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Added June 29th, 2011 by Chalk

Belfour Leads Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011

On Tuesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame elected four new members: goaltender Ed Belfour, forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour, and defenseman Mark Howe, who is the son of legendary Hall of Famer Gordie Howe. Belfour, who won more games than all but two goalies in NHL history, was the only one of the four elected in his first year of eligibility.

Nieuwendyk scored 564 goals in his career, and won Stanley Cups in Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey. Gilmour had 450 goals and 1,414 points in his 20-season career, and won the Stanley Cup in Toronto in 1993.  Gordie’s son amassed 1,246 points in 22 professional seasons.

If there was a surprise in this year’s class, it was perhaps the omission of coach Pat Burns, who died of cancer last November at age 58. Burns led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2003 and had an impressive 501-353-151 record with four teams. He was also the first coach to win the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year three times.

Belfour twice won the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender, first in his rookie season in 1991 and then again in 1993. the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999. And would you believe, his mother is very proud?  “Ever since he was little, about three or four-years-old, he’d be watching Hockey Night In Canada and he’d say to us, ‘I’m going to be [in the NHL] someday,’” she said. “It’s wonderful, exciting. He deserves to be there.”

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