Blake, Forsberg, Hasek, Modano elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

 

The Sports Network

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano were announced as members of the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2014.

The late Pat Burns will be enshrined as a coach in the builder category along with referee Bill McCreary.

The inductees will be honored at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 17.

Hasek played nine seasons professionally in the Czech League before making his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1990-91 season. He was the backup to Ed Belfour, and played only 25 games over two seasons with the Blackhawks.

A 1992 trade to the Buffalo Sabres gave Hasek the opportunity to emerge as a starting goaltender. Hasek took on that role when Grant Fuhr went down with an injury. In 1994, he won his first of six Vezina Trophies as the league's best goaltender.

He also won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1997 and 1998 -- the first time a goaltender had won that trophy since Jacques Plante in 1962. He earned the nickname "The Dominator" during his time with the Sabres.

The Sabres traded Hasek to the Detroit Red Wings prior to the start of the 2001-02 season. He played for the Red Wings from 2001-2008, where he won two championships (2002, 2008).

In 735 NHL games, Hasek recorded 389 wins (11th place all-time), 223 losses, 82 ties to go along with 81 shutouts.

"After I retired I really began to appreciate what the game did for me," Hasek told the Hockey Hall of Fame website. "My goal was just to make the NHL, and achieving this recognition is far beyond what I could have imagined."

Forsberg joined the NHL after playing five seasons in the Swedish Elite league. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, but became part of the massive package used to acquire the rights to Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques in 1992.

In 708 career games over 14 seasons with the Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Flyers and Nashville Predators, Forsberg recorded 249 goals and 636 assists. A two-time Stanley Cup champion in 1996 and 2001 with Colorado, Forsberg also won the Hart Trophy in 2003.

Forsberg also represented Sweden in international play, including four Olympic Winter Games, at which he won gold medals in 1994 and 2006.

"It's been a good run and I wouldn't change places with anybody," Forsberg told the Hockey Hall website. "Joining Borje Salming and Mats Sundin in the Hall of Fame as the third Swedish member makes it especially gratifying for me."

Modano played primarily for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise, with whom he played 21 of his 22 NHL seasons. He holds the NHL record for most goals (561) and points (1,374) by an American-born player.

Modano added 58 goals and 88 assists in 176 playoff games. He helped the Stars win the Stanley Cup in 1999.

"When I played I always hoped that I could make an impact on the game, both on and off the ice, and this honor recognizes that," Modano told the website. "I love this game, and as an American born player I owe a lot to the people in Prince Albert [Western Hockey League] who helped me take my game to the next level."

Blake had 240 goals and 537 assists in 1,270 games with the Kings, Avalanche and Sharks. He won the Norris Trophy in 1997-98 and the Stanley Cup in 2001 with Colorado. He also won gold with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

"This is a tremendous honor," Blake told the Hockey Hall of Fame website. "I am fortunate to have been around the game of hockey and have it be a key part of my life for as long as I can remember."

Burns started his 14-year NHL coaching career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1988 -- winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year in his first season.

He coached in 1,019 games with the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins and Devils. His career record stands at 501 wins, 350 losses, 161 ties and 14 overtime losses. The three-time Jack Adams Award winner won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003.

A third battle with cancer finally ended Pat's life on November 19, 2010.

"It's a great day for me and my family," Lynn Burns, Pat's widow, told the Hockey Hall website. "I'm speechless and tremendously happy. Pat would be proud and this is well-deserved."

McCreary was elected in the referee/linesman category. He officiated 1,700 regular season games, 282 playoff games and one All-Star game before ending his career in 2011.

Internationally, McCreary worked the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, including the gold medal games at both tournaments.

"I was fortunate living in Guelph to be encouraged to get into officiating by some of the NHL greats that were involved in the game there," McCreary told the Hockey Hall website. "Just as with the players, being in the Stanley Cup Final is the goal of any official and I'm pleased that I was able to have that recognition on several occasions."

Also part of this year's Hall ceremonies will be USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen, the winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, who received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting.

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