Canadiens center, Canada women’s forward selected along with Zubov, Nedomansky, Rutherford, York
NHL.com @NHLdotcom June 25th, 2019
Guy Carbonneau, who won the Stanley Cup three times in a 19-season NHL career, and Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist with Canada, are among the four players and two Builders elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.
Also selected for entry into the Hall of Fame are Sergei Zubov, who played 16 seasons in the NHL, and Vaclav Nedomansky, who played six NHL seasons and was a mainstay for the Czechoslovakia national team.
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and longtime Boston College coach Jerry York were elected as Builders.
The six will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 18.
Carbonneau had 663 points (260 goals, 403 assists) in 1,318 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, and was recognized as an outstanding defensive forward, winning the Selke Trophy in 1988, 1989 and 1992. The former Canadiens center and captain won the Cup twice with Montreal (1986, 1993) and once with the Dallas Stars (1999). He had 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 231 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“I was lucky enough with all the coaches I had, I knew I was always on the good side of the offense,” Carbonneau told TSN. “I think the NHL was a different level; fortunately for me when [Canadiens coach] Jacques Lemaire came in, I think he saw the potential of [my] becoming one of those players,
“I think Jacques was playing the same way even if he was playing with Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt, he was able to put points on the ice, but he was always able to play well defensively. That’s what he wanted me to do, it’s just something I thrived on. I had the chance to play with some great players like Bob Gainey, somebody who was pretty close to Frank Selke, so I had a good teacher there.”
Wickenheiser is a five-time Olympic medalist, including four golds (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014), and was the most valuable player of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and 2006 Torino Olympics. The former center won the IIHF World Championship seven times and is the Canada women’s team’s all-time leader in goals (168), assists (211) and points (377) in 276 games.
“I think when you win seven world championships as one of the key players and captain and win four Olympic gold medals and have a storied career both on the women’s side and play on the men’s side in Finland, that should tell you in itself where she was looked upon and revered by the rest of the hockey world,” Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald said of Wickenheiser, who was not available to speak because she was taking an exam for medical school. “And it is richly deserved that she is one of the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.”
Zubov won the Stanley Cup twice, with the New York Rangers in 1994 and the Stars in 1999. He also won a gold medal at the 1992 Albertville Olympics with the Unified Team of former Soviet states. The former defenseman had 771 points (152 goals, 619 assists) in 1,068 games with the Rangers, Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins, and 117 points (24 goals, 93 assists) in 164 NHL playoff games. Zubov never won a major individual NHL award.
“I was 18 years old when I traveled with the national team, we had a tournament up in Canada and I had a chance to walk in the Hall of Fame,” Zubov said. “Back then I couldn’t even think of or dream that one day I would have a chance to be part of it.”
Nedomansky was the first athlete from an Eastern European communist country to defect to North America to pursue a career in professional hockey. He had 277 points (121 goals, 156 assists) in 420 NHL games over six seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Blues and Rangers, and eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven playoff games. Prior to playing in the NHL in 1978, the forward was a longtime member of the Czechoslovakia national team and played in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics and the 1972 Sapporo Olympics, as well as four seasons in the World Hockey Association from 1974-78.
“As you know, I’m not really new coming to North America,” Nedomansky said. “I’ve been coming here since 1962 and admiring your players and your league, and when I made that decision in 1974 to follow my dream, I jumped right into it and I’m so happy I did that. I would thank all my teams and all my players… thanks to them, I’m where I am today.”
Rutherford is the only GM in the NHL expansion era (since 1967-68) to win the Stanley Cup with multiple teams; he led the Carolina Hurricanes to the Cup in 2006 before winning with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He was named the NHL General Manager of the Year in 2016.
“I started my career in Beeton [Ontario], 50 miles north of the Hall of Fame, never dreaming that I would once be in it,” Rutherford said. “I’ve traveled lots of miles in hockey and met so many great people along the way.”
York has coached at the collegiate level for 47 years, 25 of them at Boston College, following seven years at Clarkson and 15 years at Bowling Green; he is college hockey’s all-time winningest coach with 1,067 wins. He is one of three coaches in NCAA history to lead two different schools to national titles; he coached Bowling Green to the championship in 1984 before leading Boston College to titles in 2001, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
“My very first recruit when I started in the early ’70s was Dave Taylor,” York said. “But Bowling Green, George McPhee, Rob Blake. At B.C., we’ve had Brian Gionta, Brooks Orpik, Marty Reasoner, Johnny Gaudreau. So a host of them. They certainly make you a better coach when you have those players.”
On May 28, it was announced that Frank Brown, a longtime hockey writer and NHL communications executive, will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism from the Hockey Hall of Fame, selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association; and Jim Hughson, best known for play-by-play work with the Vancouver Canucks and “Hockey Night in Canada,” will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, selected by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
NHL.com columnists Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Dave Stubbs contributed to this report