Messier, Francis, MacInnis, Stevens earn spots in Hockey Hall of Fame

Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens will go in as players this fall while NHL executive Jim Gregory will enter as a builder.

Messier is second all-time on the NHL’s points list while Francis is fourth. MacInnis is third all-time in points by defencemen while Stevens won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils.

“I’m very honoured to go in with a class like this,” Francis said Thursday.

All four players were on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

Other eligible players that didn’t make it in this year include Adam Oates, Igor Larionov and Claude Lemieux.

Messier was a slam dunk selection after a career that saw him win six Stanley Cups. Only Wayne Gretzky has ever recorded more points in the NHL.

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Francis is a two-time Stanley Cup winner. He played 23 NHL seasons and trails only Gretzky on the all-time assists list.

MacInnis also played 23 NHL seasons, winning the playoff MVP while helping Calgary to the Stanley Cup in 1989. He was also a valuable blue-line contributor in Canada’s 2002 Olympic triumph.

In addition to the championships, Stevens won with the Devils, he was named playoff MVP in 2000.

Gregory served as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1969 to 1979 before running the NHL’s Central Scouting department. He’s currently a senior vice-president with the league.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 12.