Hiti, Kasatonov, Suchy, Bush & Schell to IIHF Hall of Fame
ZURICH – The 2009 IIHF Hall of Fame will induct five new members on May 5th in Bern, Switzerland. Rudi Hiti (SLO), Alexei Kasatonov (RUS) and Jan Suchy (CZE) will be added to the players’ category. Walter Bush Jr. (USA) will be honored as builder while Hungarian referee Laszlo Schell completes the class. The IIHF Hall of Fame has grown to include 155 greats from 22 countries.
The ceremony will see two of international hockey’s greatest defensemen being honored, with Jan Suchy and Alexei Kasatonov joining the IIHF Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will as usual also include the prestigious Paul Loicq Award, presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the IIHF and international ice hockey. The 2009 prize has been awarded 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 induction ceremony will take place on May 5, 2009 in Berne, Switzerland at the 73rd IIHF World Championship (April 24 – May 10).
“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 will be proud to induct this great quintet and to award Harald Griebel during the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Berne on May 5,” said the IIHF President.
Biographies of the inductees and the Paul Loicq Award winner:
2009 IIHF Hall of Fame Inductees
Paul Loicq Award
(for special contributions to international hockey)