The Hall of Fame announced the arrival of its new members on Wednesday, and a few days before Quebec’s national holiday, it couldn’t have been better.
Because it is a total of three new members from Quebec who are added to the immortals of the puck. Thus, Pierre Turgeon, Caroline Ouellette, as well as the late Pierre Lacroix, admitted in the category of builders, are all now part of this very select club.
The honor was particularly expected in the case of Turgeon, a forward who had a total of 1,327 points in 1,294 NHL games, and who was before this consecration the most prolific scorer not to be a member of the Temple among players with entitled to such an honor.
“I am so, so happy about this news, said the one who has notably played for the Buffalo Sabres, the New York Islanders and the Canadiens, during a Hall of Fame conference call on Wednesday. It’s a privilege, that’s for sure. It just made my day!
“You know, there are a lot of players who have had great careers. The selection committee must have a hard time deciding. I played hockey for a living, and I still play twice a week because I love the sport so much. »
Ouellette was covered with gold four times at the Winter Games, in addition to adding six world titles to her crown. She was a member of the Canadian squad for 16 years, and she had 242 points in 220 games as a Canadian squad player.
She is now part of the Hockey Canada coaching staff, and is an associate head coach with the Concordia University Stingers. She is also one of three female hockey players to have won an Olympic gold medal at least four times, along with Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford. Ouellette’s conquests occurred at the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Games. However, she could not join the conference call to give her impressions.
For his part, Pierre Lacroix left his mark on the hockey world as general manager, first with the Quebec Nordiques, then when he moved to Denver with the Avalanche, where his teams won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1996 and 2001. He died in 2020 of complications from COVID-19, aged 72.
“We are thrilled,” said Éric, Pierre Lacroix’s son. It’s a bit bittersweet because he’s been gone for a few years now. We look forward to a few amazing days in Toronto. »
In addition to the three new members from Quebec, the Hall of Fame also opened its doors to four other new members, including three goalies.
Thus, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Henrik Lundqvist have all secured their place at the table of immortals. The first two won the Stanley Cup twice, Barrasso with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s, and Vernon with the Calgary Flames and then the Detroit Red Wings.
Lundqvist never got his ring. On the other hand, he made history for the New York Rangers, notably winning the Vezina Trophy at the end of the 2011-2012 season, and leading the club to the Stanley Cup Final in the spring of 2014. He also won Olympic gold in 2006 and ranked 6th in NHL history in wins (459).
The latest to be admitted is a former coach, Ken Hitchcock, who ranks fourth among winning NHL coaches with a total of 849 wins. He led the Dallas Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999.
The ceremony will take place on November 13 in Toronto.
Henrik Lundqvist: “That’s really cool. There are so many players who inspire you when you start playing. You look at the goalkeepers who play well. We watch how they play and how they fight. This is how we get inspired. »
Tom Barrasso: “I certainly wasn’t waiting by the phone. In fact, they had trouble reaching me even after they made up their minds. You are proud and you have a certain respect for your career. This is obviously the supreme honor. »
Mike Vernon: “Hockey has been important to me throughout my life. I am simply flabbergasted. This is an emotional moment for me. It may have been long, but it’s worth it. »