The Hockey Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday that Joe Nieuwendyk, Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, and Mark Howe will be inducted into hockey immortality. Pat Burns, who died in November of last year, was left out again despite remarkable credentials.
First, the future inductees. Ed Belfour won the Stanley Cup in 1999 and ranks third all time in the NHL in wins by a goalie. Belfour’s 484 victories and 79 shutouts certainly make him worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. He won a gold medal for Canada in 2002, and a national championship in college. A winner at all levels, “Eddie the Eagle” got the nod.
His Stanley Cup teammate, and former New Jersey Devil, Joe Niewendyk also made the Hall. He was the Conn Smythe winner in 1999 with Belfour on the Dallas Stars and won three cups in total. Nieuwendyk won with Calgary in 1989 and the New Jersey Devils in 2003.
Gilmour, another former Devil, had 127 points for Toronto in 1993 and won the league’s MVP award. Gilmour played 20 NHL seasons including a stint with the Devils. He had 450 goals and 964 assists. Mark Howe had 764 points in his career, which is less than Gilmour’s assist total, due largely to his five years playing professional hockey outside the NHL. Howe played there with his brother and father, Gordie Howe. He had four all-star appearances when he finally joined the NHL.
Left off the list is Pat Burns who died after missing out on the Hall of Fame last year. Burns is the only coach in the NHL to win the Jack Adams award for best coach in the league in his first year with three different teams. He led the New Jersey Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup championship and won coach of the year with the Bruins and Canadiens as well. Burns made the playoffs in every season he finished except for one, 2000 with the Boston Bruins. He coached over 1000 games, winning more than 500 of them in a career that was cut short by cancer.
What do you guys think of Pat Burns not getting into the Hall of Fame?