American hockey is in such a great place right now that it’s no longer a shocker to see a guy like Patrick Kane or Zach Parise light up the NHL. Still, some believe that the likes of Mike Modano represented a golden era for their nation, so today was a special day for that group as Modano, Ed Olczyk and Lou Lamoriello were inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Olczyk discusses that great honor in the video below.
Modano routinely represented the U.S. internationally, winning a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and gold at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Speaking of that World Cup win, the GM of the American squad — New Jersey Devils CEO and president Lou Lamoriello — was also inducted into the U.S. HHOF. Lamoriello was recognized for his outstanding contributions to USA Hockey, most notably what he did in ’96.
Ogrean called Lamoriello “The architect of one of the most significant moments in USA Hockey history — 1996 World Cup of Hockey Championship.”
The third and final 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee was NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk.
The No. 3 overall pick in 1984 played for six different teams during his 15-year career, appearing in over 1,000 NHL contests and scoring nearly 800 points.
“To sit in that chair every night and talk about the game and pump up American players and the greatest game in the world is a thrill,” Olczyk said. “It’s a very proud day for me and my family. I’m humbled, honored and thankful to represent our game in the great United States.”
Report: Modano expected to headline 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class
If accurate, the decision won’t be much of a surprise. The 42-year-old is the all-time goals and points leader among American-born NHL players.
Modano also routinely represented the U.S. internationally, winning a gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Modano retired after an injury-riddled 2010-11 season in Detroit. He’d signed with the Wings at age 40 after spending 20 years with the Minnesota/Dallas organization and still remains the Stars’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played.
Built in 1973, the U.S. HHOF honors outstanding coaches, players, builders and administrators that contributed to the success and promotion of American Hockey.
Last year’s inductees included NHL on NBC analyst Mike “Doc” Emrick along with ex-NHLers Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick and Gary Suter. Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider was also inducted.
As for the 2012 class, other possible inductees (based on who finished their playing careers in 2011) include Doug Weight, Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski.
PHT Morning Skate: Where Don Cherry sticks up for Sidney Crosby
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Don Cherry spent last night sticking up for what Sidney Crosby did in Game 3 against Philly as well as all the violence that’s gone on in the playoffs. If you’re surprised by this, where have you been the last 30 years? (Sportsnet)
Brian Boyle has carved out a nice niche as the guy to be hated in Ottawa. Scoring the lone goal in last night’s Game 3 helped a lot. (Ottawa Sun)
Chris Kreider couldn’t be more relieved after making his NHL debut against Ottawa in Game 3. (NHL.com)
Karl Alzner thinks Milan Lucic is a crybaby and Lucic says “that’s a lot coming from a guy with three roughing penalties in two years.” What? (CSNWashington.com)
Meanwhile the Bruins are steaming mad about how the Capitals are handling their sticks. A Jason Chimera spear to the groin and a Nicklas Backstrom cross check to the head will do that. (CSNNE.com)
Meanwhile, Chuck Gormley at CSNWashington.com doesn’t think Backstrom will be suspended for his stick work. (CSNWashington.com)
Jason Arnott is showing what being a veteran leader is all about with the Blues. (Post-Dispatch)
Darren Helm reached out to Mike Modano after suffering his skate laceration in Game 1 vs. Nashville. (Detroit Free Press)
Ryan Suter couldn’t be happier with how he’s playing right now. (Tennessean)
If you can explain why Brent Sutter’s stock as an available coach is on the rise after miserable years in Calgary, I’d like you to go ahead and give a sound explanation for it. (Calgary Sun)
Darren Helm hospitalized, needs surgery after being cut by skate
People have compared the incident to what happened to Mike Modano in his only season with the Red Wings in 2010-11. Skate-related injuries are almost always scary, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this keeps the speedy winger out for some time. We’ll keep an eye out for updates on his condition.
Helm was actually a surprise to play tonight as he missed the last 10 games of the season with a knee injury, but now he has another issue to deal with.