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Four enter Hall of Fame amid lockout

The SportsXchange

The National Hockey League's ongoing lockout cast a shadow over the Hockey Hall of Fame's induction ceremony Monday in Toronto.

Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin were enshrined in the midst of the work stoppage.

Sundin looked back on the 2004-05 lockout that lasted a full season.

"It was awful," Sundin said, according to ESPN.com. "I think it's devastating. ...

"The National Hockey League is kind of representing the game of hockey. It's the biggest representative of the game of hockey in the world. When the NHL is not going, people lose focus on hockey. For everybody that is involved in the sport, it's huge to get the guys back playing as soon as possible."

Sundin, a 41-year-old Swede, played center for the Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. He finished with 1,349 points (564 goals, 785 assists) in 1,346 games.

Sakic, a 43-year-old Canadian, spent all of his 20-year career with the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise, which moved from Quebec to Colorado for the 1995-96 season. He compiled 625 goals and 1,016 assists in 1,378 games. He led the Avalanche to Stanley Cup championships in 1996 and 2001.

"I played with so many great players. If I had to thank them, I'd be here all night," Sakic said, according to the Denver Post. "I owe so many people who helped me get here. I was so proud to wear the Avalanche jersey, and so happy to still be a part of the organization and hopefully we can bring another Stanley Cup to Denver."

Oates, a 50-year-old Canadian, played 19 years in the NHL, splitting his time among seven franchises. He scored 341 goals and assisted on 1,079 others in 1,337 games.

He acknowledged being more of a playmaker than a goal-scorer.

"I was OK with it. I was always OK with it," Oates said, according to the Washington Post. "I enjoyed my role. I enjoyed the way I played. I enjoyed being a centerman, getting everybody else involved and being that support guy."

Bure, a 41-year-old Russian, played right wing in the NHL for 13 years, mostly with the Canucks. In 702 games, he scored 437 goals and compiled 342 assists. He also played CSKA Moscow and Moscow Spartak.

"I think it's the biggest achievement you can get in hockey," Bure said of his induction, according to ESPN.com. "The selection committee combines everything you've done for hockey worldwide, so for me it's a huge honor. It feels great."
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