The IIHF Historical Committee and IIHF President René Fasel have announced the 2014 class of the IIHF Hall of Fame.
The IIHF Hall of Fame will induct players Vyacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov of Russia, Nicklas Lidström of Sweden, the late Ruslan Salei of Latvia, and Steve Yzerman and builder Murray Costello of Canada.
Dr. Mark Aubry, also from Canada, will receive the Paul Loicq Award for his contributions to international hockey.
The six will be ceremonially inducted during the 78th IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk.
Bykov and Khomutov's induction is long overdue. Back in the Soviet heyday of the 1980s they were my favorite duo, often teaming with Valeri Kamensky. I enjoyed that line as much as the Soviet's vaunted top line of Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov and Vladimir Krutov. Bykov and Khomutov never did come to North America, instead opting for long careers in Sweden. The Quebec Nordiques owned their rights and the story I've always heard is Sergei Mylnikov, the former Soviet goaltender, scared the dynamic duo away from the NHL with stories of how tough it was to adjust to life not only in the NHL, but in North America.
Salei, of course, was a long time NHL defenseman who perished in the 2011 plane crash that claimed the lives of the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL) hockey team.
And of course long time Detroit Red Wings teammates Yzerman and Lidstrom need no introduction. Both are Olympic gold medallists with long resumes in international hockey.
Full biographies of the inductees can be found at the IIHF website.