Hockey Hall of Fame welcomes Gartner, Kurri, Fetisov, Hawerchuk

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2001

TORONTO (AP) -- Mike Gartner, ranked fifth in career scoring with 708 goals, and Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton linemate Jari Kurri were among four players elected Thursday to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Also elected were Russian great Vyacheslav Fetisov and Dale Hawerchuk, who is 13th on the career scoring list with 1,409 points.

Pittsburgh general manager Craig Patrick, the architect of the Penguins' two Stanley Cup teams, was chosen from among the hockey executives.

''I couldn't talk for about 10 minutes, I was so choked up,'' Gartner said after he got the call from the Hall of Fame.

Gartner amassed his goals in 19 seasons with Washington, Minnesota, New York, Toronto and Phoenix. The only players who have scored more goals than Gartner are Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Marcel Dionne (731) and Phil Esposito (717).

But the seven-time All-Star had another impressive statistic: He's the only player with 15 consecutive 30-goal seasons.

Kurri, the first Finnish-born player in the Hall of Fame, is 14th on the career points list, one spot behind Hawerchuk, with 601 goals and 797 assists for 1,398 points.

''I had the chance to play with a great team and great players like Wayne, Mark (Messier), and on and on. A lot of good memories,'' said Kurri, an eight-time All-Star who also built a reputation as an excellent checker during his years with the Oilers, Los Angeles, New York Rangers, Anaheim and Colorado.

Fetisov is the second Russian-born player after goaltender Vladislav Tretiak to enter the Hall of Fame. Fetisov played 10 years in the NHL with New Jersey and Detroit but was at the peak of his dominance as one the world's best defensemen when he played for the powerful Soviet hockey teams that also included Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov.

All the retired players ahead of Hawerchuk on the career scoring list are in the Hall of Fame.

He retired in 1997 when a hip injury ended his 16-year career which included stops in Winnipeg, Buffalo, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrick, who won two Stanley Cups as GM of the Penguins in 1990-91 and '91-'92, couldn't believe he was chosen.

''I was shocked when I got the call today,'' he said. ''I had no idea I was even being considered for this.''

Patrick was responsible for acquiring players such as Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelson and Mark Recchi who complemented Mario Lemieux.

A former NHL player, Patrick began his management career in 1980, serving as assistant coach and assistant general manager for the U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal. He was named director of operations for the Rangers and became the youngest general manager in club history in 1981.

He was with the Rangers through the 1985-86 season before moving to the Penguins three years later.

Patrick's grandfather, Lester, served as head coach and general manager of the Rangers and led them to three Stanley Cups. Patrick's father, Lynn, was a player and head coach with the Rangers and went on to become general manager with the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. Patrick's great uncle, Frank, played for years in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. All three are already in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

A maximum of four players, one executive and one on-ice official can be selected each year.

Among the other candidates who were eligible this year were Pat LaFontaine, Kevin Lowe and Andy Moog.

The selection committee consists of 18 people appointed by the Hall's board of directors. Members of the committee include: chairman Jim Gregory, Ed Chynoweth, John Davidson, Red Fisher, Cliff Fletcher, Emile Francis, Dick Irvin, Stan Mikita, Richard M. Patrick, Marty Pavelich, Pat Quinn, Bertrand Raymond, Serge Savard, Frank Selke, Harry Sinden, Frank Udvari, Al Arbour and Mike Emrick.

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