TORONTO – The Hockey Hall of Fame is set to open its doors to the class of 2011 on Monday night. Here’s a capsule look at the careers of Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk:
Numbers: Posted a 484-320-76 record (plus 125 ties) in 963 career games for Chicago, San Jose, Dallas, Toronto and Florida. He boasted a career 2.50 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.
Eligibility: First ballot Hall of Famer.
Claim to Fame: Despite never being drafted by a NHL team, Eddie The Eagle developed into one of the league’s top goaltenders. He won the Calder Trophy and Vezina Trophy in the same year—1991—and added a second Vezina in 1993. Belfour later helped the Dallas Stars win their first-ever Stanley Cup in 1999 and was the third goaltender when Canada ended a 50-year gold-medal drought at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He’s third on the NHL’s all-time win list with 484 victories.
Numbers: Scored 450 goals and amassed 1,414 points in 1,474 career games for St. Louis, Calgary, Toronto, New Jersey, Chicago, Buffalo and Montreal. He also averaged more than a point per game in 182 playoff contests.
Eligibility: He’s been waiting since 2006.
Claim to Fame: Listed generously at five-foot-11 and 175 pounds, the man nicknamed “Killer” carved out a career that lasted two decades despite his diminutive stature. Known for his passionate play, Gilmour reached his highest levels in Toronto—scoring 127 points while winning the Selke Trophy in 1993 as a member of the Maple Leafs. He was also a key member of the Calgary Flames when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989. His 1,414 career points leave him 17th on the NHL’s all-time list.
Numbers: Scored 197 goals and amassed 742 points in 929 career NHL games with Hartford, Philadelphia and Detroit. He started his pro career in the World Hockey Association and put up 504 points in 426 games in that league.
Eligibility: He’s been waiting since 1998.
Claim to Fame: The son of hockey legend Gordie Howe, he authored a memorable career of his own. Mark Howe played alongside his dad and brother Marty as a forward in the WHA before becoming a defenceman in the NHL. He formed one of the league’s best blue-line pairings with Brad McCrimmon in Philadelphia—Howe was a mind-boggling plus-85 during the 1985-86 season—and scored at least 15 goals on eight occasions.
Numbers: Scored 564 goals and 1,126 points in 1,257 career games with Calgary, Dallas, New Jersey, Toronto and Florida. He surpassed the 30-goal barrier eight times.
Eligibility: Passed over in 2010, he got in on the second try.
Claim to Fame: A consummate professional, Nieuwendyk did a lot of winning during his career. His resume includes three Stanley Cups with three different teams: Nieuwendyk scored 51 regular-season goals and added another 10 in the playoffs during Calgary’s championship run in 1989; he took home the Conn Smythe Trophy after helping Dallas to victory in 1999; and he provided veteran leadership during New Jersey’s most recent Stanley Cup in 2003. Nieuwendyk also won Olympic gold with Canada in 2002.