The Hockey Hall of Fame got filled with goaltenders on Monday with the induction of Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon.
The ceremony in Toronto also included players Pierre Turgeon and Caroline Ouellet, coach Ken Hitchcock and late executive/agent Pierre Lacroix.
For Vernon, it took a long time for Hall to get the call.
“For this to happen 21 years after ending my NHL career, it means more to me and my family than you will know,” Vernon said. “Mom, you asked me once if I would ever go into the Hall of Fame? Well, I made it.”
Vernon played 19 seasons, mostly for the Calgary Flames, while also spending time with the Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers. He finished with a .889 save percentage and 3.00 goals against average in 782 career games, captured two Stanley Cups and won the 1997 Conn Smythe Trophy after helping Detroit clinch the championship.
The 41-year-old Lundqvist was selected in his first year of eligibility. In a 15-season career with the New York Rangers, he appeared in 887 games, posting a .918 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA. His 23,509 saves rank eighth most all-time. He captured the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender in 2011–12.
“My dad told me, my brother and my sister, ‘Dream bigger, it will push you to work harder,’” Lundquist said. “I’ll never forget that. But honestly, I’ve never seen it.”
Barrasso, 58, helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. He won both the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) and the Vezina Trophy in 1983–84. He spent 12 seasons with the Penguins, six with the Buffalo Sabres, and had short stints with the Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.
Barrasso was also part of the United States team that won the silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
“Becoming an Olympian is really the highlight of my lifetime, and I put it right next to my two Stanley Cups,” Barrasso said.
Turgeon, 54, scored 1,327 points (515 goals, 812 assists) in 1,294 games over a 19-season career that included five each with the Sabers and Blues.
“As a young man, I was inspired by watching my brother Sylvain play junior hockey and I dreamed of it for myself and I’m proud to say we had the first and second picks in the first round in the NHL.” He said. “Awesome for two brothers.”
Ouellet, 44, starred in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and led Canada to four Olympic gold medals. She also won six gold medals at the IIHF World Women’s Championship.
Ouellette grew up playing against boys.
She said, “I heard every possible type of name-calling, but these challenges helped me deeply appreciate how fortunate I was to play hockey at a time when many women my age did not have the same opportunities.” Not found.”
Hitchcock, 71, posted an 849-534-127 record with 88 ties while coaching the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Blues and Edmonton Oilers. He led his teams to eight division titles and 14 playoff appearances, and he guided the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999.
Hitchcock said, “My heroes growing up weren’t players. They were coaches.”
Lacroix was president and general manager of the Avalanche from 1994 to 2006, and Colorado earned two Stanley Cups in that span (1996, 2001). He died in 2020 at the age of 72.