Today the NHL announced the four men who will be inducted into the hallowed Hockey Hall of Fame this coming November. What’s exciting is that for once, Toronto fans can enjoy more than just being the location of the Hall.
Three of the four players who will be inducted played for the Maple Leafs and had quite an impact for them as well. Doug Gilmour, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed “The Eagle” Belfour will soon join ranks with the greatest of all time. Mark Howe will round out the four.
Doug Gilmour, one of the 15 players to have their number retired by the Maple Leafs, played five seasons in Toronto–seasons that he called “the best of my career.”
Belfour, who got the Hall of Fame call in his first year of eligibility, posted a 34-win, 10-shutout season for the Leafs back in 2004. He was one of the best goalies of all time, ranking in the top 10 in career wins and shutouts.
Nieuwendyk only played one season for the Leafs, posting 50 points in the twilight of his career, way back when Toronto was still making the playoffs.
Toronto is definitely one of the greatest hockey cities, being second in all-time Stanley Cups, and for boasting 63 Hall of Fame players of the total 247 inductees. Toronto’s current team may not be much to boast about. It is possible that it doesn’t include any future Hall of Famers, but the history of this club and its legacy in the NHL is something that cannot be ignored. Toronto will continue to create Hall of Fame legends and not only be known as the hometown of the Hall.
Who could say if this is just the first of many years where Leafs’ players make up the majority of the Hall inductees?