Sedins, Luongo and Alfredsson headline Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022 – Smithers Interior News
Henrik and Daniel Sedin entered the NHL together.
The superstar twins went on to torment a generation of opponents with the Vancouver Canucks throughout dominating careers that included fascinating displays of skill, individual accolades and unprecedented team success.
It’s only fitting that the talented brothers enter the Hockey Hall of Fame side by side.
The Sedins headline the Class of 2022 elected on Monday, one with a decidedly West Coast and Swedish twist that includes former Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo, his compatriot and former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Finnish player Riikka Sallinen and builder Herb Carnegie.
“It’s not what you think about when you play the game,” said Henrik Sedin, who along with his brother and Luongo were in their early years of Hall eligibility. “We always put our heads down and tried to do our job.
“What we were most proud of was that we made the most of our talent.”
“Really an amazing feeling,” Luongo added in a media conference call. “It’s surreal.”
Alfredsson, who has been eligible since 2017, thought he might have to wait at least a year for the phone to ring at his home in Sweden.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to play this sport for a living,” he said. “Something I would have played for fun all my life no questions asked.”
“I’m probably the second best Daniel in this group,” joked Daniel Sedin, who, along with his brother, will turn 42 at the induction ceremony in November.
“We couldn’t be more honoured.”
Henrik Sedin — selected third overall in the 1999 draft, one spot behind Daniel — is Vancouver’s all-time leader in assists (830), points (1,070), games played (1,330) and points on advantage numeric (369).
The center won the Hart Trophy as NHL Most Valuable Player and the Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer in 2009-10. He added 23 goals and 78 points in 105 playoff games, including the Canucks’ run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
If Henrik was the passer on what was one of the most dangerous lines in hockey, Daniel Sedin was the trigger man.
His 393 goals are the first in team history and the winger ranks second in assists (648), points (1,041), games played (1,306) and power play points ( 367).
Daniel Sedin won the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most valuable player, voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association in 2010-11 to accompany the Art Ross Trophy. He added 71 points in 102 playoff games.
“Just seeing them working with each other on the ice and literally knowing where they are without even seeing each other was always something that blew my mind,” Luongo said of the Sedins. “They are great teammates. Everyone loved them, great people.
“Not so great card players, but that’s for another day.”
The hall’s 2020 edition was finally inducted last November after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic after officials decided not to name a class of 2021.
The 18-member selection committee met in person this year for the first time since 2019.
Luongo began his career with the New York Islanders and ended with the Florida Panthers.
His best times, however, were on the west coast.
When he retired, Luongo was third in NHL history with 489 wins, a number that has since been surpassed by Marc-André Fleury.
The 43-year-old ranks second to Martin Brodeur in three goaltending categories – games played (1,044), shots against (30,924) and saves (28,409).
Luongo twice won 40 games with the Canucks, including a stunning 47 wins in 2006-07, and made at least 70 appearances in four straight seasons.
“He made the difference for us to take it to the next level,” said Henrik Sedin. “If you talk about a winner, it’s him.
“I never took a day off.”
A three-time Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goaltender, Luongo was second only to Sidney Crosby in the Hart Trophy vote after his 47-win campaign.
The Montreal native won two Olympic gold medals, leading Canada to the top of the podium in Vancouver in 2010 before supporting Carey Price in Sochi four years later.
“It’s a really, really humbling experience,” Luongo said before adding of the Sedins: “And the best part of it all is that I get to walk in with two of my all-time favorite teammates and two of greatest people I’ve ever known.”
Alfredsson had 444 goals, 713 assists and 1,157 points in his 18 NHL seasons.
The face of the Senators for a generation in the nation’s capital won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and added 100 points in 124 playoff games.
“We admired the way he played hockey and the kind of person he is,” said Henrik Sedin.
Alfredsson, who won Olympic gold with the Sedins in 2006 and led Ottawa to the 2007 Cup final, credited Senators fans for helping him through the hallway, including a campaign on social media this spring that included nudges from the organization and former teammates.
“Really special with the support I’ve had from Ottawa throughout my career from the start until today,” said the 49-year-old, who holds the franchise record for goals, assists and points. “They were very supportive and tried to help me get into the Hall of Fame.
“They’re behind me the whole way…it goes both ways.”
Sallinen played 16 seasons with the Finnish women’s national team, winning Olympic bronze in 1998 and 2018.
She added a silver medal at the 2019 world championships to go along with six third-place finishes. In total, the 48-year-old has scored 63 goals and added 59 assists in 81 games for her country.
Hall of Fame selection committee chairman Mike Gartner, who was inducted in 2012, said on the media call that Sallinen had not yet been briefed on the honor, but joked that that she should pick up the phone and dial the number if she was listening.
Carnegie, who died in March 2012 at the age of 92, has often been referred to as the best black hockey player to never play in the NHL.
After a long career in senior hockey where he faced racism that kept him from achieving his ultimate dream, Carnegie founded Future Aces, one of the first hockey schools in Canada, in 1955.
He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and was also appointed to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
“It means so much to so many people who believed in my dad,” Herb Carnegie’s daughter Bernice said. “Whether he’s playing golf, whether he’s in business or working with thousands and thousands of young people, it always comes down to hockey and how he’s learned so much from the game.
“I’m so proud.”
—Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press