As has been reported in the Dallas Morning News and Detroit Free Press — former Detroit teammates Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman are expected to be among those named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Dallas Morning News story was in Tuesday’s News Tribune, here is the Detroit Free Press story and a link to video of a Hull slap shot here:
By George Sipple, Detroit Free Press
This afternoon, Steve Yzerman, 44, should join Detroit’s sporting icons of the last generation as a Hall of Famer.
And when the Hockey Hall of Fame announces its class of 2009, two other members of Yzerman’s 2002 Stanley Cup team could join him: Brett Hull, who has more goals than any other American, and Luc Robitaille, who has more goals than any other left wing.
A maximum of four players can be voted in, and Yzerman, Hull and defenseman Brian Leetch are considered locks by many pundits. Alexander Mogilny and Dave Andreychuk are other first-time candidates who had great careers.
"I’m expecting Hull, Robitaille and Yzerman to go in tomorrow, personally," Wings general manager Ken Holland said Monday.
Yzerman retired in 2006 as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history and as the longest-serving captain ever (19 seasons/20 years). He won Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
"Steve was one of the greatest players of his era," Holland said. "For about a three- or four-year period, Yzerman and Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky — it was obvious those were the three best players in the game. At the end of the day, what I’ll remember about Steve is that he transitioned his game from being one of the great offensive players in the game to the best two-way player in the game. Players come through the league with great offensive skills. What separated Steve from a lot of them, ultimately, was his mental strength, his will, his ability to play hurt and his drive and desire."
Yzerman, now a vice president for the Wings, declined to comment in advance of today’s announcement. Hull, however, told the Dallas Morning News that he was one of the inductees.