Herb Brooks, Patrick Roy inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

TORONTO (Ticker) - The “Miracle on Ice” finally was played out at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The late Herb Brooks, who coached a team of American college players to the greatest upset in the history of the sport, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night.

Patrick Roy, the NHL’s all-time winningest goaltender, also was enshrined. He was elected in his first year of eligibility.

Roy won 551 games and four Stanley Cup championships - two with the Montreal Canadiens and two with the Colorado Avalanche - during his 18-year NHL career.

Terrance “Dick” Duff, a member of six Stanley Cup-winning teams, and Calgary Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss joined Brooks and Roy in the Class of 2006.

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee corrected a grave injustice by finally electing Brooks, who forever will be remembered as the United States Olympic hockey coach who orchestrated the “Miracle on Ice” win over the powerful Soviet Union en route to an improbable gold medal in 1980 at Lake Placid, New York.

Brooks was killed in a single-car accident on August 11, 2003 in Forest Lake, Minnesota at the age of 66.

The Americans’ 4-3 semifinal victory over the Soviets on February 22, 1980 is considered by many to be the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. As the final seconds ticked away, broadcaster Al Michaels shouted the immortal question, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

How improbable was the upset? Three days before the Olympics began, the U.S. was steamrolled by the same Soviet team, 10-3, in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden.

But Brooks inspired his overmatched players before the semifinal meeting, telling them, “You’re meant to be here; this moment is yours.”

Two days after shocking the Soviets, the U.S. beat Finland for the gold medal.

In a TV movie about the 1980 team, Brooks was portrayed by actor Karl Malden. The feature film entitled “Miracle,” starring Kurt Russell as Brooks, was made in 2004.

Elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, Brooks returned to the Olympics in 2002, coaching a team of American NHL players to a silver medal.

In the NHL, Brooks coached four teams - the New York Rangers (1981-85), Minnesota North Stars (1987-88), New Jersey Devils (1992-93) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1999-2000) - and compiled an overall record of 219-222-66.

Brooks spent his last eight years with the Penguins, serving as a scout, coach and director of player development.

Born in St. Paul, Brooks coached the University of Minnesota from 1972-79 and led the Golden Gophers to three NCAA titles.

Not many will remember Brooks being named NHL Coach of the Year in 1982 after guiding the Rangers to a 39-27-14 record. But he never came close to winning the Stanley Cup.

Ironically, Brooks was the last player cut on the 1960 U.S. gold medal-winning team. He made the 1964 and 1968 Olympic teams.

Popularizing the butterfly style of goaltending by dropping to his knees to stop shots, Roy was a lock to get elected in his first year of eligibility as the all-time winningest goalie, both in the regular season and playoffs (151).

Roy also is the all-time leader in games (1,029) and shutouts with 66 and the only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

An 11-time All-Star and three-time Vezina Trophy winner, Roy played 11 seasons with the Canadiens, winning Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993, before being traded to Colorado in December 1995.

Roy won two more Cups with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001 and is the only goalie to win over 200 regular-season games with two different teams. Roy, 41, retired after the 2003 season and currently coaches the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts, who won the 2006 Memorial Cup.

Duff joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as a left wing in 1955-56 at the age of 19. He played eight seasons with Toronto and was a member of back-to-back Cup-winning teams in 1962 and 1963. After a brief stop with the New York Rangers, Duff was traded to the Canadiens and played for four more Cup champions - in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969.

Duff, 70, concluded his career with the Buffalo Sabres in 1972 after playing in over 1,000 NHL games and recording 283 goals and 572 assists.

“I’m very happy to be selected, and it is extra special for me given that today is my mother’s birthday - if she were still alive, she would have been 101,” Duff said. “I appreciate all my teammates in the NHL who taught me how to win at the highest level of the game.”

Hotchkiss was part of the group that brought the Flames to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980.

The Flames have prospered in Calgary, winning the Stanley Cup in 1989 and reaching the Finals in 2004, and Hotchkiss was instrumental in bringing the 1988 Winter Olympics to the city in 1988.

Hotchkiss has served as the Chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors for the last 10 years.


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Updated Monday, Nov 13, 2006