna Hefford set for induction.
The ceremony will take place November 12 at the Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
Brodeur is a first-time eligible candidate and three-time Stanley Cup champion netminder with the New Jersey Devils. He is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts and also holds league records for games played, minutes played and saves – among other honours. He won the Vezina Trophy four times and the William M. Jennings Trophy five times.
Brodeur also won the Calder Trophy for his rookie season in 1994.
“Even though there’s a lot of talk, until you get the phone call from the proper people you always think what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen?” Brodeur said. “When the call came, the 416 number from Toronto, I figured that was the number, so I stepped away a little bit and took it all in. It was a pretty exciting time.”
St. Louis is another first-time eligible player. He won the Hart Trophy in 2004, plus he scooped the Art Ross Trophy twice. He’s a three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner and an Olympic gold medalist. He is Tampa’s all-time leader in assists, points, power play points, shorthanded goals, shorthanded points, playoff goals, game-winning goals, and overtime goals.
O’Ree was the first black player to skate in the NHL. He debuted in January of 1958 as a member of the Boston Bruins. He played just 45 games and had 14 points, but he made an indelible impression on the game and paved the way for many other players of colour. O’Ree has since established programs like Hockey Is For Everyone and has set up dozens of grassroots hockey initiatives.
Commissioner Bettman has overseen the NHL’s growth for 25 years. The league has blossomed to 31 teams under his watch and he’s boosted revenue to $4 billion annually, up considerably from the $400 million it clocked when he first started. Bettman’s also introduced the game globally, booking games in Europe and Japan. He instituted the salary cap in 2005 and was the driving force behind the proliferation of outdoor games.
Yakushev was noted for his participation in the famed Summit Series in 1972. He led the Soviet Union in points during the series and also won two Olympic gold medals for his country, along with seven IIHF World Championships. He built a name for himself in Russia with Spartak Moscow.
Hefford won four gold medals with Canada and was part of five Winter Olympic hockey squads. She scored the golden goal against Team USA at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake and secured seven golds and five silvers for Canada at the IIHF World Women’s Championship.