“Each and every inductee has had profound impact in hockey”
ZURICH – Brilliant performance under historic pressure as well as long-lasting excellence is recognized as the IIHF Hall of Fame inducts players Peter Forsberg, Danielle Goyette, Paul Henderson, Teppo Numminen, Mats Sundin and builder Jan-Åke Edvinsson.
Broadcaster Gord Miller is awarded the Paul Loicq Award while the Soviet national team of 1954 won the Milestone Trophy.
The IIHF Historical Committee and its chairman, IIHF President René Fasel, have announced the 17th class of the IIHF Hall of Fame to be ceremonially inducted on May 19, 2013 on the Gold Medal Day of the 77th IIHF World Championship in Stockholm.
Click here for a complete list of all honoured members since the IIHF Hall of Fame was introduced in 1997. It now boasts 189 greats from 22 countries.
Peter Forsberg (SWE)
Born: Örnskoldsvik, Sweden, July 20, 1973
Peter Forsberg had the vision of a world-class passer, the hands of a top scorer, and the competitive fire of a winner who could perform under the greatest pressure. It is no wonder that he was not only the youngest member of the Triple Gold Club; he reached the three milestones faster than any player, winning World Championship gold and Olympic gold in his first try, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and holding the Stanley Cup in 1996 in only his second NHL season. Before the end of his career, he had repeated these TGC feats, becoming the only player to achieve “double TGC” credentials in this way.
Forsberg was on the 2006 Tre Kronor team that won Olympic gold in Turin, giving him his second complete set of Triple Gold Club honours. He assisted on Nicklas Lidström’s gold-medal winning goal early in the third period against Finland.
In all, Forsberg played for Sweden at four Olympics, five World Championships, two World Cup of Hockey tournaments, and two U20 events. In 63 top-level games, he recorded 57 points, and he was named Best Forward by the IIHF Directorate at the 1998 Worlds. At the 1993 U20 he set a record that will surely never be beat, recording 24 assists and 31 points.
Forsberg’s first important career moment came in 1992. He was part of the team that defeated all comers to win gold at the IIHF World Championship in Prague even before he played in the NHL.
Forsberg played with MODO Örnsköldsvik in the Swedish Elite League for three years before beginning a pro career in North America. The final European season for “Foppa” culminated with the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer where he scored one of the most famous – and bravest – goals in Olympic and shootout history. He one-handed the puck to the far side past a sliding Corey Hirsch of Canada to score the winning goal in the gold medal game.
In his first NHL season, with Quebec in 1994-95, Forsberg won the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie, and the next year, the team now in Denver, he helped the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. Forsberg was just 22 years old and had already completed his Triple Gold Club honours. Two years later, he began his quest for a second TGC run by leading Sweden to a gold medal at the 1998 World Championship in Switzerland.
Forsberg’s style of play was unique. By no means tall, he had a low centre of gravity and powerful legs, able to fend off checkers while maintaining puck possession. He was a master weaver and dodger, feigning and turning quickly to avoid contact, all the while looking for an open man or an opportunity to shoot. He was a threat to create a scoring chance every time he had control of the puck inside the enemy blue line.
Forsberg was a dominating presence with the Avs for many years, helping the team to a second Stanley Cup in 2001. In 2002-03, he won both the Art Ross and Hart Trophies as scoring champion and league MVP after a sensational season, but injuries were taking a toll on his body. He had missed the entire regular season of 2001-02, and in later years his feet were the cause of enormous pain and problems.
He retired in 2011 after playing two games with Colorado in 2010-11, trying to come back from foot injuries he just couldn’t skate around, but by that time his legend in both Sweden and the NHL had long been established.
Danielle Goyette (CAN)
Born: St-Nazaire, Quebec, Canada, January 30, 1966
In many respects Danielle Goyette was the Gordie Howe of women’s hockey. A superstar talent on offence, she was a gifted scorer who continued to produce with Howe’s consistency. Indeed, she had more points in her final Women’s World Championship in 2007 at age 41 (11) than she did in her first some 15 years earlier as a 26-year-old (10).
And, like Howe, it all began far from the bright lights of a big city and great crowds. St-Nazaire, located a distant three-hour drive from Quebec City, was a town of only 800 when Goyette was growing up, but like any kid she started skating around age four.
In all, Goyette played in three Olympics and nine IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning gold every time with two exceptions, the ’98 Olympics and 2005 Worlds. In 61 games at the highest level she averaged a point and a half a game and was adept as both a scorer and passer. She led all players in Nagano in 1998 with eight goals and was the scoring leader at the 1992 Women’s Worlds with 10 points. She had as many points in Salt Lake in 2002 to tie for the overall lead.
By the time Goyette had played her final games for Canada in 2007 at age 41, she was second all-time with 15 goals at the Olympics and fourth all-time with 68 points at the Women’s Worlds and third all-time with 37 goals.
One of eight children, Danielle was an excellent tennis player and fastball player, but she focused her ambitions on hockey, pretending to play for her beloved Montreal Canadiens while skating outdoors in the cold winters. Goyette spoke virtually no English when she made the national team in 1991, but within five years she had relocated to Calgary to learn the language and concentrate full-time on hockey, hoping to play for Canada at the inaugural event in Nagano in 1998.
Goyette was the flag-bearer for Canada at the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Games in Turin and went on to become head coach at the University of Calgary. She recruited former teammate Hayley Wickenheiser and led the Dinos to a national championship in 2012, a first for that university.
Paul Henderson (CAN)
Born: Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, January 28, 1943
For 28 days in September 1972, Paul Henderson was the finest hockey player in the world, the hero of a series that changed hockey forever. He scored three game-winning goals at the end of the Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series, the last two the greatest goals in the history of the game.
Henderson embodied a bit of both nations’ remarkably different styles of play. He was a combination of tough Canadian with unlimited heart and a Soviet skater with puck-handling skills. In 1972, he used this combination to produce a performance the hockey world has never seen before or since.
His series-clinching goal with 34 seconds remaining of game eight remains the most celebrated moment in Canada’s sports history, a defining and unifying moment in Canadian culture. No other player’s achievements in international hockey history have had such an impact on one nation as Henderson’s.
As well, he was one of only three ’72 Summit players to appear in the 1974 Summit Series featuring WHA players, and in a 19-year pro career in the NHL and WHA he played almost 1,100 games, going to the Stanley Cup finals with Detroit in 1964 and 1966. In junior, Henderson won the Memorial Cup in 1962 and led all scorers in the OHA the next season.
In a Summit Series that got tougher and more important with each passing day, Henderson proved resilient and determined in a way even he might never have expected of himself before the Summit Series began. His courage in coming back from a concussion in game five to become the hero in the final three games cannot be over-stated, and each winning goal came using a different skill – big slap shot, incredible stick-handling, timely positioning (and even a little divine inspiration thrown in for good measure).
The Summit Series was supposed to be a cakewalk for Canada, but a crushing 7-3 loss to the Soviet Union in game one resulted in turmoil across the nation. By the time the series shifted to Moscow, Canada was in a fight for its life. After a loss in game five, Canada trailed the eight-game Series 1-1-3. In that game Henderson crashed heavily into the end boards, lost consciousness, and suffered a concussion. Luckily, he was wearing a helmet, and both he and team doctors acknowledged the injury might have been fatal without the headgear.
Henderson returned to action and he scored Canada’s third goal midway through the second period of a narrow 3-2 result.
Game seven was a fight to the end. With time winding down and the score tied 3-3, it looked like the Soviets would hang on and claim the series. But with two minutes remaining, Henderson got the puck at centre ice. Alone, with two Soviets behind him and two in front, no one could have seen what was to come.
Henderson accelerated, chipped the puck through the two defencemen, skated around the outside in a blaze of speed. As he got to the puck, falling, he chipped it over a stunned Vladislav Tretiak, giving Canada a 4-3 win. A more spectacular goal in hockey you will never see.
In game eight, a similar script played out. This time the score was 5-5, and the game was in the final minute. Again the Soviet team was mere moments from winning the Summit Series. But Henderson screamed for Peter Mahovlich to get off the ice – something a hockey player never does. Mahovlich complied, though, and Henderson tore to Tretiak’s goal while Phil Esposito stole the puck and swatted it in front. One shot, save. Second shot – goal! “Henderson has scored for Canada!” shouted play-by-play legend Foster Hewitt. Canada had produced a heroic comeback – and Henderson has been a hero in Canada from that day to this – and forevermore.
Teppo Numminen (FIN)
Born: Tampere, Finland, July 3, 1968
A member of the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, few players have had the dual careers enjoyed by Teppo Numminen both in the NHL and for his country internationally.
He played in four Olympics (winning three medals), four IIHF World Championships, and another four Canada Cup/World Cup events. Indeed, if it was a top-level international event for Suomi during his two decades of play, Numminen was there. As well, his career included some 20 seasons in North America, and by the time he retired, in 2009, he had played 1,372 regular-season games in the NHL, more than any other European player.
With the previous induction of his father, Kalevi, as a Builder in 2011, the Numminens become the first father-son pair of inductees in IIHF Hall of Fame history.
Numminen was drafted 29th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1986, but he continued to play in Finland for two more years. He was part of the U20 team in ’88 that won a bronze for Finland. He was named the tournament’s Best Defenceman by the IIHF Directorate, and just a few weeks later he played for Finland at the Olympics in Calgary.
That team won an historic silver medal, the first time the nation had reached the podium in Olympic ice hockey. Teammates included a virtual who’s who of the greatest Finnish players of the era – Raimo Helminen, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Kari Eloranta, and Jarmo Myllys to name but a few.
Numminen moved to Winnipeg to begin his professional career in North America at the start of the following season, 1988-89. Tall and strong, he used strong positional play more than brute force to play successful defence. He was reliable and consistent, rarely missed games due to injury, and was a pillar on the blue line for the next 15 seasons, first with the Jets and then the Phoenix Coyotes when the team moved to Arizona.
Meanwhile, Numminen was equally a pillar on his national team’s blue line. In both 1987 and 1991 he played at the World Championships and then the Canada Cup, and in 1996 he played in the World Championship and then the inaugural World Cup of Hockey.
Numminen was a lynchpin on the blue line even as he entered his thirties. He played at the first three Olympics with NHL player participation, in 1998, 2002, and 2006, winning a bronze in Nagano after Finland upset Canada in that medal game. In 2006, the 37-year-old played in the most important game of his life, the gold medal game of the Olympics against rivals Sweden. The Finns fell one goal short and settled for an impressive but heart-breaking silver.
This was the second close call for Numminen. He had also played against Canada in the championship game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, but that turned out to be another one-goal loss. In both instances, though, the Finns had defeated all comers to get to those critical final games. Teppo Numminen is arguably one of the greatest international defencemen of the modern era.
Mats Sundin (SWE)
Born: Bromma (Stockholm), Sweden, February 13, 1971
There is likely no player in the modern era who could step forward and say he had a greater international hockey career than Mats Sundin. Sundin was not just a part of several great teams – he led, dominated, controlled and produced victories for those Tre Kronor teams for whom he represented on so many occasions.
Apart from his four major international titles, three World Championships and one Olympic gold, he was named to five international All-Star Teams, was named MVP of the 2003 World Championship, and led three major events in scoring.
Sundin was the first European to be selected first overall at the NHL Entry Draft, an honour bestowed upon him in 1989 by the Quebec Nordiques. Over the next season he played at the U20 and then senior World Championships, joining the Nordiques in the fall of 1990.
Sundin didn’t wait long to make an impact for his country. At the 1991 IIHF World Championship, only 20 years old, he scored arguably the most sensational goal in IIHF history, going end-to-end in the third period against the Soviet Union to score the winning goal for gold. He played at the 1991 Canada Cup and at age 21 helped Tre Kronor repeat as World Champions a year later, leading the team in scoring with eight points in as many games.
Sundin had size and savvy. He had remarkable speed for a big man, and could stickhandle with intimidating effect. His backhand was second to none, and as he got older what emerged were leadership qualities to be admired by teammates and opponents alike. Sundin was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994, the same city in which Borje Salming established his greatness, and it wasn’t long before Sundin was given the “C”, the first time a European had been named leader of the Leafs.
By the time he retired, his 11-year tenure as captain marked the longest such service by a European in NHL history. He was also the first Swede to reach 500 goals and in November 2012 became only the second Swede after Salming to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But while Sundin was a remarkable NHL player, he was an even greater international one. He was a force supreme at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where he was named to the All-Star Team, and he won a third World Championship gold in 1998. He also played in the first three Olympics featuring NHL players, in 1998, 2002, and 2006. In Salt Lake 2002, he was a dominant force in a tournament. Despite that Sundin’s run was cut short by the team’s stunning upset at the hands of Belarus in the quarter-finals, he was still named to the Olympic All-Star Team and led the tournament in scoring.
The last of his Olympic appearances, in 2006 in Turin, cemented Sundin’s place in hockey history. Captaining the team, he led Sweden to a gold medal, assisting on the winning goal from Nicklas Lidström early in the third period. He declared after the game that he had played his final game for Sweden. He was right, but his legacy has no ending. The name Mats Sundin will live forever in the highest levels of international hockey history.
Jan-Åke Edvinsson (SWE)
Born: Trolle Ljungby, Sweden, September 13, 1941
Edvinsson is the architect of the modern IIHF. He was the Federation's highest executive for 21 years, leading the day-to-day operations as the General Secretary between 1986 and 2006, a period longer than anyone in the organization’s history.
It was during these two decades that the IIHF and its championship programs developed in an unprecedented manner. Edvinsson turned a small and parochial operation into a modern international sports federation which cast an influence on the game in every corner of the globe. When he assumed the position in 1986, the IIHF had 34 member nations and oversaw a tournament program that consisted of just eight events. The annual IIHF budget was 3.5 million Swiss Francs, and the office had but two employees.
Upon his retirement in 2006, the IIHF had 64 member nations spread over every continent, and the annual program of events encompassed 29 international tournaments and several club competitions. The office staff had grown to 25 while the budget in his last year was 50 million Swiss Francs.
Without doubt, Edvinsson’s greatest assets were his fiscal responsibility and his ability to communicate with representatives from the IIHF's members associations in a harmonious and attentive manner. When René Fasel was elected IIHF President in 1994, Edvinsson, already in his ninth year as international hockey’s main executive, became a mentor to the President.
Edvinsson’s career in hockey started in 1972 when he assumed duties as the financial manager of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association. In 1976, he became the SIHA’s General Secretary. He was recruited by the IIHF in 1985 and started work a year later when the IIHF still had its offices in Vienna, Austria. Edvinsson oversaw the federation’s move to Zurich in 1991 where the office expanded to such a degree that it was re-located twice, finally settling at the present location – an historic villa in the heart of the city – in 2002 and boasting one of the finest headquarters of all international team sports federations.
Jan-Åke Edvinsson still resides in the Zurich area with his wife, Gittan, and still contributes to the IIHF as the federation's Technical Delegate for the Olympic Winter Games.
(for outstanding contributions to international hockey)
Gord Miller (CAN)
Born: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 21, 1964
Gord Miller’s dedication to the annual U20 at a time when most people happily vacation in the sun has helped TSN make the “World Junior Championships” one of the most successful hockey broadcasts in North America. His support and his dedication to the tournament, which stretches to 18 years and counting, the respect he commands from the broadcast booth, and his knowledge of the event and its history are unparalleled.
For millions of Canadians, for whom the IIHF World Juniors have become an essential Christmas and New Year’s tradition, Miller’s voice and characteristic play-by-play style have come to personify the event.
He started working at TSN in 1990 as a reporter, and three years later he started a career in the broadcast booth at the IIHF World Championships. In short order he was doing the NHL, Memorial Cup, and Women’s World Championship, and in 2001 he worked as the English play-by-play man for the Montreal Canadiens telecasts.
In 2002, Miller became the top play-by-play man for TSN and drew work appropriate to his reputation, culminating with the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. But while he is well-known in North America for his NHL assignments, his true passion and greatest contributions have been with TSN’s remarkable coverage of the IIHF U20 World Championship.
Miller first hosted the U20 in 1993 from the TSN studios, and two years later he started an 18-year run of annual Christmastime trips to the event. He worked first as a colour man and in 2002 started doing play-by-play for which he is now famous.
In 2008, Miller was nominated for a Gemini Award (Canadian TV) for Best Play-by-Play Announcer for his work at the 2008 World U20 gold-medal game between Canada and Sweden in the Czech Republic.
1954 Soviet Union World Championship team
Modern international hockey began in 1954. This declaration can be supported by one score, a score that sent shockwaves through the hockey world. Playing in its first ever international tournament, the Soviet Union humbled long-time World Champions Canada by a 7-2 score on March 7, 1954, the final day of the World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
For the first time, it was clear Canada had a rival and adversary that could beat it any time the two teams played. Canada won the next year, lost in 1956, and continued to have the upper hand until 1961, but thereafter it was the Soviets who dominated.
Although the Soviets had played hockey for several years within their borders, the 1954 Worlds was the first international appearance by Soviet Union. No one knew the players before the opening game, an easy 7-1 win over Finland, but they became known quickly. Nikolai Puchkov was the world-class goalie and Vsevelod Bobrov was given the Directorate Award as the Best Forward in the tournament.
The Soviets won their next two games with expected ease, defeating Norway, 7-0, and then West Germany, 6-2, but the tournament took on new excitement when CCCP defeated Czechoslovakia, 5-2. The Czechoslovaks were regarded as the only nation close to Canada, and this put the East York Lyndhursts, Canada’s representatives that year, on notice.
The Soviets then beat Switzerland, 4-2, and settled in for a game against the host Swedes on March 5. But for a bit of luck and chance, history might have been radically different. The two teams played scoreless hockey for 40 minutes, and it was Tre Kronor that struck first when Gosta Johansson scored two minutes into the final period. The Swedes held the fort for most of the period, but with less than five minutes to play Viktor Shuvalov tied the game, setting up a gold-medal showdown against unbeaten Canada.
In truth, the game wasn’t even close. The Soviets blitzed Canada with four unanswered goals in the opening period, and although Canada made it 4-1 early in the second, it was a 7-1 game after two periods. At the final horn, the Soviets celebrated a victory that not only earned them gold but transformed the landscape of international hockey forever.
1954 Soviet Union World Championship team (Arkadi Chernyshev, coach) GK—Grigori Mkrtychan, Nikolai Puchkov—Yevgeni Babich, Vsevolod Bobrov, Mikhail Bychkov, Alexei Guryshev, Nikolai Khlystov, Alexander Komarov, Yuri Krylov, Alfred Kuchevski, Valentin Kuzin, Viktor Shuvalov, Genrikh Sidorenkov, Dmitri Ukolov, Alexander Uvarov, Alexander Vinogradov, Pavel Zhiburtovich