ZURICH, Switzerland – Brilliant performances under historic pressure, as well as long-lasting excellence, are being recognized this month as the IIHF Hall of Fame inducts Canadian legends Danielle Goyette and Paul Henderson, alongside fellow international hockey stars Peter Forsberg, Teppo Numminen, Mats Sundin and builder Jan-Åke Edvinsson.
In addition to two players, Canada is also being represented at this year’s IIHF Hall of Fame induction ceremony by broadcaster Gord Miller, who is being awarded the Paul Loicq Award for outstanding contribution to international hockey. The Soviet national team of 1954 won the Milestone Trophy, also being presented at the upcoming induction ceremony.
The IIHF Historical Committee and its chairman, IIHF President René Fasel, have announced the 17th class of the IIHF Hall of Fame to be ceremonially inducted on Sunday, May 19, gold medal game day at the 77th IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
Please click herefor the full IIHF announcement, and click here for a complete list of all honoured members since the IIHF Hall of Fame was introduced in 1997. It now boasts 189 greats from 22 countries.
Danielle Goyette (CAN)
Born: St-Nazaire, Quebec / January 30, 1966
In many respects, Danielle Goyette was the Gordie Howe of women’s hockey. A superstar talent on offence, she was a gifted scorer who continued to produce with Howe’s consistency. Indeed, she had more points in her final women’s world championship in 2007 at age 41 (11), than she did in her first some 15 years earlier as a 26-year-old player (10).
And, like Howe, it all began far from the bright lights of a big city and great crowds. St-Nazaire, Que., located a distant three-hour drive from Quebec City, was a town of only 800 when Goyette was growing up, but like any kid she started skating around age four.
In all, Goyette played in three Olympics and nine IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning gold every time with two exceptions, the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and the 2005 women’s worlds. In 61 games at the highest level, she averaged a point and a half a game and was adept as both a scorer and passer. She led all players in Nagano in 1998 with eight goals, and was the scoring leader at the 1992 women’s worlds with 10 points. She had as many points at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, to tie for the overall lead.
By the time Goyette had played her final games for Canada in 2007 at age 41, she was second all-time with 15 goals at the Olympics, fourth all-time with 68 points at the women’s worlds, and third all-time with 37 goals.
One of eight children, Goyette was also an excellent tennis player and fastball player, but she focused her ambitions on hockey, pretending to play for her beloved Montreal Canadiens while skating outdoors in the cold winters. Goyette spoke virtually no English when she made Canada’s National Women’s Team in 1991, but within five years she had relocated to Calgary, Alta., to learn the language and concentrate full-time on hockey, hoping to play for Canada at the inaugural Olympic event in Nagano in 1998.
Goyette was the flag-bearer for Canada at the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and went on to become head coach at the University of Calgary. She recruited former teammate Hayley Wickenheiser and led the Dinos to a CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) national championship in 2012, a first for that university.
Paul Henderson (CAN)
Born: Kincardine, Ontario / January 28, 1943
For 28 days in September 1972, Paul Henderson was the finest hockey player in the world, the hero of a series that changed hockey forever. He scored three game-winning goals at the end of the Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series, the last two arguably the greatest goals in the history of the game.
Henderson embodied a bit of both nations’ remarkably different styles of play. He was a combination of tough Canadian with unlimited heart, and a Soviet skater with puck-handling skills. In 1972, he used this combination to produce a performance the hockey world has never seen before or since.
His series-clinching goal with 34 seconds remaining of game eight remains the most celebrated moment in Canada’s sports history, a defining and unifying moment in Canadian culture. No other player’s achievements in international hockey history have had such an impact on one nation as Henderson’s.
As well, he was one of only three ’72 Summit players to appear in the 1974 Summit Series featuring WHA players, and in a 19-year professional career in the NHL and WHA he played almost 1,100 games, going to the Stanley Cup finals with the Detroit Red Wings in 1964 and 1966. In junior, Henderson won the Memorial Cup in 1962 and led all scorers in the OHA the next season.
In a Summit Series that got tougher and more important with each passing day, Henderson proved resilient and determined in a way even he might never have expected of himself before it all began. His courage in coming back from a concussion in game five to become the hero in the final three games cannot be over-stated, and each winning goal came using a different skill – big slap shot, incredible stick-handling, timely positioning (and even a little divine inspiration thrown in for good measure).
The Summit Series was supposed to be a cakewalk for Canada, but a crushing 7-3 loss to the Soviet Union in game one resulted in turmoil across the nation. By the time the series shifted to Moscow, Canada was in a fight for its life. After a loss in game five, Canada trailed the eight-game series 1-1-3. In that game, Henderson crashed heavily into the end boards, lost consciousness, and suffered a concussion. Luckily, he was wearing a helmet, and both he and team doctors acknowledged the injury might have been fatal without the headgear.
Henderson returned to action and scored Canada’s third goal midway through the second period of a narrow 3-2 result. Game seven was a fight to the end. With time winding down and the score tied at 3-3, it looked like the Soviets would hang on and claim the series. But with two minutes remaining, Henderson got the puck at centre ice. Alone, with two Soviets behind him and two in front, no one could have seen what was to come.
Henderson accelerated, chipped the puck through the two defencemen and skated around the outside in a blaze of speed. As he got to the puck, falling, he chipped it over a stunned Vladislav Tretiak, giving Canada a 4-3 win. A more spectacular goal in hockey, you will never see.
In game eight, a similar script played out. This time the score was 5-5, and the game was in the final minute. Again, the Soviet team was mere moments from winning the Summit Series. But Henderson screamed for Peter Mahovlich to get off the ice – something a hockey player never does. Mahovlich complied, though, and Henderson tore to Tretiak’s goal, while Phil Esposito stole the puck and swatted it in front. One shot, save. Second shot – goal!
“Henderson has scored for Canada!” shouted play-by-play legend Foster Hewitt. Canada had produced a heroic comeback – and Henderson has been a hero in Canada from that day to this – and forevermore.
Paul Loicq Award (for outstanding contributions to international hockey)
Gord Miller (CAN)
Born: Edmonton, Alberta / June 21, 1964
Gord Miller’s dedication to the annual U20 championship at a time when most people happily vacation in the sun has helped TSN make the “World Junior Championships” one of the most successful hockey broadcasts in North America. His support and his dedication to the tournament, which stretches to 18 years and counting; the respect he commands from the broadcast booth, and his knowledge of the event and its history, are absolutely unparalleled.
For millions of Canadians, for whom the IIHF World Junior Championship has become an essential Christmas and New Year’s tradition, Miller’s voice and characteristic play-by-play style have come to personify the event.
He started working at TSN in 1990 as a reporter, and three years later he started a career in the broadcast booth at the IIHF World Championship. In short order, he was doing the NHL, Memorial Cup, and women’s worlds, and in 2001 he worked as the English play-by-play man for the Montreal Canadiens telecasts.
In 2002, Miller became the top play-by-play man for TSN, and drew work appropriate to his reputation, culminating with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. But while he is well-known in North America for his NHL assignments, his true passion and greatest contributions have been with TSN’s remarkable coverage of the IIHF U20 World Championship.
Miller first hosted the U20 championship in 1993 from the TSN studios, and two years later he started an 18-year run of annual Christmastime trips to the event. He worked first as a colour man, and in 2002 started doing play-by-play, for which he is now famous.
In 2008, Miller was nominated for a Gemini Award in Canadian television for Best Play-by-Play Announcer for his work during the 2008 world U20 gold medal game between Canada and Sweden in the Czech Republic.