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Blake, Forsberg, Modano and Hasek highlight 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame class

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On Monday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced the six people chosen in the Class of 2014. Represented in the class are four players, one referee and one coach.

"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these six hockey legends as 'Honoured Members,'" said Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee John Davidson. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."

The players to be elected are: Peter Forsberg, Dominic Hasek and Mike Modano; all of whom were elected in their first year of eligibility, and Rob Blake, who was elected in his second year.

In addition to these players, two people were elected in the “builder” category. Longtime NHL coach Pat Burns was selected, having won the Jack Adams award as the NHL’s coach of the year on three different occasions, and having guided the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup title in 2003. Burns died in 2010, succumbing to cancer at the age of 58.

Referee Bill McCreary was also selected. A veteran of 1,737 NHL regular season games; McCreary holds the record for playoff games officiated (292). He also officiated 44 Stanley Cup Final games (also a record), three Olympics (including the gold medal game in each) and two Canada Cups.

The aforementioned six were selected by an 18-person committee of the weekend. They will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Nov. 17, in Toronto. At the ceremony, USA Today reporter Kevin Allen and Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley will also be honored.

Continue reading for a closer look at the four players that are to be enshrined.

Rob Blake
Rob Blake Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rob Blake

GP: 1,270 G: 240 A: 537 P: 777 PIM: 1,679 +/-: -4

Teams: Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks

In his 20 years in the NHL, Rob Blake became known for his leadership, huge hip checks and his booming shot from the point.  He won the Norris Trophy in 1998, given annually to the NHL’s best defenseman.  After joining the Colorado Avalanche via trade, he joined Forsberg to capture the Stanley Cup in 2001.

Like Forsberg, Blake is also a member of the “Triple Gold Club”; having won a Stanley Cup, and gold in both the Olympics (2002) and the World Championships (1994).

“This is a tremendous honor," said Blake. "I am fortunate to have been around the game of hockey and have it be a key part of my life for as long as I can remember."

Peter Forsberg
Peter Forsberg Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Peter Forsberg

GP: 708 G:249 A: 636  P: 885 PIM: 688 +/-: +238

Teams: Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators

Having had his Olympic gold medal-clinching goal immortalized on a postage stamp in his native Sweden, Peter Forsberg was a legend before ever reaching the NHL.  He went on to win two Stanley Cups, one Hart Memorial trophy (MVP), one Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer), a Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) and be named a First-Team All-Star on three different occasions.

Having been elected to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2013, Forsberg’s international resume is equally impressive.  He won two Olympic gold medals, two gold medals at the World Championships and is one of only three players to have been awarded the “Guldpucken” (golden puck), given to the MVP of the Swedish Hockey League, twice.

A victim of his own physical style, Forsberg’s career was unfortunately cut short due to a myriad of injuries.  He retired on Feb. 14, 2011 after a failed two-game comeback with the Colorado Avalanche.  His 1.25 point-per-game average ranks eighth all-time; while his .9 assists per game rank fifth all-time.

"It's been a good run and I wouldn't change places with anybody," said Forsberg.. "Joining Borje Salming and Mats Sundin in the Hall of Fame as the third Swedish member makes it especially gratifying for me."

Dominic Hasek
Dominic Hasek Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Dominic Hasek

GP: 735 W: 389 L: 223 T: 82 OT: 32 SO: 81 GAA: 2.20 SV%: .922

Teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators

Known for his unorthodox style of play and his acrobatic saves, Dominic Hasek is the only goaltender to be awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP more than once.  He also won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender six times, which ranks second all-time.  He won two Stanley Cups, one in each of his stints with the Detroit Red Wings.

Hasek also has quite the resume internationally. Allowing less than a goal per game, Hasek almost single-handedly carried his native Czech Republic when they captured the gold medal in the 1998 Olympics.  Prior to coming to the NHL, he was named the top goaltender in the Czech Extraliga for five straight seasons.  A four-time Extraliga champion, he was also the league’s best goalie in 2009-2010, after his NHL career had ended. 

"After I retired I really began to appreciate what the game did for me," said Hasek. "My goal was just to make the NHL, and achieving this recognition is far beyond what I could have imagined."

Mike Modano
Mike Modano Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Mike Modano

GP: 1,499 G: 561 P: 813 P: 1,374 PIM: 926 +/-: 114

Teams: Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings

Drafted first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, Mike Modano would move with the team to Dallas and spend all but 40 games of his career with the franchise.  Despite never winning an individual award in the NHL, Modano would go on to score more goals and accumulate more points than an American player in league history using consistency, speed and great two-way play.

He would capture the Staley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999. Internationally, he would win an Olympic silver medal in 2002 and a gold in the World Cup in 1996.  He was elected into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

"When I played I always hoped that I could make an impact on the game, both on and off the ice, and this honor recognizes that," said Modano. "I love this game, and as an American born player I owe a lot to the people in Prince Albert [Western Hockey League] who helped me take my game to the next level."

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