HHOF call goes international
by Andrew Podnieks|28 JUN 2022
The Hockey Hall of Fame elected six new members for induction on Monday afternoon in Toronto.
The list includes five Players and one Builder, notably Daniel Alfredsson, Roberto Luongo, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and Riikka Sallinen. Sallinen becomes the first European woman to be so honoured by the HHOF.
Rounding out the newest members, in the Builder category, is Herb Carnegie.
For Alfredsson, the wait has been a long one. He retired in 2014 after a 19-year career with Tre Kronor and 1,246 regular-season games over 18 seasons in the NHL, all but the last with the Ottawa Senators. Drafted a lowly 133rd overall in 1993, “Alfie” joined the Sens two years later and had an immediate impact. He had 26 goals and 61 points as a rookie and won the Calder Trophy, quickly establishing himself as one of the league’s top young players. Although the team missed the playoffs in 1995-96, they went on to qualify in 15 of the next 17 seasons.
"It's such a privilege to be able to play this sport for a living," he said. "Something I would have played for fun for my whole life without a question."
Alfredsson became team captain in 1999, a position he held until his retirement. He was a consistent 20-goal scorer and had his best season in 2005-06 when he had 43 goals and 103 points playing on a line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. The Sens had their best playoffs a year later, going to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to Anaheim.
In addition to accruing 1,157 points during his NHL career, Alfredsson played for Tre Kronor many times, his greatest moment coming in 2006 when Sweden won the gold medal at the Turin Olympics. In all, he played in five Olympics as well as seven World Championships (two silver medals, two bronze). He is also one of only a few players to appear at both the 2004 and 2016 World Cup tournaments.
Alfredsson’s number 11 was retired by the Senators six years ago, and he was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2018. He said he was “truly humbled and honoured,” by today’s induction announcement. “Thank you so much, guys. I can’t tell you how much this means, not just to me, but to the city of Ottawa as well.”
Although Riikka Sallinen was the oldest hockey player to win a medal when she helped Finland take a bronze in 2018 at age 45, her legacy had been forged long before that. She played at the first ever IIHF Women’s World Championship in 1990 (under her maiden name of Riikka Nieminen), and for the next 12 years was arguably the best European player in the game. She helped Finland win five bronze medals at the Women’s Worlds, as well as bronze at the first Olympics with women’s hockey, in 1998. She retired at the end of the 2001-02 season and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2010 as the first European woman so honoured.
But Sallinen missed the game too much, and after an incredible 12-year hiatus returned in time for the Sochi Olympics, playing another five years before retiring a second and final time in 2019. A gifted scorer and natural leader, she is to the European game what Angela James is to Canada or Cammi Granato to the United States.
And although getting a phone call on induction day is a treasured moment for the players, Sallinen couldn’t have been expecting the call because HHOF Chair Lanny McDonald had yet to be able to contact her by end of day!
“Many amazing players, but especially congratulations to Riikka Sallinen,” wrote former teammate and current Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Emma Terho on Facebook.
Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin have accomplished everything together. Daniel has always been the scorer and Henrik the passer, and yet their stats are remarkably similar over long careers in the NHL. Henrik played 1,330 games over 17 seasons (2000-18), all with Vancouver, and he tallied 1,070 points. Daniel, over those same years with the Canucks, played 1,306 games and had 1,041 points.
“I'm probably the second-best Daniel out of this group," Daniel Sedin joked, “but I couldn’t be more honoured.”
“It's nothing you think about when you play the game,” Henrik added. “But for us, we put our head down and put our work in every day. We get the most out of our talent. That's what we're most proud of today."
Incredibly, Henrik won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies in 2010, and Daniel did same a year later, the first time brothers had ever won these two awards back-to-back.
The twins arrived in Vancouver thanks to the shrewd trading of GM Brian Burke at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He acquired the 2nd and 3rd overall selections, taking Daniel with the former and Henrik with the latter. After one more year with their Swedish club team, MoDo, they took North America by storm with their cycling and uncanny puck movement. They led the Canucks to the Cup finals in 2011, losing to Boston in game seven of a series in which the home team won the first six games.
Internationally, their resumes are identical with one exception. Henrik missed the 2014 Olympics with an injury. But they played together at three World Junior Championships (1998-2000) and five World Championships, culminating with a gold medal in their final appearance, in 2013.  Both players were teammates of Alfredsson at the historic 2006 Olympics win, and they also played together at the most recent World Cup, in 2016.
The Canucks remain a presence in this year’s group in the form of goaltender Roberto Luongo, who is being inducted in his first year of eligibility. He is second all-time in regular-season games played, his 1,044 career appearances behind only Martin Brodeur (1,266). He is also part of a select group of puckstoppers to win two Olympic gold medals (with Canada, in 2010 as the starter, 2014 as the backup). Luongo was the IIHF Directorate Best Goalie at the 1999 World Juniors, and the next year he made his NHL debut with the New York Islanders, the team that had drafted him 4th overall two years earlier. A year later he was traded to Florida, and in 2006 he was sent to Vancouver, where he spent the next eight seasons.
“For me, he was the difference for us to get to the next level,” Henrik Sedin commented. “If you want to talk about a winner, [Luongo is] the guy with the way he competed in practices and games. He never took a day off, and that’s something a lot of players learn from. He would play almost every game and be there the next morning for practice.”
Luongo was the number-one goalie in 2010-11 when the team advanced to the Cup finals, and by the time he retired in 2019 his 489 wins was fourth-most in NHL history. He also played in four World Championships, winning gold in 2003 and 2004, and silver in 2005. He is one of the closest goalies ever to make the Triple Gold Club, that game seven loss in 2011 to Boston the only missing piece.
During the 1950s Herb Carnegie was often called the best player in the world outside the NHL, and history shows the most likely reason he never played in the league was because he was Black.

Nevertheless, he left an indelible mark on the game, first as a star player for Northern Vocational (Secondary) School in Toronto, Ontario (pictured, top row second from left) and in the Quebec Senior Hockey League and later as a promoter of the game. In 1954, he established a hockey school called the Future Aces, which taught life skills as much as hockey skills. He died in Toronto in 2013 at the age of 92.
"This is so important to so many people out there who believed in my father," said Carnegie's daughter, Bernice. "Whether he was golfing or whether he was in business or whether he was working with thousands upon thousands of young people, it always came back to hockey and how his how he learned so much from the game. I am so proud."
The induction ceremonies will take place in Toronto on November 14, 2022.