Bourque, Coffey, Murphy make Hockey Hall

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2004

DANVERS, Mass. Ray Bourque was on the 13th hole when his cell phone rang with the good news. He then proceeded to mess up his chip shot.

Bourque and fellow high-scoring defensemen Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday in their first year of eligibility.

Former Calgary and Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher was chosen for induction in the builders' category by the 18-member selection committee.

When the usually unflappable Bourque got the official word while playing golf at the Salem Country Club north of Boston, he lost the cool that had marked his 22 years in the NHL, more than 20 with the Bruins.

''I really didn't know how I was going to react, but it really gave me goose bumps,'' he said of the call from Jim Gregory, chairman of the selection committee. ''I couldn't hit my next chip shot.''

But Bourque settled down and finished with five birdies and a 78.

''It was a good day,'' he said at a news conference near his home.

Bourque holds career records for defensemen in goals (410), assists (1,169) and points (1,579). The eighth overall pick in the 1979 draft, he won the Calder trophy as the league's top rookie. Bourque won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman five times.

Late in his 21st season with the Bruins, he was traded to Colorado where he won his first Stanley Cup the next season, 2000-2001. Then he retired.

''The team awards are by far the most special because you get to share it with all of your teammates and it takes everybody to win the ultimate prize,'' Bourque said.

His election to the Hall of Fame, where he joins the game's greats ''is the final chapter'' of his career, he said.

''It's the best of the best and being part of that group is truly an honor and a privilege,'' he said.

The biggest change that comes with being known as Hall of Famer Ray Bourque?

''It just makes the autograph a little longer now,'' he said.

He helped the Bruins make the playoffs for 17 consecutive years.



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