The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2020 had to wait a year to be inducted thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Monday night the six-person class will finally receive the honor.
Ken Holland, Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Kevin Lowe, Kim St-Pierre, and Doug Wilson will have their moment on stage in Toronto after the Hall of Fame postponed the 2020 ceremony and decided not to vote on another class in 2021.
“Whether you wait three or four years or more, it really doesn’t matter. If you’re a Hall of Famer, you’re going to go in at one point,” Hall Chairman Lanny MacDonald told NHL.com’s Dave Stubbs last November. “Cancellation this year means that when the time is right, we’ll be able to honor the people from the Class of 2020 the way they should be: with family, friends, fans and fellow Hall of Famers around them, to celebrate the entire weekend.”
Despite the wait, the six hockey legends did at least get the opportunity to see their individual Hall of Fame plaques well ahead of induction night.
Let’s take a look at the careers of the 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame class.
Iginla gets first-ballot honor
Jarome Iginla spent 1,219 of his 1,554 NHL games as a member of the Flames. After breaking into the league in 1996, “Iggy” went on to score 625 goals, record 1,300 points, win two Rocket Richard Trophies, the King Clancy, the Art Ross, and the Lester Pearson (now Ted Lindsay) Award. The winger was also a three-time First Team All-Star.
Iginla managed two 50-goal seasons, and passed the 40-goal mark on four occasions. The power forward also distinguished himself before reaching the NHL, winning two Memorial Cups with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. On the international scene, he represented Canada at various levels, winning two World Junior Championships, one World Championship, one World Cup of Hockey, and two Olympic gold medals. Iginla set up Sidney Crosby‘s “golden goal” in overtime during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Golden Goal. 🥇
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) May 3, 2020
Hossa recognized as a two-way star
Marian Hossa, who was also voted in first ballot, won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, and was a playoff fixture, becoming the first NHL player to reach three consecutive Cup Finals with three different teams. So you might also consider his playoff production (149 points in 205 games) while noting his regular season accolades (525 goals and 1,134 points in 1,309 contests).
Hossa represented Slovakia at the World Championships eight times, Olympic Games four times, and played in two World Cup of Hockey tournaments — once for his home country and the other for Team Europe. In addition to those Stanley Cup victories, Hossa also won a Memorial Cup.
One knock against Hossa was a lack of individual awards, but success followed the two-way star.
St-Pierre adds another deserving woman to HHOF
There are a lot of gold medals in Kim St. Pierre’s trophy case.
Inside you’ll find three from the Olympics, five from the World Championships, and three from the Four Nations Cup. The netminder played 83 times for Canada, helping them win 64 times with 29 shutouts. She earned best goalie honors at the 2002 Olympics, as well World Championships in 2001 and 2004. She also won the Clarkson Cup twice with Montreal Stars of the CWHL and was named the league’s top goaltender two seasons in a row.
Wilson and Lowe get Hall calls after long waits
Wilson scored 237 goals, 827 points as a defenseman, winning the 1982 Norris Trophy during his impressive and underrated career.
The current Sharks GM was an eight-time All-Star, and won the Canada Cup with Team Canada. His name has sprung up in Hall of Fame discussions over the last few years, even after having been on the ballot for over two decades. He played during an era dominated by Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque, but examine his career and it was a pretty solid one. He finished his career in the top 20 in points by a defenseman and top 10 in points per game.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson laid out defensive defenseman Kevin Lowe’s Hall of Fame case: he was the “conscience” of the Gretzky-era Oilers. Overall, Lowe won five Stanley Cups with Edmonton, and then one more with the Rangers.
Lowe’s offensive stats (84 goals, 342 points, 1,254 games) won’t impress, but people stumped for his responsible game.
“You look at Kevin’s Stanley Cups, the leadership on our team, the respect of all the players … that certainly would give me all sorts of statistical and psychological information to be in the Hall,” Glen Sather said. “You don’t have to pile up points to be a great player.”
This will be the second honor for Lowe this month. On Nov. 6 the Oilers raised his No. 4 to the Rogers Place rafters joining Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Wayne Gretzky, Al Hamilton, Jari Kurri, and Mark Messier.
Holland rounds out 2020 Hall class as a builder
The timing felt a bit surprising for Holland to be inducted as a builder. But, in the grand scheme of things, it was probably a matter of time.
The Red Wings won four Stanley Cups with Holland in prominent positions (one as assistant GM, three as GM). They also won 10 Central Division titles with Holland at the helm, not to mention four Presidents’ Trophies.
Holland can still add to his resume if he can bring Connor McDavid and the Oilers to additional glories, too.
With files from James O’Brien