IIHF Hall of Fame inducts five
Hiti, Kasatonov, Suchy, Bush & Schell join legends circle
BERNE – The 2009 IIHF Hall of Fame will induct five new members on May 5. Rudi Hiti (SLO), Alexei Kasatonov (RUS) and Jan Suchy (CZE) were added to the players’ category. Walter Bush Jr. (USA) was honoured as a builder, while Hungarian referee Laszlo Schell completes the class. The IIHF Hall of Fame grows to include 155 greats from 22 countries.
The ceremony at the 73rd IIHF World Championship will see two of international hockey’s greatest defencemen being honoured, with Jan Suchy and Alexei Kasatonov joining the IIHF Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony also includes the prestigious Paul Loicq Award, presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the IIHF and international ice hockey. The 2009 prize goes to Harald Griebel of Infront Sports and Media. The Paul Loicq Award is named after the Belgian who was the IIHF’s President for 25 years (1922-1947).
The ceremony will take place at 17:00 at Berne's PostFinance Arena. It will be followed by a reception and a Legends Game at 18:30, pitting classic Russian oldtimers like Alexander Yakushev, Valeri Kamensky and Andrei Kovalenko versus an assortment of ex-Swiss stars like Renato Tosio and Sven Leuenberger, and former NHLers such as Sweden's Mats Näslund and Finland's Jari Kurri.
“I would like to congratulate the IIHF Hall of Fame committee and its chairman Tony Rossi on an excellent selection,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “Jan Suchy defined the position of the offensive defenseman in international hockey at the end of the 60s, while Alexei Kasatonov was the ‘good conscience’ of the famous Larionov-unit in the 80s, taking care of the defensive responsibilities.”
Coincidentally, Suchy’s induction will take place in the same city where he 38 years ago was named ‘Best Defenseman’ at the 1971 IIHF World Championship.
“Rudi Hiti and Laszlo Schell are representatives of the smaller IIHF nations, where so many great players and officials have performed outstanding roles, without ever getting rightful credit. It is very fitting that the IIHF Hall of Fame recognizes their accomplishments,” Fasel said.
“I simply cannot say enough about Walter Bush. One thing is for sure, international hockey wouldn’t be what it is today without his impact. I doubt women’s hockey would be an Olympic sport today had Walter not pushed so hard for it in the mid 90s,” said Fasel. “Over the course of the last 20-25 years, no hockey nation has improved internationally as much as the United States, and the IIHF Hall of Fame committee’s decision credits this mainly to Walter’s tireless work.”
“I'm proud to induct this great quintet and honour Harald Griebel here in Berne tomorrow,” said the IIHF President.
Learn more about the 2009 IIHF Hall of Fame Inductees and other honorees.
2009 IIHF Hall of Fame Inductees
Paul Loicq Award
(for special contributions to international hockey)