Hayley Wickenheiser one of six going into Hockey Hall of Fame this year - InfoNews

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Hayley Wickenheiser one of six going into Hockey Hall of Fame this year

Four time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser poses for a portrait in Calgary on January 11, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
June 25, 2019 - 1:34 PM

TORONTO - Longtime Canadian women's team star Hayley Wickenheiser is one of six new members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Wickenheiser joins fellow Canadian Guy Carbonneau in the player category, along with Czech forward Vaclav Nedomansky and Russian defenceman Sergei Zubov.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, a native of Beeton, Ont., and Boston College head coach Jerry York were selected in the builder category.

The selections were announced Tuesday, with the induction ceremony to take place Nov. 18.

Wickenheiser was the only first-year eligible player to be selected.

Wickenheiser retired as the country's all-time leading scorer after 23 years on the national team. She now works as the assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 40-year-old native of Shaunavon, Sask., was one of the top players on four Olympic champion Canadian women's teams.

Carbonneau, a native of Sept-Iles, Que., was the last captain of a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, doing so with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. He won three Selke Awards as the NHL's top defensive forward and three Stanley Cups (two with Montreal, one with the Dallas Stars).

"This is an honour you think about, but it's never a sure thing,” Carbonneau said in a statement. "It is an incredible recognition and I thank the selection committee."

Nedomansky played 12 seasons in Bratislava before becoming the first athlete from an Eastern European communist country to defect to North America to pursue a pro hockey career. He played in the WHA with Toronto and Birmingham before joining the Detroit Red Wings as a 33-year-old rookie in 1977.

Nedomansky played 252 career NHL games with Detroit, the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers.

"I appreciate my accomplishments being recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Nedomansky. "I'm proud to be the first player from a communist country to come and play in North America."

Zubov joined the Rangers in 1992 after playing four seasons with the Moscow Red Army. He won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994 and another with Dallas in 1999.

Rutherford began his management career with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires in 1984. He went on to be general manager of the Hartford Whalers for 20 years and won a Stanley Cup in Carolina in 2006 after the franchise moved.

Rutherford has won two more Stanley Cups with the Penguins.

"I started my career in Beeton, 50 miles north of the Hall of Fame, never dreaming that I would once be in it," said Rutherford. "I've travelled lots of miles in hockey and met so many great people along the way."

The American-born York has been a head coach in the NCAA ranks since 1972. He has won five national titles.

"I'm flabbergasted with this unexpected honour," said York. "I will cherish this special recognition."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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