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Blues' Asst. GM Martin Brodeur Headed To Hockey Hall Of Fame

Brodeur played his final games with the St. Louis Blues during the 2014-15 season, he is currently St. Louis' assistant general mananger.

June 26, 2018 - 2:32 pm
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ST. LOUIS (NHL/Blues) - Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Willie O'Ree, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Alexander Yakushev and Jayna Hefford are heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The 18-member Selection Committee announced the Class of 2018 on Tuesday. The 2018 Induction Celebration will be held in November at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL, and Bettman, who has been Commissioner since Feb. 1, 1993, are going into the Hall in the builders category.

Brodeur, a first-time eligible candidate after waiting the required three years following his last professional game (Jan. 2, 2015), is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils and the NHL's all-time leader in wins (691) and shutouts (125).

He holds the NHL records for games played by a goaltender (1,266), saves (28,928), minutes played (74,438), 30-win seasons (14), consecutive 30-win seasons (12), consecutive 35-win seasons (11), 40-win seasons (eight) and consecutive 40-win seasons (three).

Brodeur won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1994, the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008) and the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals against in a season with a minimum of 25 appearances five times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2010).

Brodeur shares the record for most wins in a season (48) with Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.

He played his final games with the St. Louis Blues during the 2014-15 season, he is currently St. Louis' assistant general mananger.

St. Louis, also in his first year of eligibility, is the second member of the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team to be voted into the Hall of Fame. He joins Dave Andreychuk, the Lightning's captain in 2004, who was inducted into the Hall last year with St. Louis in attendance at the ceremony.

St. Louis went from being an undrafted player largely because of his size (5-foot-8) to a Stanley Cup champion who won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 2004. He also won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in 2004 and 2013, the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players' Association in 2004, and the Lady Byng Trophy for his skill and sportsmanship in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

St. Louis finished his career with 1,033 points (391 goals, 642 assists) in 1,134 games played and is the Lightning's all-time leader in assists (588), points (953), power-play points (300), shorthanded goals (28), shorthanded points (44), game-winning goals (64), overtime goals (10), postseason goals (33) and postseason points (68).

O'Ree broke the NHL's color barrier on Jan. 18, 1958, when he took the ice for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens.

He played 45 NHL games and had 14 points (four goals, 10 assists), but he's more known for breaking down barriers and his community involvement to promote the game of hockey.

O'Ree was hired by the NHL in 1998 as the League's director of youth development and an ambassador for NHL diversity. He has championed the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative, which has introduced more than 120,000 boys and girls of diverse backgrounds to the game and established 36 local grassroots hockey programs, all geared toward serving economically disadvantaged youth.

He recently handed out the first Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award to Darcy Haugan, the late coach of the Humboldt Broncos.

Commissioner Bettman, who began his tenure on Feb. 1, 1993, has overseen rapid and massive growth in his 25-plus years. The NHL has grown to a 31-team league under Commissioner Bettman and annual revenue now exceeds $4 billion, up from about $400 million when he began.

Commissioner Bettman oversaw the additions of the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks in 1993, the Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers in 1999, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild in 2000, and the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. Seattle is currently under consideration as an expansion franchise that could begin play in the 2020-21 season as the League's 32nd team.

In addition, the Winnipeg Jets relocated in 1996 and are now the Arizona Coyotes, but Commissioner Bettman brought the Jets back to Winnipeg in 2011, a relocation of the Thrashers. The Quebec Nordiques relocated and became the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.

The NHL has also become a more global sport under Commissioner Bettman with regular-season games played in European markets and Japan, as well as exhibition games in China. The League has participated in four Winter Olympics and held two World Cup of Hockey tournaments under Commissioner Bettman.

He has also overseen the birth of the salary cap, which was instituted in 2005 and has helped stabilize franchises with more cost certainty, as well as the major success that is the NHL's outdoor games.

Yakushev was a star in the U.S.S.R with Spartak Moscow, but his coming-out party for fans in North America came in the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union. Unlike many of his flashier teammates, Yakushev was both swift and strong. Many likened him to Canada's Phil Esposito, the only player on either team to finish with more points in the eight-game series.

He led the Soviets with 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in the eight-game series, dominating the slot with his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and strength, but showing the hands of a goal-scorer. He scored two goals in the eighth and final game of the series to help the Soviets take a 5-3 lead before Canada rallied in the third period for a 6-5 win to take the series.

Yakushev excelled internationally, winning gold medals with the Soviet Union at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics and the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics and helping the U.S.S.R. win seven IIHF World Championships.

Hefford played for Canada at five Winter Olympics and was a part of four gold medal-winning teams (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). She scored the gold medal-winning goal against the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and is one of five athletes to win gold at four consecutive Winter Olympics

Hefford also helped Canada win seven gold medals and five silver medals at the IIHF World Women's Championship.