Chris Chelios, Mike Emrick, Ed Snider, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk will be enshrined as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
“It’s an extraordinary class,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey, in a release. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”
With a professional career spanning 26 seasons, Chris Chelios is the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman in NHL history (1,651). Chelios won three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies, along with a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic team in Salt Lake City in 2002 and an NCAA national championship with the University of Wisconsin in 1983.
One of the most recognizable voices in sports, Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick has been behind the microphone for some of the most memorable games in modern history. In his nearly 40 years as a play-by-play announcer, Emrick has called 13 Stanley Cup finals as the lead national announcer on NBC, Versus, FOX and ESPN. Emrick has received numerous honors, including a national Emmy Award for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Play by Play” in 2011, the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2004, as well as seven local Emmy Awards. A native of La Fontaine, Ind., he has served as vice president of the NHL Broadcaster’s Association since 1985 and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee.
Ed Snider’s contribution to the success of hockey in Philadelphia and the Atlantic region of the United States is immeasurable. In 1966, the founder and current owner of the Philadelphia Flyers made a successful bid for the team when the NHL made its first expansion and has since turned the organization into one of the most successful franchises in the league. His commitment to advancing the game at the amateur level is evidenced in many ways, including in 2005 when he founded the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation to provide unprivileged children in the Philadelphia area with an opportunity to learn to play hockey at local rinks. Snider, a native of Washington, D.C., was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Gary Suter’s 17-year NHL career included 844 points (203 goals) in 1,145 games. Suter won the Calder Trophy in 1986, which marked the first time an American-born player was named the NHL’s top rookie. A staple on the Calgary blueline for 10 seasons, Suter set a career-high in assists (70) and points (91) in the 1987-88 season and helped the Flames to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup a year later. On the international stage, Suter earned a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Games and also helped the United States capture the first-ever World Cup of Hockey crown in 1996.
Keith Tkachuk played 19 seasons in the NHL and is one of only four American-born players to score 500 career NHL goals. All total, he appeared in 1,201 games and recorded 1,065 points (538 goals). Tkachuk made his NHL debut at the age of 19 and was named captain of the Jets by his second season with the team. The Melrose, Mass., native broke the 50-goal barrier in back-to-back seasons in the midst of Winnipeg’s relocation to Phoenix. Tkachuk recorded a career-high and NHL-leading 52 goals during the 1996-97 campaign with Phoenix, which also marked the first time an American-born player led the NHL in goals. A four-time Olympian (1992, 1998, 2002, 2006), Tkachuk represented his country a total of eight times, including earning an Olympic silver medal in 2002 and a gold media at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame elected its first class in 1973. To date, there are 148 enshrined members in the Hall.