Henrik Lundqvist headlines the Hockey Hall of Fame's goalie-heavy class of 2023
Henrik Lundqvist is the headliner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s goaltender-heavy class of 2023, which also includes Stanley Cup champions Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon.
Selection committee chairman Mike Gartner announced the seven-person class Wednesday. Former NHL forward Pierre Turgeon and Canadian women’s hockey star Caroline Ouellette were the other players, while Cup-winning coach Ken Hitchcock and late executive Pierre Lacroix were picked to be inducted in the builder category.
Lundqvist, elected in his first year of eligibility, backstopped Sweden to an Olympic gold medal in 2006 and led the New York Rangers to the playoffs in 11 of 12 years. That included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and two Eastern Conference Final appearances.
A seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft, Lundqvist ranks fifth on the NHL career victories list with 459. He won 61 more in the playoffs before halting his hockey career in 2020 because of a heart condition.
“Grateful and extremely honored to be selected to the Hockey Hall Of Fame,” Lundqvist tweeted. “Thinking of all the great players in the HHOF that inspired me as a kid. Feels amazing to be included in this special group.”
Barrasso won the Cup with Pittsburgh back to back in 1991 and ‘92. Vernon won it with Calgary in 1989 and with Detroit in 1997. Each got in after lengthy waits: Barrasso since 2006 and Vernon since ’05.
The wait continues for point-a-game Russian winger Alexander Mogilny and goaltender Curtis Joseph, who is just five victories behind Lundqvist on the NHL career list.
Ouellette got in on her second chance after helping Canada win a gold medal in all four of her Olympic appearances. She had 30 points in 20 games during those tournaments and also was part of six teams that won the IIHF women's world championship.
Turgeon was selected after being eligible for more than a decade. The 1993 winner of the Lady Byng Trophy as the most gentlemanly player in the league, Turgeon had 1,327 points in 1,294 regular-season NHL games, with nearly of those coming with Buffalo and St. Louis.
Hitchcock finally got in 24 years since coaching the Dallas Stars to their first championship in franchise history. He also ranks fourth in regular-season wins among coaches. Lacroix, the architect of the first two Colorado Avalanche Cup-winning teams in 1996 and 2021, was elected posthumously. He died in December 2020 at the age of 72.
The induction ceremony is Nov. 13 in Toronto.