Elusive championship builds on legacy of 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame class

Elusive championship builds on legacy of 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame class

TORONTO– Daniel Alfredsson, Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin all have something in common heading into their Hockey Hall of Fame induction on Monday:

None won the Stanley Cup.

Why write about this now, before a celebration of their incredible careers? Because they bring it up themselves, and their attitude about it speaks to the competitors they were.

Each one came excruciatingly close, and it hurts even at a time like this.

Alfredsson had three wins in 2007 as the Ottawa Senators lost the Stanley Cup Final to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. After the ring ceremony in the Grand Hall on Friday, he recalled details of the series as if it were a year ago, not 15 years ago.

“Traumatic experience,” Alfredsson said.

Luongo and the Sedin twins came to a game in 2011, when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Cup Final to the Boston Bruins in seven. Asked about the importance of winning Olympic gold, something these four players also have in common, Luongo and Daniel Sedin brought up the question of the Cup himself.

“At the end of the day, I think you’re what you’ve earned,” Daniel Sedin said. “That’s why I really regret not winning the Stanley Cup, because I think it’s the hardest thing to win in hockey. It’s a grueling journey, first 82 games and then the playoffs. When you’re one game away from winning— everything, this is the…”

He didn’t finish the sentence.

“I have no regrets about how we did things,” he continued. “I think in the end we lost to a really good team. But yeah, we definitely look back on that time.”

The Olympics matter. This is the Hockey Hall of Fame, not the NHL Hall of Fame. The committee considers each candidate’s entire body of work.

Making an Olympic roster, let alone winning a gold medal, is an elite achievement, especially when NHL players are involved. Even though the tournament only lasts about two weeks, it’s the best of the best.

Alfredsson and the Sedins won gold for Sweden in 2006 in Turin, defeating Finland 3-2 in the final.

“I know it’s something I’ve always wanted,” Alfredsson said. “Growing up, the goal was the national team. The NHL wasn’t even on the map.”

Luongo won gold with Canada in 2010 in Vancouver, defeating the United States 3-2 in overtime in the final, and in 2014 in Sochi, defeating Sweden 3-0 in the final. He took over for Martin Brodeur as a starter during the Vancouver tournament, playing in his home country and on the NHL court.

“It’s huge, especially for me, especially because I didn’t win any of the other stuff,” Luongo said. “Obviously, that’s probably one of the biggest moments of my career, considering everything, where it was in Vancouver and how it came about and how the game ended. [With] so much pressure on everyone, to act and do it, it was a moment of euphoria.”

The Cup also matters, obviously. But a lot is out of a player’s control, from which team selects him in the NHL Draft to what happens afterward, and it’s only going to get harder to win the Cup now that the NHL has grown to 32 teams.

How many players have their names inscribed in silver but don’t have their portraits engraved in glass in the Great Hall, and how many Hall of Famers never won the Cup?

Alfredsson, Luongo and the Sedins join 24 other players to make their NHL debuts since the 1967-68 expansion and make the Hockey Hall of Fame without winning the Cup: players such as Jarome Iginla, Phil Housley, Mike Gartner, Marcel Dionne, Mats Sundin. , Adam Oates, Dino Ciccarelli, Gilbert Perreault, Dale Hawerchuk and Borje Salming.

Two drawing lessons:

First, the Stanley Cup is so hard to win that you can be one of the greatest players in hockey history and never lift it above your head.

Second, the quest for the Cup can help you grow, even if you don’t win it. If you chase the Cup so hard that not winning it bothers you when you’re about to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, well, maybe that’s one of the reasons you ended up in the Hall of Fame. the Fame

“This is a great honor,” said Daniel Sedin, who wore the Cup ring while standing under the glass plaque in the Great Hall, “but I think I would have preferred to win the Stanley Cup, if you know what I mean.

“This is a team win, and I think we’re all about the team. This is more individual. I mean, yeah, this is probably the ultimate individual award you can win, but I think we’re all about the first team.”

NHL Statistics contributed

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