Just one player who spent more than three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pavel Bure, one of the most electrifying goal scorers in NHL history, was deservedly inducted in 2012.
A handful of other former Canucks who were better known for their time with other teams are in the Hall, such as Igor Larionov, Cam Neely, and Mats Sundin, but Bure is the only true Canuck.
He’s about to be joined by three more.
"I get to go in with two of my favourite teammates."
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced their class of 2022 on Monday, including three Canucks legends: Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, and Henrik Sedin. Luongo and the Sedins are heading into the Hall in their first year of eligibility.
Luongo is fourth all-time in wins in the NHL, has four gold medals — two at the Olympics and two at the World Championships — and is one of just three goaltenders in NHL history to start at least 1000 games. He was also a Second-Team All-Star in 2004 and 2007.
"I was actually in the bathroom when I got the phone call," joked Luongo before clarifying he was actually in his Florida Panthers office. "I was really excited and humbled."
While he was snubbed multiple times at the NHL Awards — notably missing out on the Vezina in both 2004 and 2007 to Martin Brodeur — he won’t be snubbed by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
"It feels surreal, to be honest with you. It kind of hasn't hit me yet. I've been getting a kazillion text message," said Luongo. "The best part of the whole thing is that I get to go in with two of my favourite teammates of all time and two of the greatest people I know, Henrik and Daniel."
"They were never in a bad mood."
The Sedins have fantastic individual resumés.
Henrik was a two-time First-Team All-Star, won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies, and cracked 1000 career points. He’s also the only player in NHL history to be a two-time winner of the King Clancy Award for leadership and humanitarian contributions to his community.
Daniel was a First-Team All-Star once and a Second-Team All-Star once. He has an Art Ross Trophy and a Ted Lindsay Award and also cracked 1000 career points and sits just outside the top-100 all-time in goals. He also shared the King Clancy Award with Henrik in 2018.
Beyond their individual achievements, of course, is the unique element of the Sedins being identical twins who spent their entire career playing on the same line for the same team. They also brought new innovations to the game with the way they cycled and passed the puck. Their uniqueness made them a lock for the Hall of Fame.
"They were never in a bad mood," said Luongo about the Sedins. "They were always upbeat, no matter what happened. The thing I think that makes them exceptional leaders is they were accountable. They always put it on their backs when the team wasn't performing...
"It alleviated a lot of pressure off of other guys. They took a lot of heat for that sometimes but that's the type of guys that they were. They put it on their shoulders and that shows great leadership."
The Sedins also had kind words for their former teammate.
"Roberto is one of my favourite people of all time," said Daniel. "I couldn't be happier for him."
"He was the difference for us to get to the next level," said Henrik. "If you're talking about a winner, he's the guy. The way he competed in practice everyday, he never took a day off."
While Luongo had some funny quips and quotes during the presser — he noted that his humorous @strombone1 Twitter account has been "therapeutic" for him — it was Daniel Sedin who had the best one-liners.
When asked how he and Henrik have managed to stay friends despite their competitive nature, Daniel sighed heavily and replied, "That's a very good question." Then, when asked what Henrik had done to help Daniel through the tough early years of their career, Daniel said, completely deadpan, "Nothing."
"I am probably the second-best Daniel out of this group."
There was a possibility for a Canucks sweep of the 2022 class, with Alexander Mogilny one of the most deserving players not currently in the Hall. But with no class of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a stacked group of players eligible, so Mogilny will have to wait at least another year.
Joining Luongo and the Sedins in the class of 2022 will be Daniel Alfredsson, Finnish great Riikka Sallinen, and builder Herb Carnegie.
Alfredsson has been eligible for the Hall since 2017. He has over 1000 career points, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1996, and won Olympic gold in 2006.
"It's such a privilege to be able to play this sport for a living, something I would have played for fun for my whole life without a question," said Alfredsson.
"I am probably the second-best Daniel out of this group," quipped Daniel Sedin. "Daniel Alfredsson has been someone that we looked up to when we came into the NHL, a big hero for us."
Sallinen was dominant internationally for Finland, carrying them to multiple bronze medals and one silver at the Olympics and World Championships behind the juggernaut Team Canada and Team USA. Her performance at the 1998 Olympics, where she led the tournament in scoring with 7 goals and 12 points in 6 games to secure bronze, was particularly legendary.
"The grace that he carried...gave him the opportunity to make this world a better place."
Carnegie faced discrimination and adversity throughout his career, with racism keeping him out of the NHL despite being one of the best players of his time. Conn Smythe, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the time, is infamously alleged to have said that he would take Carnegie if he could "turn him white." Related, the NHL should change the name of the playoff MVP trophy.
"The grace that he carried throughout his career — throughout his life — gave him the opportunity to help make this world a better place," said Rane Carnegie, the late Herb Carnegie's grandson.
A star for the Quebec Aces in the Quebec Senior Hockey League, he founded the Future Aces Hockey School and Foundation to help and inspire young people. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2003 and it's been a long battle to get Carnegie recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
"I am just totally overwhelmed," said Bernice Carnegie, Herb's daughter. "For years, people have been working so hard to see that my father was recognized. He would have been smiling right now — my father would have this little wry smile on his face when something good would happen."