Earlier today, the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame class was announced, with Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure earning the honor.
Names that failed to make the cut include first-time eligible players (Brendan Shanahan, Claude Lemieux, Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph) and those denied multiple times (Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley, Eric Lindros, Alex Mogilny.)
Needless to say, it was a tough decision — here’s what the hockey world is saying about the four inductees.
“Joe’s numbers and records place him among the best of all time and we can’t fully express what he meant to this franchise and our community. He was a complete professional and we are all grateful to have watched him for so many years. Congratulations to you, Joe, on a Hall of Fame career, you truly deserve it.” — Colorado Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix
“He has the most elite hockey mind I’ve ever come across. Talking to him about the game or watching him play was a real special thing. When you’re able to play with guys like Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Mike Modano, Martin St. Louis and Oatsey, those are some great players…. And even though it was toward the end of his career when I played with him, I always thought Oatsey’s mind for the game and knowledge of the game was unlike anyone else’s.” — Jeff Halpern, former Capitals teammate
“If you look back at his career, he was a very consistent scorer, an electrifying player, he made highlights every time he stepped on the ice. He’s one of those players whose style represented what Russian hockey was all about. He played a game that was fun to play. He was unbelievable in the way he played. He brought fans out of their seats.” — Igor Larionov, Hockey Hall of Famer.
“He became a tremendous hockey player. Every time you played Toronto, you circled one guy. Mats was just a force.” — Fellow 2012 HHOF inductee Joe Sakic