The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees have been announced, and the class is headlined by New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist. The class also features two of his goaltending peers, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon.
On Wednesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame revealed the class of 2023 inductees. Lundqvist, Barrasso, Vernon, Pierre Turgeon and Caroline Ouellette were all selected as players. Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix will also be inducted as builders.
Lundqvist played in 887 games — all for the Rangers — and was one of the best goalies of his generation. Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 after posting a 1.97 GAA and .930 save percentage that season. He was a finalist for the award four more times throughout his career. Lundqvist was a five-time All-Star, and he ranks sixth all-time in wins (459), 13th in save percentage (.918) and 17th in shutouts (64).
Lundqvist never won a Stanley Cup, but that was no fault of his own. He had a 2.30 GAA and .921 save percentage in 130 playoff games.
Barrasso won the Vezina Trophy as a rookie with the Buffalo Sabres in 1983-84, and he was a runner-up for the award the following season. In 1991 and 1992, Barrasso backstopped the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, and he managed to play 10 more seasons after that. Barrasso finished his career with a 3.24 GAA, .892 save percentage and 38 shutouts in 777 games played.
Like Barrasso, Vernon was a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Vernon powered the Calgary Flames to their first Stanley Cup in 1989, and he won a Stanley Cup as the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender in 1997. En route to his second Stanley Cup, Vernon earned a GAA of 1.76 and a save percentage of .927. Vernon was a five-time All-Star, and he was known to mix it up after the whistles, especially against the Colorado Avalanche.
Turgeon spent 19 seasons in the NHL, and he was a prolific goal-scorer in his prime. From 1988-89 to 1993-94, Turgeon scored a total of 242 goals, which ranked eighth in that time span. After that, Turgeon was a consistent 20-goal scorer, and he hit the 30-goal mark three more times. Turgeon, who played for six different franchises, finished his career with 515 goals, 812 assists and 1,327 points in 1,294 games.
Caroline Ouellette had a highly-decorated career with the Canadian women’s national team. Ouellette recorded 30 points in 20 Olympic games and 68 points in 59 World Championship Games. Between the Olympics and the World Championships, Ouellette racked up 10 gold medals throughout her career. Ouellette also played 10 years in the NWHL and CWHL, and she recorded 199 goals and 264 assists in that time.
Hitchcock is the fourth-winningest coach in NHL history with 849 victories over the course of 22 seasons. Hitchcock led the Dallas Stars to their first and only Stanley Cup in the 1998-99 season, and he took them to the Stanley Cup Final the next season before losing to the New Jersey Devils. Hitchcock coached five different NHL teams, and he went to the playoffs in 14 of his 22 years behind the bench.
Lacroix served as general manager of the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche from 1994 to 2006, and the franchise reached the playoffs in every season. Lacroix built two Stanley Cup champions in 1995-96 and 2000-01, and the Avalanche won eight division titles with him at the helm. Lacroix, who died in 2020, will be inducted posthumously.