Dominik Hasek and Scott Niedermayer will be among seven international hockey icons inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in May 2015. The inductees also include Swedish icon Maria Rooth, longtime Czech captain Robert Reichel, and builder Fran Rider.
Other inductees include longtime Czech captain Robert Reichel, Sweden’s Maria Rooth, Fran Rider in the builder category, and Lucio Topatigh, an Italian national rewarded for his play for a non-top hockey nation.
Niedermayer became the 14th member of the Triple Gold Club – winners of the Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, and World Championshp – on May 9, 2004. Joining the club alongside the likes of Mats Naslund, Peter Forsberg, Alex Mogilny, Rob Blake, and Joe Sakic.
On top of being one of the greatest defensemen the professional game has seen, Niedermayer’s accomplishments on the international scene stand out. As a member of the 2002 and 2010 Olympic teams, Niedermayer helped Canada take home the gold medal, as well as winning helping Canada to two gold medals in 2004, one at the World Cup of Hockey and the other at the World Championship. In 36 games at the international level, Niedermayer registered seven goals and 16 points.
Hasek enters the IIHF Hall of Fame on the strength of some of the most dominant goaltending ever seen in international competition. As a member of the 1998 Czech Olympic team, Hasek turned in one of the greatest performances in hockey history. Over the course of the six-game tournament, Hasek posted two shutouts, a 0.97 goals-against average, and .961 save percentage. He was named the tournament MVP.
Though he’s best known for his performance in the NHL, his international play during the peak of his career is unmatched and his GAA and SP marks at the 1998 Olympics will likely never be seen again. Over the course of his international career, Hasek won nine total medals: four bronze, four silver, one gold.
Hasek’s teammate, Reichel, makes the cut due to his incredible success in the IIHF and in part due to his dedication to the international team. Throughout a 23-year career that saw him play in his native Czech Republic, Germany, and the NHL with the Flames, Islanders, Coyotes, and Maple Leafs, Reichel suited up for nearly 100 international contests. He also competed internationally in 33 junior games.
Over the 132 total IIHF games, Reichel registered 70 goals and 144 points. One of the most decorated Czech players of all-time, Reichel medaled 12 times in international competition, picking up six bronze, one silver, and five gold.
As for the women’s game, Sweden’s Rooth was part of one of the most improbable victories in IIHF history, when the Swedish women came back to defeat the heavily favored Americans in the semi-final of the 2006 Olympics.
With Sweden down 2-0 to the U.S., Rooth scored twice to push the game to an extra frame and, after a scoreless overtime period, the Swedes pulled out the victory on the strength of a Rooth marker. It was dubbed the “Mirakel,” but the Swedes would unfortunately go on to lose the gold medal game to Canada, 4-1.
Over the course of her career, she suited up for Sweden in 265 games.
Rider makes the cut as the very first woman to be inducted for contributions solely to the women’s game. She was part of the team that founded the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association in 1975, created the first national championship for women in 1982, helped launch the first Women’s World Championship in 1990, and, without a doubt, is a big part of helping women’s hockey get into the Olympic games in 1998.
Topatigh, possibly the least known of the inductees, rounds out the class as the recipient of the Richard “Bibi” Torriani Award for outstanding careers by players from non-top hockey nations. The IIHF states that his career is to Italian hockey what Gordie Howe’s was to the NHL. He played 23 seasons and registered over 1,200 points while playing in Italy, averaging 1.57 points per game over his career.
Ten times Topatigh was part of a championship team, and he competed in 18 IIHF tournaments, 14 of them in the top level.