Hockey Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Class
As the NHL moves toward their return next month, there has been some off-ice activity to keep the interest of fans in the interim. The draft lottery is slated to take place on Friday night (June 26), giving hope to the seven teams that failed to qualify for the postseason for picking up the #1 pick in the draft, likely to be Alexis Lafreniere, in an effort to jumpstart them for 2020-21 and beyond. Potential hub cities have been slashed from ten candidates to six with Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh and Dallas being eliminated earlier this week.
The other big news coming out this week was the naming of the 2020 class for the Hockey Hall of Fame. That news, which came Wednesday afternoon, saw six individuals selected to join the hallowed halls that host the best that the game has had to offer. The field boasts first-ballot selections Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa along with a pair of defensemen that had a longer wait in Doug Wilson and Kevin Lowe. Canadian goaltender Kim St. Pierre was selected from the women’s category while longtime Red Wings and current Oilers GM Ken Holland was selected from the builders’ category.
Iginla is the crown jewel of the class. His NHL career spanned 20 years with 16 of those seasons spent with the Calgary Flames. He was drafted 11th overall in the 1995 NHL Draft by the Stars and was dealt to Calgary in December 1995 with Corey Millen in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk. He’d remain with the Flames until he was dealt at the trade deadline in 2013 to Pittsburgh and went on to spend time with Boston, Colorado and Los Angeles after that. Iginla hung up the skates after the 2016-17 season, Along the way, he played in six All-Star Games while claiming the Art Ross, Maurice Richard and Ted Lindsay trophies in 2001-02. Iginla potted 625 goals and added 675 assists in 1,554 regular season games. In the postseason, he contributed 28 goals and 21 assists in 54 playoff games though he never managed to hoist a Stanley Cup in his career.
Hossa had plenty of longevity in his career, logging 19 seasons in the league with the Senators, Thrashers, Penguins, Red Wings and Blackhawks before retiring after the 2016-17 campaign. He won three Stanley Cup rings with the Blackhawks in his career and was a dangerous scorer that put up at least 30 goals in a season eight times. In two other seasons, he potted 29 goals. All told, in his career, he rung up 525 goals while adding 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 regular season games. In the playoffs, he put up 52 goals and 97 assists over 205 games with a career-best 12 goals and 14 assists in the 2007-08 postseason.
Lowe was the yin to Paul Coffey’s yang during the height of the Oilers’ dynasty in the 1980s. While Coffey was lighting up the scoresheet with his production, Lowe was playing a physical style and worked on shutting down the opposition’s top line. He spent 15 years of his 19-year career with the Oilers with a four-year stint with the Rangers in the early 1990s the lone deviation from Edmonton. Lowe won six Stanley Cups in his career, five with the Oilers and one with the Rangers when New York prevailed in 1994. In his career, he posted 84 goals and 347 assists with 1498 penalty minutes over 1,254 regular season games. During postseason play, Lowe posted 10 goals and 48 assists over 214 contests.
Wilson was the sixth overall pick in the 1977 NHL Draft and has been out of the league for nearly three decades as a player, having retired after the 1992-93 season. He spent 14 of his 16 years with the Blackhawks before being selected by the Sharks in the expansion draft. Wilson spent his final two seasons with San Jose before hanging up his skates. He won the Norris Trophy in 1981-82 after scoring 39 goals and handing out 46 assists for a career-high 85 points. Over his career, he finished with 237 goals and 590 assists over 1,024 regular season games. In the playoffs, he finished with 19 goals and 61 assists over 95 games.
St. Pierre is the first female goaltender to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and is the eighth female overall to earn the honor. She won three Olympic gold medals, five gold medals at the World Championships and four silver medals at the Worlds as well. In addition, she has the most appearances (89) and victories (64) for Team Canada’s goaltenders. She was the CWHL Goaltender of the Year three times in a four-year span from 2008 to 2011. Over the course of his career, she posted a 2.01 GAA and recorded nine shutouts.
Holland spent 34 years with the Red Wings’ organization before going to Edmonton after the 2018-19 season came to a close. Over the course of his tenure with the team, the franchise made the postseason 25 consecutive years and won the Stanley Cup three times with him as GM. They also won the Cup a fourth time, in 1997, when he was the assistant general manager. Among the big names that he was responsible for drafting included Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
Congratulations go out to each of the six individuals to earn the highest accolade that the league has to offer.