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Sakic, Oates, Bure and Sundin get Hall of Fame nod

Jun 26, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT

Joe Sakic Getty Images

Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure, and Mats Sundin.

In a related story, let the debate rage.

Sakic is a no-doubt-about-it, first-ballot inductee. Drafted 15th overall in 1987 by the Quebec Nordiques, he went on to score 1,641 points in 1,378 NHL games, winning the Stanley Cup twice with the Colorado Avalanche. In 1996, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP; in 2001, he won the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

Oates finally gets the nod after being passed over in previous years. The brand new coach of the Washington Capitals retired as one of the greatest playmakers in league history. Only five players – Wayne Gretzky, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, and Paul Coffey – finished with more assists than the 1,079 Oates tallied with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton.

Bure’s NHL career wasn’t a particularly lengthy one – injuries limited the Russian Rocket to just 702 games in 12 seasons – but as his nickname suggests, he was one of the most exciting players of his era. Bure retired with 437 goals in stints with the Canucks, Panthers and Rangers.

Sundin was drafted first overall in 1998 by the Quebec Nordiques. In 1994, he was traded to Toronto where he became the captain of the Maple Leafs before finishing his 1,349-point career in Vancouver. Sundin also excelled on the international stage, winning Olympic gold for Sweden in 2006 and World Championship gold in 1991, 1992 and 1998.

Notably, of the four inductees, only Sakic won a Stanley Cup.

Brendan Shanahan’s failure to gain induction will be a controversial decision by the selection committee.

  1. mclovinhockey - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Meh, congrats sakic… Guess Shanny and Jr will be the top 2 next year.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Really solid class this year. Congrats to them all!

  3. mianfr - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I guess 658 goals aren’t what they used to be?

    • mianfr - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      656, isn’t, etc.

      I’m downvoting myself.

  4. leepetertk - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Brendan Shanahan is one. Pat Burns is another one they have missed for years.

    Everybody on the list is deserving in some sense. Bure has the smallest resume, but if Cam Neely and Pat LaFontaine can get in, Bure can.

    I do not understand how Shanahan and Burns were passed up. I would have taken those two before Sundin and Bure this year. Shanahan was a sure bet to be a first ballot for me. Burns has been passed too many times and his situation has been brought up every year, with the crusade to have him elected prior to his passing.

  5. hockeyflow33 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    It’s not really controversial. There’s only 4 slots and unfortunately for him, he was the 5th choice, (or 6th if you like JR). He’ll be in next year.

    • jmacphee9 - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      being 5th on the list is the controversial point..these are 4 100% deserving players but i think it should of been easy to see that shanahan was a sure-fire 1st ballot Hoffer with his stats, 650+ goals and 3 stanley cups are stats very few players have. my guess is that his post-playing career may have influenced voters..

      • jmacphee9 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM

        to add, if we were having this discussion yesterday and someone asked name 2 for sures to get named to the HHOF tommorrow, i think the high majority would say sakic and shanahan.

  6. danaking - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Pretty good day for Adam Oates, HOF and the Caps gig.

    Timing is everything.

  7. lapsncaps - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Congrats to all four guys. All of whom deserve it. Thought Shanny would go over Bure, even though Pavel was my favorite non-Capital growing up.

    Quite the day for Oates, hired as a head coach to a team in which was his longest tenure during his career, and an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame only a few hours apart.

  8. t16rich - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Forget about Shanny. He can wait. I will complain that Pat Burns did not get the nod. R.I.P. Pat, you are a legend. 3 time coach of the year with 3 different teams. I feel he deserves it out of respect.

  9. davebabychreturns - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Congrats to all four. Burns should have got in last year, but oh well. He and Shanny will get in eventually.

  10. jimw81 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    How Pavel “World’s greatest cherry picker” get in the HOF over Fred Shero?

  11. gmenfan1982 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    I think it’s ridiculous they limit the amount of players inducted to 4 in any given year. If a player deserves to get in they should get in.

  12. pavelfitzgerald - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Bure doesn’t have the lengthy resume but he did a lot in his short time. One of only a half dozen or less to have 3 straight 60 goal seasons. He got in because he was one of (if not thee) most exciting players of his era.

  13. suckitny - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Another year fred Shero gets passed over. What a sham…

  14. soj83 - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    i said before that i wouldn’t want to be a voter now a days, 4 more than deserving players elected in my opinion….and many more that didn’t make it. the HOF is a very elite club, anyone that is deserving will make it eventually.

  15. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Sundin should be in the “hall of very good” but I really don’t think he belongs in the HHOF. He had 2 years of excellence, 15 seasons of good and one forgettable year in Vancouver. He’s there because he is the all time Leafs leader in goals and points but those are based on longevity not greatness. I have great respect for him as a player and the way he carried himself and I congratulate him for getting the votes but if he played his career somewhere like Tampa Bay then he never gets in the HHOF.

    While I’m on my soapbox I’ll also say I think Mike Vernon deserves to be in the HHOF, 385 career wins, starting goalie on 4 teams that went to the cup final, winning 2, won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1997 and ABSOLUTELY should have won it in 1989.

    • govtminion - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      You have a point on Sundin, though I have trouble arguing against the guy getting in. Vernon though, you’re 100% spot-on. That he isn’t in there is really a shame.

    • sasquash20 - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:52 AM

      Sundin had 564 goals, 785 assist, for 1349 points. Over a point a game, a plus 73 for his career. He also didn’t play with a ton of talent through out his career. Very deserving in my opinion.

      I also agree on Vernon.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 27, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        After listening to an interview with Pat Quinn (one of the 18 selectors) and hearing him talk about Sundin I’ve reconsidered my position, I think based on what Quinn said that Sundin is a worthy selection.

  16. lsxphotog - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Bure. Having grown up idolizing this guy, it’s actually really exciting to see him get inducted. I really appreciate when other icons make it in, but this guy is MY icon…it means a lot to see it.

  17. dhillca - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Your icon? Idol

  18. pavelfitzgerald - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Good call on Vernon – put him in !!

  19. oddte - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Oates elected to Hall? I thought Oates was married to Hall. Or did they just go to the same barber?

  20. michiganhockey11 - Jun 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Shanahan got robbed. Plain and simple.

    I also think Vernon should get in. Sundin over Shanahan, seriously?

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