While the Hockey Hall of Fame was closed to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus, Lanny McDonald, chair of the board, announced the upcoming class of inductees being named.
Following a warm introduction, Lanny McDonald swiftly got things going. Starting in the builders category, Ken Holland from the Edmonton Oilers was named the first member in this year’s induction class. Holland, a former player, was previously GM in Detroit with the Red Wings.
Moving ahead to the player category, Marian Hossa, who recently retired, was named to the Hall as an honoured member. Hossa was inducted on first ballot after 21 seasons in the National Hockey League. As per Ian Mendes, Hossa scored more regular season goals for the Ottawa Senators (188) than he did for Chicago (186).
Following the former Blackhawks’ induction, Lanny McDonald announced this year’s headliner in Canadian forward Jarome Iginla. Much like Marian Hossa, Iginla, in his first year of eligibility, was also voted to the class of 2020. Iginla, 42-years-old is a former member of the Boston Bruins while a longtime member of the Calgary Flames.
According to CBC’s Devin Heroux, Iginla, from Edmonton, AB, was the first ever Black man to win Olympic gold in hockey. As he joins as an honoured member, Iginla joins three other Black hockey players who have been named to the Hall of Fame. That list includes Willie O’Ree, Angela James as well as Grant Fuhr.
Taking a look at his accolades, Iginla, an NHL veteran, is a two-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Throughout the course of his career, Iginla found himself recording 30-goal seasons for eleven years consecutively (2000-01 to 2011-12). This became the eighth longest stretch of 30-goal campaigns in National Hockey League history.
According to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro, Iginla is the first Dallas Stars draft pick to be inducted to the Hall since 1993. Not only that, but Shapiro adds that Modano and Iginla are the only two Stars players to be named as honoured members.
Right behind Jarome Iginla is NHL veteran and former Oiler Kevin Lowe. Lowe joins the Hockey Hall of Fame after 15 years in Alberta while also spending four years with the New York Rangers. Lowe, a native of Quebec, was drafted back in 1979 and went on to win six Stanley Cup championships before calling it quits back in 1998.
According to Sportsnet Stats, Kevin Lowe becomes the seventh player from the 1984-85 and 1986-87 Stanley Cup champion Oilers to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. After his playing career ended, Lowe served as coach of the Oilers before being named as the team’s general manager. Since then, he has shifted gears, now working as vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group.
After the Hall of Fame last year recognized Hayley Wickenheiser with a nod to the Hall, this year, the board voted in a Chateauguay native in Kim St-Pierre. St-Pierre kicked off her career after spending four years with the Martlets at McGill as she made the jump pro with the Montreal Stars, later Les Canadiennes in the CWHL. Recognized for her abilities, St-Pierre, 41-years-old, was named to the country’s National Women’s Team.
Taking a look at her pro days, St-Pierre played three in the CWHL before calling it quits back in 2013. In her second year with the Montreal Stars, St-Pierre led the team to a Clarkson Cup championship. That said, looking more at her accomplishments, the backstop won three Olympic gold medals and most notably is also a five-time world champion.
While she only played three seasons, St-Pierre, widely seen as a barrier breaker, was also a top goalie in the CWHL. Speaking of which, each year that she played with Montreal, St-Pierre got the nod as goaltender of the year. Joining as an honoured member, St-Pierre becomes the eighth women inducted, but most uniquely, the first female goalie.
Last, but certainly not least, McDonald and the Hall of Fame voted in Doug Wilson as this year’s final inductee. Wilson, 62-years-old, is the general manager of the San Jose Sharks. Prior to his role as executive, the Canadian spent fourteen seasons as a valued member of the Chicago Blackhawks. He then went on to finish his career having played two seasons with the San Jose Sharks.
Drafted back in 1977, Wilson won the best received the Norris Trophy, being named defensemen before calling it quits. While he’s been off the ice for many years, Wilson, as cited by Mark Lazerus, was one of the best blue-liners in the 1980’s. After sixteen NHL seasons, Wilson hung up the skates back in 1993. In addition to his role as GM, Wilson fills a hefty role on the NHL’s board of directors for the alumni association. For his many years played with the Blackhawks, Wilson was named an inductee to the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in September 1999.
Speaking after the fact with TSN about being inducted, Iginla said of the reward and honour, “I had a hard time sleeping the past couple of nights. It’s a true honour.” Iginla was not alone as Kevin Lowe then followed in saying, “I never considered myself a Hall of Famer. It’s surreal.”
With this year’s class now selected, the Hall takes a pass on Daniel Alfredsson for a fourth straight year that his name is on the ballot. All that to be said, McDonald concluded with a couple of notes as to what the Hall is planning to celebrate these athletes. With that thought in mind, the induction, at this time, is currently scheduled for November 16th. However, because of the novel coronavirus, a decision will be made on the date by mid-August.