The IIHF named its 2016 Hall of Fame class Thursday and the class is headlined by Sergei Fedorov, Peter Bondra and the late Pat Quinn. Valeri Kamensky, Ville Peltonen and Ben Smith will also be inducted, while Gabor Ocskay and Nikolai Ozerov earned recognition for their contributions.
Joining Fedorov, Bondra and Quinn are Valeri Kamensky, Ville Peltonen and Ben Smith, who enters, like Quinn, in the builders category. The IIHF Hall of Fame also awarded the Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani Award to Gabor Ocskay and the Paul Loicq Award to Nikolai Ozerov. All will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame May 22 in Moscow following the final game of the 2016 World Championship.
It’s been an incredible year for Fedorov. The 46-year-old was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, and little more than a month later got the call that he was named to the IIHF’s Hall of Fame, as well. Fedorov’s accomplishments in the NHL are well known. He remains one of the best two-way scorers the league has even seen and the only player to win the Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) and Selke Trophy in the same season.
On the international stage, Fedorov shone just as bright. Including all international competitions, Fedorov was a more than point-per-game player, and he captured medals at every major tournament. Fedorov helped Russia win three World Championship gold medals, World Junior Championship gold and Olympic bronze and silver over the course of his career. In 1988-89, Fedorov was part of the Russian teams that won gold at the World Juniors and World Championship.
Bondra, 47, is the third-highest scoring Slovakian born player in NHL history, but he’s possibly better remembered in his home country for his play internationally. More specifically, Bondra is remembered for one goal against Russia in 2002. At the 2002 World Championship, Bondra scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining to help Slovakia capture their first gold medal at the tournament.
From the IIHF: “It immediately became to Slovak sports what Paul Henderson’s goal was to Canada or Mike Eruzione’s goal to the United States.”
That’s high praise, and it’s not hard to understand why a goal of that magnitude could get Bondra into the IIHF Hall. He was unbelievable at the 2002 World Championship, leading the tournament in goals with seven and earning a spot on the tournament’s all-star team. The next season, Bondra helped Slovakia capture a bronze medal at the Worlds.
Quinn, who passed away in November 2014, gets a posthumous introduction into the IIHF Hall as one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the men’s international game. While he doesn’t have the sheer amount of medals as other coaches, Quinn is the only coach to have medalled in five different international events. It began in 1986 when he was behind Canada’s World Championship bronze and continued in 2002 when Quinn coached Canada to Olympic gold. Two years later, in 2004, he won the World Cup with Canada, which was later followed by back-to-back junior medals. First, Quinn won U18 gold in 2008 and he followed it up with World Junior Championship gold in 2009.
Kamesky, 49, and then Avalanche teammate Alexei Gusarov were the first Russian players to enter the Triple Gold Club when Colorado won the Stanley Cup in June 1996. Kamesky played in 13 international tournaments and suited up for a staggering 61 games at the World Championship for Russia. His 29 goals ranks 46th of more than 4,400 players to play at the World Championship, and his 48 total points are good for 64th-best in World Championship history.
The only Finn to get inducted in the 2016 class, Peltonen, 42, may be the most well travelled of any player inducted. He has played in the NHL, AHL, IHL, KHL, SM-Liiga (Finland), SHL (Sweden) and NLA (Switzerland). But Peltonen made his biggest mark internationally where he played at 19 best-on-best tournaments, including 13 World Championships, four Olympics and two World Cups. His No. 16 jersey has been retired by Finland.
Smith was the first full-time women’s coach for Team USA and led the American women’s team to the 2002 Olympic gold. His coaching helped breathe life into women’s hockey program and made the Canada-USA rivalry what it is today.
The Torriani Award is given to a player from a “non-top hockey nation,” and went to Hungary’s Gabor Ocskay. He is the highest-scoring player in Hungarian league history with 197 goals and 461 points in 253 games and helped Székesfehérvár, his home team with whom he played his entire career, to consecutive championships in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Diagnosed with a heart disease, Ocskay shockingly passed away two days after winning the 2009 Hungarian championship. He was 33.
Finally, the Loicq Award was given to Ozerov for his contributions as “the sports voice of a nation for decades in the post-war Soviet Union,” the IIHF said.