1997 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees
Mario Lemieux, Player Category
Mario Lemieux was arguably the most naturally talented player of his generation. His offensive wizardry and leadership changed the fortunes of the Pittsburgh Penguins and brought the franchise consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. Lemieux amassed 613 goals and 1,494 points in 745 regular season games while capturing a multitude of individual awards and accolades. He also distinguished himself on the international stage by leading Canada to the 1987 Canada Cup championship over the Soviet Union.
Born in Montreal, Quebec on October 5, 1965, Lemieux starred at every level during his amateur development. He became a legend in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and scored a record 282 points during his last year of eligibility in 1983-84. In one of the most obvious picks in Draft history, the Pittsburgh Penguins chose Mario Lemieux fist overall in 1984. Prophetically, he scored on his first NHL shift and finished the season with 100 points which brought him the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. Following his sophomore year he won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the top NHL performer as selected by his peers. In 1987-88 Lemieux won his first of six Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's top scorer and was also the recipient of the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player for the first time.
Although he missed a sizable portion of the 1990-91 regular season, Lemieux returned to score 44 points in 23 play-off games while leading Pittsburgh to it's first Stanley Cup triumph. His value to the Penguins was underscored when he received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the post-season. The next season the Penguins repeated as Cup winners and Lemieux won his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy. At the mid point of the 1992-93 schedule he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease but returned to lead his club to the President's Trophy as the NHL's regular season points leader. In the latter stages of his career, Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy four times in the last six seasons he played and continued to score some of the most picturesque goals in recent memory.
Glen Cameron Sather, Builder Category
Glen Sather has been one of hockey's most successful executives for nearly two decades. His administrative and coaching talents enabled the Edmonton Oilers to become one of the most successful clubs in NHL history. Sather was performing the dual role of general manager and coach when the Oilers won five Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1990.
Born in High River, Alberta on September 2, 1943, Sather played 660 games as a left-winger before joining the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA in 1976-77. Before that season concluded he retired and took over as the teams coach. In 1978-79 he was instrumental in the purchasing of seventeen year old Wayne Gretzky from the Indianapolis Racers. This transaction laid the foundation for the franchise's later success.
Sather coached the Oilers to a respectable 69 point total during their initial NHL season in 1979-80. He was rewarded with the added responsibility of general manager in time for the 1980 Entry Draft. Sather and his staff excelled by selecting Paul Coffey in the first round along with Jari Kurri and Andy Moog in the later rounds. The following season he made Grant Fuhr the eighth player chosen in the first round. The core of the team was built and the 1981-82 playoffs showed glimpses of their future greatness by extending the New York Islanders to six games in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals. Two years later they won their first Cup against the four-time champion Islanders and went on to win four championships in the next five years. Even after the trading of Wayne Gretzky in 1988, the Oilers won another Stanley Cup in 1990 and reached the semifinals in 1991 and 1992. In 1996-97 the rebuilt and youthful Oilers went through the second round of the playoffs and looked to have a bright future. The recurring theme in this success was the astute judgment of Glen Sather.
Bryan John Trottier, Player Category
Bryan John Trottier was amoung the NHL's elite centremen during the majority of his eighteen NHL seasons. He accumulated 524 goals and 1,425 points in 1,279 regular season contests and was an integral part of Team Canada in the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments. A solid two-way performer, Trottier was lauded for his defensive play and leadership skills throughout his career.
Born in Val Marie, Saskatchewan on July 17, 1956, Trottier excelled as an amateur with the Lethbridge Broncos of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League. He was chosen by the New York Islanders in the second round of the 1974 Amateur Draft. Trottier exceeded all expectations in 1975-76 by scoring 95 points and winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Trottier recorded a personal high at 134 points in 1978-79 and was the recipient of the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer and the Hart Trophy as the Leagues most valuable player. In 1979-80 he led the Islanders to the first of four Stanley Cups and in the process was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top performer in the post-season. Trottier played the last three years of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins whom he helped to capture the Stanley Cup in 1991-92. He retired following the 1993-94 campaign with a host of accolades and accomplishments to his credit. In 1988-89 Trottier was the winner of the King Clancy Award in recognition of his service to the community. He was also selected to the NHL First and Second All-Star Teams twice each and was presented with the NHL's Man-of-The-Year Award in 1987-88.
Ken McKenzie, Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award
|| Ken McKenzie contributed invaluable work as a hockey historian and publisher. He founded "The Hockey News" and developed the NHL's initial Press and Radio Guide. His pioneering efforts laid much of the groundwork for the immense documentation of the game that occurs today.
Gene Hart, Foster Hewitt Memorial Award
|| Gene Hart was the radio voice of the Philadelphia Flyers from the early stages of their initial season in 1967-68 until 1991-92. He then became the club's television announcer before assuming the position of broadcast advisor.