Without much fanfare, the hockey hall of fame inductions have come and gone and truly, this is a shame because some pretty awesome players were honored at this yearâ€™s ceremony. Â The 2012 inductees included powerful, game-changing players, all-around nice guys and elite athletes who reached milestones, broke records and endeared themselves to their loyal fans. This year, the Hockeyâ€™s Hall of Fame welcomed Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure into the fold, which is staunchly reserved for NHLâ€™s crĂ¨me de le crĂ¨me.
Drafted in 1989 as the first player overall by the Quebec Nordiques, Mats Sundin spent four years with that franchise before being traded to Toronto 1994. Sundin quickly settled in with the Maple Leafs, becoming the face of the franchise and serving 11 seasons as team captain (1997-2008). Although Sundin never won the Stanley Cup with the Leafs, he was pinnacle in getting Toronto to the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. Sundin played his last year in the NHL as a Canuck and he retired quietly in 2009. For two decades, Mats Sundin was an integral part of the NHL, amassing numerous on-ice accomplishments and endearing himself to hockey fans everywhere. Sundin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on June 26, 2012, in his first year of eligibility.
Joe Sakic, former Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche captain, enjoyed an illustrious career filled with national and international accomplishments. In his more than two decades of play, Sakic won two Stanley Cups (both with the Avalanche), was voted to 13 NHL All-Star Game, and achieved Olympic gold as part of Team Canadaâ€™s 2002 hockey team, where he also won the Winter Olympics MVP award. Known throughout the league as an elite motivator, Sakicâ€™s jersey was retired by the Avalanche prior to the 2009-2010 season opener.
Current Washington Capitals head coach, Adam Oates, joins the 2012 NHL induction class with an impressive resume. Boasting nearly two decades in the league as a player, Oates spent time with multiple teams, including the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers. Known for his unselfish on-ice play and his â€śpass-firstâ€ť mentality, Oates is accomplished yet humble and spent most of his acceptance speech praising his former colleagues. Proving heâ€™s a class act all around, Oates goes into the books as a true gentlemen and team player.
Pavel Bure clocked 12 seasons of NHL hockey, playing for storied teams including the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers. Known as the â€śRussian Rocketâ€ť because of his intense speed and agility on the ice, Bure grew up in the Soviet Union and also made appearances in the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Â He retired from the NHL in 2005 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, after six years of eligibility.
While the puck has yet to drop on the 2012-2013 season, thereâ€™s still plenty of reasons to celebrate professional hockey. FansEdge.com has a great selection of Center Ice merchandise and NHL jerseys for every team in the league. Although the Boys of Winter have yet to take the ice, you can still honor one of your favorite sports by treating yourself to a new piece of NHL gear today!