BRATISLAVA – The IIHF held its 15th induction this afternoon in downtown Bratislava, welcoming five Players and one Builder in a ceremony broadcast live by Slovak TV. Players included Karyn Bye (USA), Tord Lundström (SWE), Bohumil Modry (CZE), Ladislav Trojak (SVK), and Doru Tureanu (ROU). Kalevi Numminen (FIN) was inducted as a Builder, and Yuri Korolev (RUS) was given the Paul Loicq Award in honour of his dedication to the game.
Bye played on boys’ teams until the age of 18 and had to always prove that she belonged while registering as K.L. Bye so that people wouldn’t know there was a girl on the team.
She led the United States to the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, and silver medals at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, six IIHF World Women’s Championships (1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001) and two IIHF Pacific Women’s Championships (1995, 1996).
She was accompanied by her husband and two children and spoke of the genesis of her love of the game. “I watched every game of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics and fell in love with hockey watching Bill Baker, number 6 [Bye’s number] and everyone else,” she said. Incredibly, 18 years later she had a similar influence on a new generation of kids.
“There’s no question ‘98 had a great influence on the sport of women’s ice hockey,” Bye agreed. “A lot of people watched the Olympics and said, ‘Wow! Look at what these women can do.’ From that point on, I think the sport has continued to grow. Having events such as this Hall of Fame induction, and our team being inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame, I think that’s huge for women’s ice hockey. I hope they continue to induct more women. There are so many great women’s players, not only from the U.S. and Canada, but from other countries as well.”
Lundström was one of Sweden’s greatest forwards, dominant both on the national team and in domestic play with the Swedish Elitserien. He played in 200 national teams games between 1964 and 1977, took part in nine top pool IIHF World Championships, and captured three silver medals and four bronze medals during an era of Soviet dominance.
In 73 World Championship games, Lundström collected an impressive 40 goals and 26 assists, underlining his status as a point-per-game player internationally for almost 15 years.
Lundström also played a key role in two Olympic Games, Grenoble 1968 and Sapporo 1972. In 1973, at the age of 28, at a time when only his much younger Brynäs teammates Börje Salming and Inge Hammarström managed to permanently crack the lineup of an NHL team, Lundström signed with the Detroit Red Wings and played in 11 NHL games during the 1973-74 season. He became only the second Swedish forward to score an NHL goal.
"When they called and told me about the induction, I thought they were pulling my leg,” Lundström said with due humility. “It had been so long since my days as a player, I didn't think I could ever be in this group.”
Modry was represented at the ceremony by his daughters, Blanka Modra and Alena Weismann. He was considered the top European netminder of the immediate pre- and post-World War II era. He led Czechoslovakia to IIHF World Championship titles in 1947 and 1949 and won the Olympic silver medal and the European Championship in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
As well, Modry participated in the World Championships from 1937 to 1939, representing Czechoslovakia in a total of 71 games. Modry posted an impressive 1.27 goals-against average in his 35 World Championship games and a 2.00 GAA in Olympic competition.
Before his death, Modry became the first player to produce material about special education for goaltenders, publishing articles about goaltending training.
At the 2010 Olympics, Czech goaltender Ondrej Pavelec paid tribute to the Czech legend and had Modry’s image painted onto the side of his mask.
Trojak, the other deceased member of the class of 2011, was represented by his daughter, Jana Alexander. He was the first Slovak ice hockey player to represent Czechoslovakia internationally, and he became the first Slovak to win an IIHF World Championship gold medal while representing Czechoslovakia, this at the 1947 World event in Prague. With this, Trojak became an inspiration for all Slovak athletes who dreamt about competing on the world stage.
A forward with great skating ability and defensive prowess, Trojak was first selected to the national team for the 1936 Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Additionally, he was selected for the five following IIHF World Championships, including the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland where Czechoslovakia lost the gold medal to Canada on goal ratio.
Czechoslovakia’s final game at the 1948 Olympics – a 4-3 win over the United States – would be Trojak’s last championship game for the national team. On November 8 the same year, Ladislav Trojak perished in an airplane crash over the English Channel along with five other members of the Czechoslovak team.
Doru Tureanu was ill and unable to attend the induction, but he was represented by the president of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation, Barna Tanczos. Tureanu was arguably the best Romanian forward during a period of almost two decades when Romanian ice hockey was at its best. A star for the perennial national champion Dinamo Bucharest between 1971 and 1987, Tureanu was the key element of the Romanian national team forming its top offensive line with Marian Costea and Dumitru Axinte.
Tureanu participated in two Olympic Games (Innsbruck 1976 and Lake Placid 1980) as well as 17 IIHF World Championships (A, B, and C Pools). A confident and skillful forward, Tureanu was blessed with an eye for a pass and capable of scoring against anyone.
Legendary Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov was one of his admirers and once said that Tureanu had the skill to play for any team in the world. His finest hour was scoring two goals in a 5-4 win over the United States in the 1977 World Championship in Vienna, Austria, in what was arguably the greatest game ever played by the Romanian national team.
Kalevi Numminen was the first truly modern coach in Finnish hockey. He coached club team Tappara Tampere in total of ten seasons winning three national titles, three silver medals, and one bronze medal. Additionally, he coached the Finnish national team in 161 games with a record of 51 wins, 30 ties and 50 losses including five IIHF World Championships, one Olympic Games (Lake Placid 1980), and the 1981 Canada Cup.
Numminen began his ice hockey career as a defenceman for Tappara, a club he represented during his entire career of 201 games, scoring 81 points and recording 211 minutes in penalties. He won three gold medals, two silvers, and one bronze in his 12-year career and received All Star Team nominations twice.
Numminen played 143 games with the Finnish national team, scoring 32 points, and represented Finland in seven IIHF World Championships and two Olympic Winter Games.
Numminen was inducted into the Finnish Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Coach of the Year award in the Finnish Hockey League is named after him. Numminen’s number 2 sweater is retired in Hakametsä ice rink by Tappara, and he is the father of Teppo Numminen, a 20-season veteran of the NHL whose own number 27 was retired by the Phoenix Coyotes in January 2010.
"Tord is five years older than me,” Numminen recounted, “and we've played against each other many times. I was a defenceman, and he a forward so we've had our battles on the ice.”
Korolev has devoted 55 years of his life to hockey. Not having the qualities to fulfill his dreams to become a hockey player, he decided early to help other aspiring athletes reach their goals. He entered the Institute for Physical Culture in 1954, ironically the year the Soviet Union won its first World Championship.
Korolev later started to educate coaches and during the period between 1964 and 1992 he was the head of the national ice hockey team research group whose work led to 17 IIHF World Championship gold medals and seven Olympic titles. In 1992, Yuri Korolev was elected to the IIHF Council and he was member of the IIHF’s executive body for six years, during which he also was the head of the Coaching Committee, where he continued with his passion to help others.
Hockey greats among the crowd included Vladislav Tretyak, Vaclav Nedomansky, Jan Starsi, and Jozef Golonka. Each nation of the inductees was also honoured with the presence of an ambassador, namely Jakub Karfik (CZE), Florin Vodita (ROU), Hans Lundborg (SWE), Jukka Leino (FIN), and Theodore Sedgwick (USA).
For complete biographies click here.