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Members inducted into Triple Gold Club

Tuesday, 02.23.2010 / 7:18 PM ET / News
By John Dellapina
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Members inducted into Triple Gold Club
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VANCOUVER -- The setting was a gala awards show convened inside a raucous party tent. So, it should have come as no surprise that the guests of honor were greeted like rock stars when they hit the stage.

But the triumvirate that formed the gift-bearing receiving line – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, IIHF president Rene Fasel and legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak – made it clear that this was something special.

What it was, on the 30th anniversary of the most celebrated event in international hockey history, was the inaugural ceremonies of the Triple Gold Club – an IIHF designation that celebrates those fortunate and talented few who have won the Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and an IIHF World Championship as players.

Only 22 men have managed that hat trick. And the attendance was perfect. All 22, including seven players competing in the current Olympic tournament, made their way to Vancouver and the Molson Hockey House to receive a hero's welcome along with a name-and-numbered sweater of their national federation, a Tissot watch and gold TGC lapel pin.

"Remarkably, through all the decades, through all those great events in the hockey world and the thousands of athletes who have played in them, only 22 have won championships in all three major competitions," Bettman told the crowd. "The NHL is extremely proud of the character and sportsmanship of every player who has contributed to the winning of all three championships."

The members of the Triple Gold Club were introduced in chronological order of their having won the third required championship.

First up: Tomas Jonsson (Islanders Cup), Mats Naslund (Montreal Cup) and Hakan Loob Calgary Cup), who became TGC members when Sweden won Olympic gold in 1994.

The second group: Valeri Kamensky and Alexei Gusarov of Russia and Sweden's Peter Forsberg, who entered the club upon winning the Cup in '96 with Colorado.

Up third: The men who changed the hockey world by defying the old Soviet system and fighting their way to the NHL – Viacheslav Fetisov and Igor Larionov, who joined the TGC upon winning the Cup with Detroit in 1997.

Said Fetisov, one of the greatest defensemen the game has ever known: "The one thing we're missing is a goalie. Otherwise, this is a pretty great team. To see all of these great players together, it's a privilege to be on the same stage with them."

Next: Russians Alexander Mogilny and Vladimir Malakhov, who punched their TGC tickets by winning the Cup with New Jersey in 2000.

Then, to a deafening roar from the crowd: Brendan Shanahan, Rob Blake and local boy Joe Sakic, who earned their TGC credentials by winning Olympic gold for Canada in 2002.

Current Canadian captain Scott Niedermayer was next – he completed his required troika by winning the World Championship with Canada in 2004.

Czechs Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Slegr were inducted next. They hit the milestone by winning the World Championship in 2005.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Fredrik Modin, current Swedish Olympians, were introduced next, having earned their TGC stripes by winning Olympic gold in Torino in 2006.

Current Canadian defenseman Chris Pronger was honored as the lone member of the Class of 2007 – he won the Cup with Anaheim that year. Immediately upon taking his bow, he and Niedermayer quickly departed due to a Team Canada meeting.

The final group was comprised of 2008 Detroit Cup winners Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg.

Sakic, of nearby Burnaby, B.C., got the loudest ovation. And he played to the crowd beautifully.

Asked by one of the MCs, Gord Miller of TSN, if he had a prediction for Tuesday's game, Sakic broke up the audience by saying: "Which game?"

Then he brought down the house by saying his prediction was: "Gold medal for Canada."



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89