Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, part of the class of 2023 set to be announced Wednesday afternoon.
Lundqvist backstopped Sweden to an Olympic gold medal in 2006 and led the New York Rangers to the playoffs in 11 of 12 years. That included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and two Eastern Conference final appearances.
A seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft, Lundqvist ranks fifth on the NHL career victories list with 459. He won 61 more in the playoffs before halting his hockey career in 2020 because of a heart condition.
Countryman Henrik Zetterberg, Canadian women’s hockey stars Jennifer Botterill and Caroline Ouellette and longtime executive David Poile are among the other top candidates being considered by the board chaired by Hall of Famer Mike Gartner, who was inducted in 2001.
The long wait also could be over for point-a-game Russian winger Alexander Mogilny and goalie Curtis Joseph, who’s won only five fewer games than Lundqvist. Moginly, who won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2000 and Olympic gold with the Soviet Union in 1988, has been eligible since 2009 and Joseph since 2012.
If Lundqvist and Zetterberg go in together, it’ll be a second consecutive Hall celebration centered around Swedes. Twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin and longtime Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson were inducted last year.
The ceremony is Nov. 13 in Toronto.
Source: Yahoo Sports