The International Ice Hockey Federation announced its latest batch of entries into their Hall of Fame, and the list included two former Toronto Maple Leafs. Paul Henderson and Mats Sundin, along with Peter Forsberg, Danielle Goyette, Teppo Numminen, and builder Jan-Ake Edvinsson were named inductees. TSN broadcaster Gord Miller will receive the Paul Loicq award for his work on the World Junior Hockey Championship over the past 18 years.
Paul Henderson scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history and arguably provided us with the country’s greatest sports moment. Henderson played a vital role in the 1972 Summit Series that captivated a nation. He remarkably scored the game winning goal in each of the final three games of the series. His winning tally with just 34 seconds remaining in the deciding game in Russia lifted the country.
Canada was supposed to dominate the Soviet team with ease, but they were shocked by a 7-3 defeat in Game 1. The Canadians quickly found themselves down 1-1-3 in the eight game series and needed to win the final three contests in Russia to pull out a victory. Had it not been for Henderson’s heroics, then our view of hockey history may have been a lot different.
Sundin’s dominance with the Leafs has been well documented, but his performance on an international stage is nothing to sneeze at. The big Swede took home three World Hockey Championships and one Olympic Gold Medal. Sundin’s last Olympic appearance at the 2006 games in Turin turned out to be his best. He captained the Swedish side and set up Nicklas Lidstrom’s winning goal in the third period of the final game to give his country the Gold.