June 25, 2019 / 9:39 PM / 23 days ago

Wickenheiser heads six-member Hockey Hall of Fame class

Former Canadian women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser headlines the six-player class chosen to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Canada forward Hayley Wickenheiser watches teammates during a women's ice hockey team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Former NHL players Guy Carbonneau, Sergei Zubov and Vaclav Nedomansky also were selected. Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Boston College coach Jerry York were chosen under the builders category.

The six will be inducted in Toronto on Nov. 18.

Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, was inducted in her first year of eligibility. She retired in 2017 and is Canada’s all-time leading women’s scorer with 168 goals, 211 assists and 379 points in 276 games.

The 40-year-old Saskatchewan native is assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wickenheiser is also a medical student at the University of Calgary and was writing a mandatory exam when the announcement was made. Hours later, she tweeted a response.

“Just stepped out of a med school course to the news. A huge honor and dream come true for a little girl from Shaunavon, Sask.. Congrats to Guy,Sergei,Vaclav,Jim and Jerry. Thank you for all the kind words,” she tweeted.

Wickenheiser is the seventh woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Carbonneau tallied 663 points (260 goals, 403 assists) in 1,318 games with the Montreal Canadiens (1980-94), St. Louis Blues (1994-95) and Dallas Stars (1995-2000). The forward won two Stanley Cup titles with the Canadiens and one with the Stars.

“This is an honor you think about, but it’s never a sure thing,” Carbonneau said in a statement. “It is an incredible recognition and I thank the selection committee.”

Zubov scored 771 points (152 goals, 619 assists) in 1,068 games with the New York Rangers (1992-95), Pittsburgh Penguins (1995-96) and Dallas Stars (1996-2009). The defenseman won two Stanley Cups, one with the Rangers and one with the Stars.

Nedomansky played for Czechoslovakia in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics and played 12 seasons in Europe before becoming the first athlete from an Eastern European communist country to defect to North American to play hockey. He eventually was a 33-year-old NHL rookie when he joined the Detroit Red Wings and ended up with 121 goals and 156 assists in six NHL seasons with Detroit (1977-82), the St. Louis Blues (1982) and New York Rangers (1983).

“I appreciate my accomplishments being recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame,” Nedomansky said in a statement. “I’m proud to be the first player from a communist country to come and play in North America.”

Rutherford has won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins and also won one with the Carolina Hurricanes when he ran that organization. He has spent the past five seasons with the Penguins after being GM of the Hartford Whalers/Hurricanes from 1994-2015.

Rutherford was a goaltender from 1970-83 prior to becoming an administrator.

York is the winningest coach in college hockey history with 1,067 victories and has won five national titles — four at Boston College and one at Bowling Green. York, who turns 74 next month, is the fifth college coach to earn the honor.

“I’m flabbergasted with this unexpected honor,” York said in a statement. “I will cherish this special recognition.”

—Field Level Media

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