Hockey Hall of Fame finally opens doors to Lindros, Makarov, Vachon
The long wait is over for the four newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon were routinely overlooked before the call finally came on Monday afternoon. For Lindros, the winner of the 1995 Hart Trophy, it had been six controversial years. For Makarov, the legendary Russian forward, it has been 16 since he finished his career with a brief stop with the Dallas Stars.
And Vachon? The legendary Los Angeles Kings keeper had been snubbed 31 times before earning for his well-deserved enshrinement.
The late Pat Quinn also was inducted Monday as a builder.
The official ceremony will be held on Nov. 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Lindros' admission is certain to be polarizing. The big center was arguably the most dominant player in the game over the first seven years of his career, a never-before-seen package of skill and power. He scored 40-goals four times and averaged over a point per game during the regular season and playoffs.
A series of injuries conspired to shorten his career and for years, his legacy of 760 games along with his troubled entrance into the league simply weren't enough to sway voters. Time though has softened that resistance ... or maybe it gave the voters perspective on all that Lindros accomplished.
Makarov was one of the finest Russian players during the golden age of Soviet hockey. He won two gold medals at the World Junior championships and was named tournament MVP once. He won eight gold medals at the World Championships and two more at the Olympics.
He led the Soviet League in scoring nine times, and was named MVP three times. He spent six seasons in the NHL with Calgary, San Jose and Dallas, winning the 1990 Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and twice scoring 30 goals in a season.
Vachon recorded 355 career wins, good for fifth on the all-time list upon his retirement in 1982. He won three Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, captured the Vezina Trophy in 1968 and was the MVP of the 1976 Canada Cup. He twice was voted a Second Team All-Star (1975, 1977) while playing with the Kings.
Quinn led Canada to the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics, ending the country's 50-year drought. He also coached Canada to wins at the 2004 World Cup, the 2008 IIHF U-18s and the 2009 World Juniors. Although he never won the Stanley Cup, he ranks seventh all-time in NHL coaching wins with 684.