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Five are called to the Hall

Three Red Wings in Class of 2009

By Rachel Cohen
Associated Press / June 24, 2009
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Steve Yzerman’s greatest accomplishment in captaining the Detroit Red Wings to the 2002 Stanley Cup might have been managing all the egos on that star-studded roster.

The talent of that team was never more evident than yesterday, when three members were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yzerman, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille will be inducted alongside Brian Leetch and New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello Nov. 9.

“I think the biggest thing for me of having a guy like Stevie as a leader was the way he handled stuff around us,’’ Robitaille said during a conference call. “We’ve got literally 20 big egos in the room. Everybody played a role on their teams for years, and they had to understand their roles and the common goal.’’

The maximum of four players, who were eligible for the first time, was elected this year. Lamoriello was chosen in the builder category.

Yzerman ranks sixth all-time in points with 1,755. He played 22 seasons with Detroit and was the longest-serving captain in league history, holding the title from 1986-2006. He won three Stanley Cups and a gold medal with Canada in the 2002 Olympics.

Hull’s 741 goals trail only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe, and his 24 career playoff game-winning goals are tied with Gretzky for the most in NHL history. He scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Dallas Stars in the third overtime of Game 6 of the 1999 finals.

Leetch became the first American-born player to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. He also twice won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.

Robitaille played 19 seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers, and Red Wings. His 668 goals and 1,394 points are the most by a left wing. He received the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1987.

Lamoriello has served as the Devils’ president since 1987 and has taken over twice as the team’s coach, in 2005-06 and 2007. New Jersey has won the Stanley Cup three times under his leadership.

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