Trio of netminders headline 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame class
The Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee announced on Wednesday that seven more will be inducted into the hallowed halls as the Class of 2023 this fall, headlined by a trio of netminders.
Goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon will be joined by Caroline Ouellette and Pierre Turgeon, as well as Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix in the builders category.
Every year, the committee elects members for induction in four categories: a maximum of four male players, two female players, one referee or linesman; and two builders, or one builder if one on-ice referee or linesman is selected
Lundqvist, 41, is selected in his first year of eligibility after a 15-season career with the New York Rangers.
Selected 205th overall (seventh round) by the Rangers in the 2000 NHL Draft, Lundqvist compiled a career 459-310-96 record with a .918 save percentage, 2.43 goals-against average and 64 shutouts in his 15 seasons with the Rangers.
He ranks sixth all-time in wins just behind Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Marc-Andre Fleury, Roberto Luongo, and Ed Belfour.
Lundqvist’s name is all over the Rangers’ record book as the franchise leader in wins, playoff wins (61), shutouts, and games played (887). He led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 where they would succumb to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
After the 2019-20 campaign, Lundqvist signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals but never played a game after having surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat.
The 6-foot-1 netminder was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy five times and won the award in 2012. He was also named as a first-team all-star in 2012, second-team all-star in 2013, and was recognized as one of the best goaltenders in the league by representing the Rangers five times at the NHL All Star Game.
A native of Are, Sweden, Lundqvist has a decorated international career which is highlighted with gold medals at the Olympics (2006), IIHF World Championship (2017), and IIHF World Junior Championship (2002). He also has an Olympic silver medal (2014), two World Championship silver medals (2003, 2004), and a third-place finish at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
A native of Boston, Barrasso is best remembered for backstopping the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup triumphs in 1991 and 1992. Originally taken with the fifth overall selection of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Barrasso made an immediate impact for the team, winning both the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year and the Vezina in 1984. He would go on to appeared in 777 career games over 19 seasons with the Sabres, Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.
For his career, Barrasso posted a mark of 369-277-86 with a goals against average of 3.24 and an .892 save percentage.
The 58-year-old Barrasso holds the record for most assists by a goalie with 48, as well as the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 14.
Internationally, Barrasso represented the United States on multiple occasions including at a pair of Canada Cups and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City where Team USA finished as runners-up.
A native of Calgary, Vernon, now 60, backstopped his hometown Flames to their first and only Stanley Cup in 1989. The 56th overall selection of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Vernon appeared in 781 games over 19 seasons with the Flames, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers. He finished his career with a record of 385-273-92 with an .889 SV% and 2.98 GAA.
A five-time All-Star, Vernon would win a second Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 1997 where he was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Ouellette, 44, is one of the most decorated players in women’s hockey history.
The 5-foot-11 forward is one of three players to win at least four Olympic gold medals, joining fellow Canadians Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford.
Ouellette won gold in all four of her Olympic appearances in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. She has 11 goals and 30 points in 20 tournament appearances.
The Montreal native also represented Canada at 12 IIHF Women’s World Championships where she led the Canadian team to six gold medals and six silver medals, scoring 23 goals and 68 points in 59 tournament appearances.
Ouellette was honoured by Hockey Canada with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award in 2013 as a player whose values, leadership, and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.
She was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019 and inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in May.
Ouellette was just as successful on the professional level, winning the Clarkson Cup four times with the Canadiennes de Montreal of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She was named the CWHL MVP twice in 2009 and 2011 and was the Clarkson Cup top forward and top scorer in 2009.
Turgeon, 53, had been the highest-scoring eligible player not to be in the Hall of Fame.
Originally taken with the first overall selection of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, the Rouyn, Que.-born Turgeon scored 515 goals and 812 assists in 1,294 career games over 19 seasons with the Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Blues, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.
A four-time All-Star, Turgeon won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1993.
Inducted as a builder, Edmonton native Hitchcock was an accomplished junior hockey coach before his move to the NHL. A two-time Western Hockey League Coach of the Year, Hitchcock led the Kamloops Blazers to four division titles and two WHL Championships over his six years at the helm of the club.
The 71-year-old Hitchcock would go on to record the fourth-most wins in NHL history with 849 over 21 seasons with the Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Blues and Edmonton Oilers.
Hitchcock led the Stars to the franchise's only Stanley Cup to date in 1999. Hitchcock was named an Order of Canada recipient in 2019.
Lacroix was the architect of the Avalanche's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1996 and 2001. Named the general manager of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, the Montreal native would follow the team to Denver the following season where he acquired Patrick Roy in a blockbuster from the Habs. He would also make the high-profile acquisitions of Hall of Famers Ray Bourque and Rob Blake for the club. He stepped down from his role as GM in 2006 and remained on as team president until 2013.
Lacroix died in 2020 after complications from COVID-19.
The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for Nov. 13 in Toronto.