The IIHF Hall of Fame Selection Committee has added seven new names to its pantheon of greats, and the newest members represent the pinnacle of the international game through a wide variety of contributions. In honour of the golden era of Czech hockey, goaltender Dominik Hasek and longtime captain Robert Reichel will be inducted. Joining them is Scott Niedermayer, the Triple Gold Club Canadian defenceman who has won at every level possible.
To celebrate 25 years of women’s hockey come two inductees, Fran Rider, as a Builder, the woman most responsible for the very creation of women’s hockey at the international level, and Swede Maria Rooth, the catalyst to the “Mirakel” in Turin in 2006.
Introducing a new trophy named after great Swiss star of the 1930s, Richard “Bibi” Torriani, the IIHF will honour Italian Lucio Topatigh, whose 20-year career with the Azzurri was exceptional in its own right.
Joining these inductees into the Hall of Fame is Monique Scheier-Schneider of Luxembourg, who will be the 2015 recipient of the Paul Loicq Award. The new class will be honoured next May in Prague during the medal weekend of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
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The IIHF had three easy and obvious selections in Czech legends Hasek and Reichel and Canadian Scott Niedermayer. Remember, this is a Hall of Fame for accomplishments on the international hockey scene, not the NHL. Hasek and Niedermayer's resume is equally strong on either platform. Reichel's international career trumped his underrated NHL resume. He is a legend in the Czech republic.
As per usual the IIHF Hall of Fame is far ahead of the Hockey Hall of Fame when it comes to recognizing the women's game. Maria Rooth's heroics at the 2006 Olympics gave Europeans a rare non-North American heorine. And Fran Rider, as those who have followed me over they years well know, is long overdue for recognition. She should included in the Hockey Hall of Fame.