The Hockey Hall of Fame announced the class of 2016 Monday. Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Pat Quinn and Rogie Vachon will receive one of hockey’s highest honors this fall.
— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) June 27, 2016
Lindros was a favorite to get in. He was the only player to receive the Hart Trophy in the last 60 years and not find his way into the Hall of Fame. He remains a controversial player both for his style of play and notable moments like refusing to sign with the Quebec Nordiques after being selected first overall by them.
Makarov was a part of the famed KLM line out of Russia, and is the poster child for how the Hockey Hall of Fame is frequently the NHL Hall of Fame. He was named to the IIHF’s Centennial Team, naming the best line of players to ever play hockey anywhere in the world. He came to the NHL late in his career and is the reason there’s an age limit on the Calder Trophy currently. In 1990 he won rookie of the year at age 30.
Vachon had a solid career as a goaltender for 16 seasons. It’s believed that he ties the record for the longest wait to be inducted in the post-expansion NHL. He’s waited 31 years for his induction to come (Dick Duff was the other). He won two Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1972. He was the first player to have his number retired by the Kings.
Quinn is inducted as a builder and was basically a lock for this year. He passed away in 2014 and was overdue for his honor here. He played over 600 games in the NHL, though his major mark was as a coach. He coached over 1,400 games behind the bench with the Flyers, Kings, Canucks, Maple Leafs and Oilers. He ranks sixth all-time with 684 wins.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.