TORONTO -- Eddie the Eagle is a Hall of Famer.
Former All-Star goalie Ed Belfour was elected Tuesday to the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, joining Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk as the newest class of inductees.
The four former NHL stars were chosen by the hall's 18-member selection committee. The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 14.
|Joe Nieuwendyk won his third Stanley Cup while with the New Jersey Devils. (Getty Images)|
"It is hard to put into words what this means to me," Belfour said in a statement issued by the Stars. "I would like to thank all of my teammates and people along the way who helped me achieve my hockey dreams."
Belfour, whose distinctively decorated facemask earned him the nickname "Eddie the Eagle," won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999. He also was the Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1991 as the NHL's top rookie.
Gilmour played 20 years in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup in 1989. He finished with more than 1,400 career points.
Howe, the son of Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, retired in 1995. He switched from forward to defense early in his career and was a runner up for the Norris Trophy three times. He also had three 20-goal seasons in the NHL.
"I was elated to have this dream come true," Howe said. "To actually have my name in the Hall of Fame with my dad will mean so much to my family."
"Mark Howe is the first Flyers defenseman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and rightfully so," Flyers founder Ed Snider said.
"When he played for the Flyers, he was the ultimate leader both on and off the ice."
Nieuwendyk, currently the general manager of the Stars, won the Stanley Cup with three different teams -- Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey -- and also helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
He also won the Calder Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup MVP (in 1999 with Dallas) and twice scored at least 50 goals.
"I am humbled and honored to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame," Nieuwendyk said. "This is a tremendous honor."