‘A surreal moment’: Hockey Hall of Fame class get their rings

Goalie Martin Brodeur, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, winger Martin St. Louis among inductees

Martin Brodeur’s father took pictures of many of the greatest players in NHL history.

His son’s plaque now sits amongst those legends in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Three-time Stanley Cup champion Martin Brodeur and the rest of the class of 2018 received their Hall of Fame rings Friday to kick off a weekend of festivities that will culminate with Monday’s induction ceremony.

Team photographer for the Montreal Canadiens during their glory years, Denis Brodeur snapped shots of Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Patrick Roy and countless others throughout his own storied career.

“It’s kind of a surreal moment for me to live this,” Martin Brodeur said of being enshrined in the hall. “When you play the game, you never really think about these things.”

READ MORE: Stompin’ Tom’s ‘The Hockey Song’ inducted into Hall of Fame

Brodeur won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie four times with the New Jersey Devils, took home the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year, owns two Olympic gold medals and is the NHL’s all-time leader in victories (691) and shutouts (125).

“I was asked a lot of questions about a lot of different things when I played,” said the 46-year-old, who retired in 2015 and owns or shares 12 league records. ”But when you take a step back after you retire, you understand a little bit where you stand in hockey.”

Denis Brodeur, who died in 2013, took Martin for the first skate of his young life on the ice at the old Montreal Forum when he was a toddler.

Now his son is in the hall.

“With my dad being so close to the hockey world, I got to meet a lot of these guys,” Martin Brodeur said. ”I was fortunate to play with a lot of guys that are in the Hall of Fame — Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, (Viacheslav) Fetisov and (Igor) Larionov. I was coached by Larry Robinson and Pat Burns and Jacques Lemaire … I forgot about Lou (Lamoriello).

“I was fortunate to be around a lot of guys that made their mark in hockey.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, diminutive winger Martin St. Louis, league trailblazer Willie O’Ree, Canadian women’s star Jayna Hefford and Russian great Alexander Yakushev are the other five 2018 inductees announced back in June.

Brodeur and St. Louis were eligible to be selected by the 18-member committee for the first time. Nominees require 75 per cent of the vote to make the cut.

“Until we were flying up today as a family, it really didn’t really start to hit,” Bettman said. ”It’s started to take a more real quality to it.”

The NHL has grown from 24 to 31 teams since Bettman took over as commissioner in 1993, with annual revenue ballooning to nearly US$5 billion. He’s also overseen three lockouts, including the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season, with another work stoppage potentially looming in either 2020 or 2022.

“We have the greatest game in the world, we have the greatest athletes in the world playing our game, and our fans are the greatest,” said Bettman, 66. “And when you put that combination together, the sky’s the limit as to how much more we can even grow this game.”

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Penticton’s second Snakebite festival hits the screen Jan. 31

Snakebite Film Festival showing LBGT, Indigenous and other diverse films

LETTER: Funds were borrowed from ICBC and B.C. Hydro

Method helped government hype but depleted needed money in the corporations

LETTER: Questions raised about high docks in Summerland

Public docks were replaced following damage from flooding on Okanagan Lake

Crosswalk coming to intersection near Penticton events centre

After years of plans a crosswalk is expected to be built on Alberni Street on Highway 97 this year

EDITORIAL: Revisiting Banks Crescent

Summerland had earlier considered controversial development at same location

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read