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Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2023: Speech Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2023: Speech Highlights and Twitter Reaction

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Tom Barrasso, Coco Lacroix (for Pierre), Caroline Ouellett, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Vernon, Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Turgeon receive their Hockey Hall of Fame blazers at Air Canada Centre on November 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Seven iconic figures were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday night.

Tom Barrasso, Henrik Lundqvist, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Vernon, and Caroline Ouellette were inducted in the player category while Ken Hitchcock and the late Pierre Lacroix were inducted in the builder category.

Turgeon was one of the top centers throughout his 19 seasons in the NHL, as his 1,327 points recorded during his career ranks 34th all-time. The former No. 1 pick of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft had three seasons with at least 40 goals. This included 58 in his 1992-93 campaign, a year in which Turgeon also received the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

He played for six teams throughout his career, spending at least four seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, and New York Islanders.

Hockey Hall of Fame @HockeyHallFame

Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame Pierre Turgeon!

Pierre receives his Honoured Member plaque from Al MacInnis #HHOF2007.#HHOF2023 | #HHOF |📸 Dave Sandford/HHOF

Mike Harrington @ByMHarrington

In #HHOF speech in Toronto, Pierre Turgeon thanks the Knox family and GM Gerry Meehan for bringing him to #Sabres. Other salutes include fellow inductee and ex-teammate Tom Barrasso.

New York Islanders @NYIslanders

Congrats, Pierre! 👏

DNVR Avalanche @DNVR_Avalanche

Pierre Turgeon pays respect to Pierre Lacroix and Joe Sakic in his Hall of Fame speech.

St. Louis Blues @StLouisBlues

Who better to present Pierre Turgeon’s Hall of Fame plaque than Al MacInnis? #stlblues

Ouellette took the stage next. The legendary Canadian forward won four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship gold medals throughout her international career. She was also a two-time MVP in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

She holds the Olympic record for most goals in a period, scoring three against Italy in 2006. Ouellette became the 10th woman in the history of the sport to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Caroline Ouellette thanks the trailblazers in women’s hockey!❤️

Hockey Hall of Fame @HockeyHallFame

Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame Caroline Ouellette!

Caroline receives her Honoured Member plaque from Kim St-Pierre #HHOF2020.#HHOF2023 | #HHOF |📸 Matthew Manor/HHOF

Jared Book @jaredbook

Caroline Ouellette shouting out Noémie Marin as the CWHL’s all-time leading goal scorer was nice. Marin and Ouellette were chasing the record and actually went back and forth with the record that season as teammates.

Ouellette finished one goal behind.

Melissa Burgess @_MelissaBurgess

“I coach with my best friend, and the most wonderful human being in the world, Julie Chu.” – Caroline Ouellette #HHOF23

Melissa Burgess @_MelissaBurgess

Caroline Ouellette & Julie Chu at tonight’s #HHOF2023 induction ceremony. Ouellette is inducted following an historic career. She is also a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame!

Next up was Ken Hitchcock, who was the head coach for five different franchise throughout his Hall of Fame career. He has the fourth most wins of any NHL coach in the league’s history, ending his career with 849.

Hitchcock added 47 more wins in the
playoffs, including a Stanley Cup victory with the Dallas Stars in 1999. He was
also the recipient of the Jack Adams Award following his 2011-12 season leading
the St. Louis Blues.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Ken Hitchcock on his fellow Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees including Pierre Lacroix!😂

TSN @TSN_Sports

Ken Hitchcock thanks the players he coached during his career in his Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Speech!❤️

Meghan Angley @megangley

Ken Hitchcock playfully called Pierre Lacroix his nemesis in his acceptance speech, “He’s one of the best builders in the world.”

Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK

Fantastic speech from Ken Hitchcock. The first coach I got to cover in the NHL back in 2002 and remains the smartest I’ve been around.

Pierre was the second member of the builder category inducted, as he was honored posthumously.

He switched from a long-time
agent to the general manager of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994. The team
eventually moved to Colorado, becoming the Avalanche. Lacroix constructed two
Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche teams, earning the iconic trophy in both 1996 and
2001. A Colorado hockey legend, Lacroix passed away in Dec. 2020 at 72 years

His grandson Max accepted the honor on his behalf.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Pierre Lacroix’s grandson, Max shares what his players meant to him.❤️

Dan Colucci @coluccid2

Max Lacroix, Pierre Lacroix’s grandson, is 19 years old? He’s very well spoken and doing well in this speech. Amazing he’s doing this in front of all these hockey legends at the HHOF. Pierre is smiling down from heaven and proud of Max

Jim Biringer @JimBiringer

Max Lacroix with a great speech about Pierre Lacroix. Awesome stuff. #hhof @FullPressNHL

Barrasso spent time with six teams throughout his 19-year career, with 12 of those years coming as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a part of Stanley Cup-winning Penguins teams in 1991 and 1992.

He’s still the youngest player to ever receive the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, winning it at age 19.

Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins

Tom Barrasso: “I would like to thank my teammates through the years, with whom we shared great success, failure, epic card games, golf games – we have a bond that cannot be broken. And we shared a time in all of our lives that cannot be replicated. My thanks to all of you.”

Mike Harrington @ByMHarrington

Tom Barrasso is presented by Scotty Bowman for induction into the #HHOF and then thanks the former #Sabres coach/GM for the courage to draft an 18-year-old and make him the starter in goal four months later in 1983.

Mike Vernon was next, as the renowned goaltender won the Stanley Cup twice during his 19-year career.

He spent most of his time as a professional with the Calgary Flames, ranking second on the franchise’s saves list with 12,186.

He won the William M. Jennings Trophy in 1996, then received the Conn Smythe Trophy the following year as he recorded 16 wins for the Detroit Red Wings during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Vernon’s 385 career wins are the 16th-most in NHL history.

TSN @TSN_Sports

“Mum, you asked me once if I was going to go into the Hall of Fame, well I made it!”

Mike Vernon thanks his late parents in his Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Speech❤️

TSN @TSN_Sports

Mike Vernon’s kids loved to see the highlight of Wayne Gretzky scoring on him!😂

NY Rangers News @nyrgoal99

Mike Vernon joking about having a 22 GAA after his first NHL game is pretty funny. #HHOF2023

Henrik Lundqvist wrapped up the festivities, as the 2012 Vezina Trophy-winner spent the entirety of his career with the New York Rangers.

He’s the only goalie in NHL history to win more than 20 games in 13 straight seasons. Lundqvist is the winningest goaltender in Rangers history, recording a career-high 39 victories during his award-winning 2011-12 campaign.

His 459 career wins are the sixth-most of any NHL netminder, and the most by any European-born goalie.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Henrik Lundqvist gets emotional while thanking his family❤️

Mollie Walker @MollieeWalkerr

Henrik Lundqvist gave #NYR Director of Goaltending Benoit Allaire a heartfelt thank you in his HHOF induction speech

Dan Colucci @coluccid2

Amazing speech by Henrik, always so well spoken and he nailed it. Beautiful, emotional, loved every word. Thank you Henrik, for everything!

TSN @TSN_Sports

Henrik Lundqvist’s supporters made themselves known after his Hockey Hall of Fame Induction speech!🗣️

Steve Brudzynski @_BigSteve89

Henrik holding back tears got me in my feelings right now #NYR

While it may be a bit too early to look ahead of 2023’s star-studded list of inductees, next year’s eligible candidates include Ryan Miller, Patrick Marleau, Pekka Rinne, and Shea Weber.

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