Congratulations to the four men to the left. They represent the 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees as players. Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, and Brian Leetch were icons during their years in the NHL, and all four men are certainly worthy of the accolade. Lou Lamoriello was inducted in the builder's category, and he certainly has done yeoman's work in building the New Jersey Devils into legitimate contenders each year as well as contributing to the success of hockey in the United States. All five men are the upper echelon of the hockey world, and all are worthy of their Hall of Fame appointments.
- Steve Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings at 21, and was a scoring sensation the moment he arrived from Peterborough in the OHL. He won three Stanley Cups as a player, the 1998 Conn Smythe Trophy, an Olympic gold medal in 2002, the Lester B. Pearson Trophy in 1989, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2003, and the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2000. Not to be forgotten in all this, Yzerman also scored 1755 points to rank sixth all-time in scoring.
- Brett Hull has to be considered as one of the most lethal scoring threats of all-time. Hull ranks third all-time in NHL history with 741 goals, and won two Stanley Cups - 1999 with Dallas, and 2002 with Detroit. He also has a Lady Byng Trophy to his name (1990), a Lester B. Pearson Trophy (1991), a Hart Trophy (1991), and is one of five men to score 50 goals in 50 games. Hull represented Team USA on a number of occasions as well.
- Luc Robitaille is the highest-scoring left winger in NHL history with 1394 points. Robitaille won the 1987 Calder Trophy, and picked up the only Stanley Cup in his career in 2002 with Yzerman and Hull. Selected 171st overall in the ninth-round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, his 125 points scored in 1993 is still the highest single-season total for a left winger in NHL history. Of course, Luc and his wife, Stacia, founded and run two excellent charities: Shelter For Serenity, and Echoes of Hope.
- Brian Leetch was long considered one of the NHL's best defencemen during his time. He won the Calder Trophy in 1989, a Norris Trophy in 1992 and 1997, the Lester Patrick Award in 2007, a Stanley Cup in 1994, and the Conn Smythe Trophy in the same year. He was the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe in NHL history. His 23 goals as a defenceman in his first year are still an NHL record.
- Lou Lamoriello has built the New Jersey Devils franchise into a rock-solid organization. Under his leadership, the Devils have amassed a record of 873-601-208, and won three Stanley Cups. Lamoriello was also a key player in Team USA's successes with the World Cup of Hockey win in 1996 being the pinnacle thus far.
- Some unhappy news out of Los Angeles where it appears that the wedding planned by Jarret Stoll and supermodel Rachel Hunter is off. Perhaps for good. According to the World Entertainment News Network, the 27 year-old Kings' forward has left their relationship with no reason just two months before they were scheduled on August 14 to tie the knot, and Miss Hunter has been left devastated. Some are calling it a case of "cold feet". No clue as to what may be happening here, but this is definitely some not-so-good news.
- Brent Sutter was hired as the head coach of the Calgary Flames yesterday, ending weeks of speculation as to whether or not he would take the job. The not-so-secret secret of him returning home was already confirmed when he stepped down as coach of the Devils, but now it's a family affair as big brother/GM Darryl will help little brother/head coach Brent as he mentors Darryl's son and Brent's nephew/Flames forward Brett. There's also a belief that bringing Brent Sutter into the fold will allow Dion Phaneuf to grow as a player as Sutter coached him through his junior career.
- After meeting with Gary Bettman yesterday, the circus known as the Tampa Bay Lightning will be run from the top by Oren Koules as CEO, and Len Barrie will continue to serve as GM of Hockey Operations. With Koules reportedly hemmorhaging money with the sad-sack Lightning, the "Vinny to Montreal" rumours will be non-stop until July 1 when Lecavalier's no-trade clause kicks in. And we thought this franchise was a mess last season. Can you imagine what it will be like after trading away your best player?
- Brent Burns of the Minnesota Wild - 0.760
- Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks - 2.954
- Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers - 1.345
- Mike Green of the Washington Capitals - 3.982
- Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks - 1.920
- Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames - 1.254
- Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators - 1.809
- Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks - 1.682
- Robyn Regher of the Calgary Flames - 0.633
- Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks - 3.292
- Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks - 2.102
- Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings - 0.324
I'll have another history of a major NHL trophy later this week, and I plan on finishing the book review I have on-tap as well. If I ever get some free time, I'll finish working on the profile of the Capitals' farm system and post that. That may happen after the NHL Entry Draft, but it will still happen. I'm off for now. Have a great Wednesday, everyone!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!