The 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame Class

June 24, 2009 - 9:46 am

Welcome back to the LEEInks for a look at the Hockey Hall of Fame class. Yesterday, the Toronto shrine announced that Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman, and Lou Lamoriello will be inducted next fall. This  is a star-studded class to say the very least, and New England hockey fans couldn't be more pleased to see Leetch, a New England favorite, make it to the Hall of Fame. The stalwart defenseman played his final season with the Bruins, and played one season of college hockey at Boston College in 1986-87. Leetch is one of only five defensemen to tally a 100-point season. In 1991-92, Leetch notched a whopping 80 assists for the Rangers en route to a 102-point campaign. Leetch also holds the distinction of being the only American and first non-Canadian-born player to win the Conn Smythe trophy in 1994. That year the Blue Shirts ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought. Robitaille was a standout forward for the Kings, Penguins, Rangers, and Red Wings. Robitaille, didn't get as much publicity as another Kings teammate, but Lucky Luc finished his careeer with 1,394 points, most for any left wing. Robitaille's name even became a part of a title for a song by Swedish rock band Mando Diao. At last check, the Great One has yet to be mentioned by the Scandinavian Indie-rock scene. (Take that, Gretzky!) Yzerman wore the captain's "C" for an NHL record two decades in Detroit. Stevie Y became captain at the tender age of 21, an age when his playoff beard was no doubt entirely unimpressive. However, Yzerman was involved in one of the uglier fan moments at the old Boston Garden. The stoic Red Wings captain was punched in the eye at the Garden, and WEEI's own John Dennis told Boston about it in this 1980's clip from Channel 7. Brett Hull will likely be remembered by hockey fans for this goal, but it certainly should be the 741 he potted throughout a stellar 19-year career. Hull and his father Bobby, will be the first ever father-son pair to be inducted in Toronto. Certainly an achievement for a sport that starts with fathers and sons on a mini-mite level. Finally, Rhode Island's Lou Lamoriello, the architect of the New Jersey Devils' Stanley Cup teams of the last 20 years, will be going into the Hall's Builder's category. As Athletic Director at Providence College, Lamoriello even hired this guy to be his basketball coach for the Friars. Could be worse, he could've fired Jack Adams Award winner Claude Julien midway through a season, and replaced him with himself. Oh, wait a minute... Despite any past mistakes these five men may have had during their careers, they've certainly deserved their inductions. Congrats to the star-studded class of 2009!