The 2022 Hall of Fame class contains some perfect picks. Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo and Daniel Alfredsson are just a part of the great class that will be enshrined among the greats! This year sees a very high calibre class and the Hall of Fame induction is especially great for Vancouver fans! To pay tribute to these great men and the memories they have given us, myself (Alex Watson), Joe Martini and Brodie Cotnam will each write a small piece to commemorate them.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin (by Alex Watson)
Like everything else in their career- the Sedins had to be inducted together! This pair of Swedes changed the course of a flagging Vancouver franchise and rightfully deserve their place in the Hall of Fame. Drafted 2nd and 3rd overall in 1999 after a series of risky draft day trades by Brian Burke. The Sedins were slow to start and frustrations grew. However, they caught fire in the 2005/06 season and never looked back. The two brothers were always perfectly in sync with each other and transformed the Canucks into an elite offensive unit.
Cruelly denied the Stanley Cup they deserved in 2011, they nonetheless set the league alight constantly. Henrik Sedin was very much the playmaker of the two. While never a big goalscorer, his assists were the key to each attack and this was never more obvious than 2009-10. His league-leading 83 assists and 112 points catapulted him to the Art Ross and Hart Trophy. As their captain, Henrik was the glue that held the side together and he’ll always remain a beloved leader of this franchise. His 1070 points in 1330 NHL games will be cherished forever!
Daniel Sedin was the goal scorer. Capturing the Art Ross for his 104-point season in 2011, Daniel was the ultimate sniper. Frequently outscoring his brother, this Sedin beat Marcus Naslund’s goal-scoring record in 2016! The perfect linemate for his brother, Daniel Sedin finished with 1041 points in 1306 games!
Both three-time All-Stars, holders of numerous franchise records and Olympic Gold Medalists- there was no pair quite like the Sedins!
Roberto Luongo (by Joe Martini)
What a touching tribute Alex! After talking about two players that were taken 2nd and 3rd respectively I am here to show a little love for the number four overall pick in 1997 who played with the Sedin’s for part of his career, Roberto Luongo.
There is so much good to say about Luo. He is number two in games played in the NHL (1,044), number four in wins at 489 and owns a career .919 save percentage. Oh, and did I mention that he is a two time Olympic gold medalist?
While some considered his contract near the end of his career to be an albatross, I will always remember Luo as comedic gold on twitter, a sharp goalie in the crease, and being a good person. Being in South Florida after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, his pregame speech to the crowd, was impactful, endearing and heartfelt. The same qualities he had been known to bring to the ice and the locker room.
Daniel Alfredsson (by Brodie Cotnam)
From an inauspicious beginning, as a 133rd overall pick in 1994, Daniel Alfredsson arrived in the nation’s capital. Coming from Frolunda of the SEL for the 1995-96 season, Alfredsson right away made his impact known, winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. A six time all-star, between 2000-2010, the man affectionately known as ‘Alfie’ amassed the third most points in the NHL and helped make the Sens a perennial contender. Along with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, they formed one of the most dominant lines in hockey. His strong two way game made him a constant force, and helped propel the Sens to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, after who else but Alfie scored the OT winner against Buffalo in the Eastern Final.
His international resume for Sweden includes Olympic Gold (2006 – where he lead the team in scoring) and Silver (2014), as well as numerous World Championships. Consistently among the top wingers in the league, he was always forthright win or lose, leading the Sens through their highs and lows of many playoff battles. He scored the first ever NHL shootout winner, in one of many memorable moments against the rival Maple Leafs.
His career totals are impressive. 1246 games, and 1157 points (roughly 0.9 ppg), good for 55th all-time (even higher when adjusted for era). He also chipped in 100 more points in 124 playoff games. But it was as much his leadership on and off the ice that endeared him to the home town crowd. He took home the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2012) and the Mark Messier Leadership Award (2013) for his involvement in many charitable endeavours, including his mental health advocacy, around the Ottawa area.
After a falling out with ownership lead to him spending the final year of his career in Detroit, fans were ecstatic to see the franchise embrace the #AlfieToTheHall movement and see him finally get his due. The ‘Alfie’ chants at 11:11 will continue to ring out for years to come, as the number already in the rafters, will join the games truly elite.