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Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour, Ed Belfour elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

June 28, 2011 | 12:59 pm

The Hockey Hall of Fame righted one wrong but snubbed several deserving people when it announced its 2011 induction class Tuesday.

Belfour_275 Four players were voted in: defenseman Mark Howe, centers Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour, and goaltender Ed Belfour. No builders or coaches were selected, which means the late Pat Burns was passed over for a second straight year and the refusal to recognize Fred Shero’s contributions to coaching continued.

Howe should have been inducted long ago, having enjoyed a splendid career that began when he won a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic team at 16 in the 1972 Winter Games. He played in the World Hockey Assn. alongside his father, Gordie, before having a distinguished NHL career. His last season was 1994-95, and he went on to become a scout for the Detroit Red Wings and get his name on the Stanley Cup.

"It brings a tear to my eye. I'm very grateful," Mark Howe said.

The combative Belfour won the Cup with Dallas in 1999 and had a lower postseason goals-against average (2.15) than regular-season (2.49). He was the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1991, won the Jennings trophy four times (lowest goals-against average) and won the Vezina trophy twice (best goaltender).

Nieuwendyk, now general manager of the Dallas Stars, won the Cup three times. He had 1,126 points in 1,257 career games. "It's just overwhelming," he said. "I'm very thankful and very humbled."

Gilmour, who won the Cup with Calgary in 1989, was the heart of some very good but never quite good-enough Toronto Maple Leafs teams in the 1990s. He had 1,414 points in 1,474 career games over 20 years. "I'm still shaking," he said during a conference call after the announcement.

The induction will take place Nov. 14 in Toronto.

Congrats to all.


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Top photo: Joe Nieuwendyk. Credit: Bill Janscha / Associated Press

Bottom photo: Ed Belfour. Credit: Carlos Barria / Reuters