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Hockey Hall of Fame elects Sundin, Sakic, Bure and Oates

June 26, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Pavel Bure, with the Florida Panthers in 2002, is on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pavel Bure, with the Florida Panthers in 2002, is on his way to the Hockey… (Scott Martin / Associated…)

Mats Sundin's reaction told the story.

"Are you serious?" he said.

Sundin, who played 13 of his 18 NHL seasons with Toronto, couldn't quite believe the call from the hall.

That would be the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sundin, Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates were elected to Hall of Fame on Tuesday. The induction ceremony is Nov. 12 in Toronto.

Among those eligible this year for the first time but not elected was Brendan Shanahan, who is the league's chief disciplinarian. Four players are the limit in that category each year. No one was elected in the builders category.

It was, in an understatement, a memorable day for Oates, the consummate playmaker. Earlier in the day, Oates was named head coach of the Washington Capitals. He started his playing career in Detroit and finished it with the Oilers and had been an assistant coach with the Devils.

This was his sixth year of eligibility and he played for seven NHL teams, including one season with the Ducks, 2003, in which they reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Eligible next year are such luminaries as defenseman Chris Chelios and former Kings defenseman Rob Blake as well as former Ducks Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer.

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