Ad SJSports Online
High School Links

Ice Hockey Links

Event Spotlight:
Hockey Hall of Fame Announces 2002 Inductees
Bernie Federko, Clark Gillies and Rod Langway elected in Players' Category

Thursday, June 20, 2002

By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer

Jim Gregory, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee, announced today that former NHL greats Bernie Federko, Clark Gillies and Rod Langway have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Player Category. The vote was made yesterday at the annual meeting of the Selection Committee in Toronto.

"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome Bernie, Clark and Rod as Honoured Members," said Jim Gregory. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hall of Fame is richly deserved."

A native of Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, Bernie Federko starred for the St. Louis Blues for thirteen NHL seasons, beginning with the 1976-77 season. Federko was a key component of one of the NHL's most productive lines, centering Wayne Babych and Brian Sutter. Federko recorded four 100-point NHL seasons and on March 19, 1988 became only the 22nd player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 point plateau.

"Every player dreams of winning a Stanley Cup and being recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Federko. "I am thrilled that I am able to accomplish one of my lifetime goals."

Clark Gillies was a stalwart for the New York Islanders, beginning with his selection fourth overall in the NHL's 1974 Entry Draft. In 12 seasons with the Islanders, Gillies scored 30 or more regular season goals six times. Gillies was a key component of the of the Islanders four-time Stanley Cup Championship teams, as a line mate of Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy.

"I am very proud of my accomplishments as a New York Islander," said Gillies. "Hockey is a team game and I am thrilled to be joining my former Islander teammates in the Hockey Hall of Fame."

Rod Langway grew up in Randolph, Massachusetts and began his professional career as a member of the Birmingham Bulls in 1977. Claimed by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1979 Expansion Draft, Langway earned a Stanley Cup championship with Montreal during the 1979-80 NHL season. After a 1982 trade to the Washington Capitals, Langway went on to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman in 1983 and 1984. A member of the of the United States team in 1981, 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments, Langway served as the captain of the Washington Capitals from 1982 until 1993.

"As a player who didn't rack up offensive numbers during my NHL career, I am honoured to be recognized by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for my 'old school' contributions – in the manner of Bill White or Doug Harvey," said Langway. "As a defensive specialist, I am particularly gratified for this recognition."

In the Builder Category, Roger Neilson was elected in recognition of his outstanding contributions to hockey. A career coach, Neilson is known for his innovation and dedication to the game. Neilson's coaching career began in 1966 with the Peterborough Petes of the OHA. He began his career in the NHL ranks in 1977 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to hold the title of head coach for eight NHL teams. Roger has also served as assistant coach for four NHL teams, a position he holds today with the Ottawa Senators.

"It was very exciting and unexpected to receive a call today from Jim Gregory telling me of this decision," said Neilson. "It is a great honour and I very much appreciate the recognition from the hockey community."

Bernie Federko

  • Born May 12, 1956 in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan.
  • Starred in the local amateur League's before joining the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Canada Hockey League.
  • His finest year was 1975-76 when he broke Bobby Clarke's WCHL League record for points with 72 goals and 115 assists.
  • Named the 1975-76 WCHL MVP and named to the First All-Star Team.
  • St. Louis made him the seventh player chosen in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft.
  • Spent most of the 1976-77 season in Kansas City and won the Ken McKenzie Trophy as the Central Hockey League's Rookie of the Year.
  • Named to the CHL Second All-Star Team (1977).
  • Recorded his first of four 100-point seasons in 1980-81.
  • Federko formed one of the NHL's most productive forward lines with Wayne Babych and Brian Sutter.
  • Topped the 90-point mark during the NHL regular season seven times.
  • Participated in two NHL All-Star games (1980, 1981).
  • Leading scorer for the St. Louis Blues nine times.
  • In 1985-86, Federko led all playoff scorers (7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points in 19 games) when St. Louis came within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup finals.
  • In 1986-87, he scored his 293rd career goal for St. Louis to pass Garry Unger as the franchise's all-time leader.
  • Succeeded Brian Sutter as the Blues' captain in 1988-89.
  • On March 19, 1988, the veteran forward became the 22nd player in League history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
  • First player in NHL history to record at least 50 assists in 10 consecutive seasons (1979 to 1988).
  • Upon his retirement in 1990, he was the Blues' career leader in goals, assists, points, games played, and seasons of service.
  • Recorded NHL regular season totals of 1000 games played, 369 goals, 761 assists, 1,130 points over 14 seasons.
  • Recorded NHL playoff totals of 91 games played, 35 goals, 66 assists, 101 points.
  • On March 16, 1991, his number "24" was retired by the St. Louis Blues.
  • Married to wife Bernadette and has three children, Jordan, Dustin and Drew.
  • Currently working as a TV colour analyst for the St. Louis Blues.

Clark Gillies

  • Born April 7, 1954 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
  • Played three seasons with the Regina Pats. Won a Memorial Cup championship in 1974.
  • WCHL First All-Star Team (1974).
  • Was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in the 1974 Amateur Draft.
  • Linemate of Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy to form a line nicknamed "the Trio Grande".
  • Became second captain of the New York Islanders as a 22-year old from 1976-77 to 1978-79.
  • Scored three consecutive game-winning goals in the 1977 playoffs against Buffalo to tie an NHL record.
  • Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1978 and 1979.
  • Played in the 1978 NHL All-Star Game.
  • Represented the NHL in the 1979 Challenge Cup series.
  • Key component of the New York Islanders feat of winning four Stanley Cup championships in a row from 1980 to 1983.
  • Represented Canada, which finished second in the 1981 Canada Cup.
  • Played in Buffalo for his final two NHL seasons.
  • He scored 30 or more NHL regular season goals six times in his career.
  • On December 7, 1996, his number "9" was retired by the New York Islanders.
  • Compiled NHL regular season totals of 958 games played, 319 goals, 378 assists, 697 points.
  • Recorded NHL playoff totals of 164 games played, 47 goals, 47 assists, 94 points.

Rod Langway

  • Born May 3, 1957 in Maag, Formosa, Taiwan.
  • Grew up in Randolph, Massachusetts. Led Randolph High School to a pair of State Championship appearances in 1973 and 1975.
  • Played one season with the University of New Hampshire in 1976/77.
  • Selected by the Birmingham Bulls (WHA) in 1977 WHA Amateur Draft.
  • Claimed by Montreal (NHL) during the Expansion Draft, June 13, 1979 and earned a Stanley Cup ring with the Canadiens that season.
  • Remained with Montreal until a 1982 trade to the Washington Capitals.
  • Won the Norris Trophy as the League's top defender in 1983 and 1984.
  • Voted a First-Team All-Star in 1983 and 1984.
  • Represented the United States in the 1981, 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup and was named to the tournament All-Star Team in 1984.
  • NHL Second All-Star Team in 1985.
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986).
  • Known to Capitals fans as the "Secretary of Defense".
  • Served as Captain of Washington from 1982/83 to 1992/93.
  • After taking the 1993/94 season off, re-launched his hockey career as a player/coach with Richmond of the ECHL in 1994/95 and with San Francisco of the IHL in 1995/96.
  • Presently serving as an assistant coach for the Providence Bruins of the AHL, top farm club of the Boston Bruins.
  • Number "5" retired to the rafters of the Capital Center in Washington on November 26, 1997.
  • Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.

Roger Neilson

  • Born June 16, 1934, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Holds a degree in Physical Education from McMaster University in Hamilton.
  • Began coaching career with the Peterborough Petes of the OHA in 1966.
  • In 10 seasons with the Petes, the club captured one OHA championship and finished lower than third only twice.
  • In 1976/77 season joined the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League.
  • Moved to NHL following one season in Dallas.
  • Has been Head Coach for eight different NHL teams including Toronto (1977/78 to 1978/79), Buffalo (1980/81), Vancouver (1981/82 to 1983/84), Los Angeles (1983/84), New York Rangers (1989/90 to 1992/93), Florida (1993/94 to 1994/95), Philadelphia (1998/99 to 1999/2000) and Ottawa (2001/2002).
  • Served as an Assistant Coach with Buffalo (1980/81), Chicago (1984/85 to 1986/87), St. Louis (1995/96 to 1997/98) and Ottawa (2001/2002).
  • Guided teams to three Division Titles, Buffalo (1980/81) and New York (1989/90 and 1991/92).
  • Reached the Stanley Cup playoffs 11 times in 15 seasons at the helm.
  • Led Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Finals (1982).
  • Runner up for Jack Adams Trophy as the coach of the year in the NHL following the 1991/92 season when the New York Rangers captured the Presidents Trophy with the League's best regular season record.
  • One of thirteen coaches to record 400 wins.
  • Appeared in his 1,000th game as Head Coach with Ottawa on April 13, 2002.
  • A pioneer recognized as the first NHL coach to use video as a teaching tool.
Click here for more articles from David Unkle

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.