On Sunday two former Detroit Red Wings captains, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom were among six among six people inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in Minsk, Belarus.
Another ex-Red Wing, the late Ruslan Salei was also inducted.
The IIHF Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to honor men and women who have made important contributions to the world of international hockey.
Per a story posted on iihf.com, Nicklas Lidstrom was inducted as a player with the “presence, mind, shot and touch” and someone who was among the greatest defenceman in history, if not the greatest.
“I didn’t play that many World Championships. I played three of them, and one I came in late in the tournament,” Lidstrom told media covering the ceremony. “I played in four Olympics, and we had both ups and downs in those events.
“Being a Red Wing for 20 years is hard to top, but any time you get to represent your country, that means so much, especially winning a gold medal for Team Sweden in 2006. That was one of the top moments in my career.”
Hockey Canada president and IIHF vice president, Bob Nicholson accepted on Yzerman’s behalf. He outlined Yzermans tremendous achievements as a player for both Team Canada and the Detroit Red Wings.
Salei was inducted in his hometown where his widow, Bethann and their children spoke via video feed in what was a very emotional moment of the event. Salei’s mother and brother were in attendance at the ceremony.
Lidstrom also took a moment to remember his late teammate.
“I think it’s great that he gets recognized here in his home country, he had a great career. He was a great teammate when he played with me in Detroit for one season. He was a great family man, and that plane crash … we miss him dearly and the rest of the guys who went down with it.”
Salei died in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash that also killed former Red Wings assistant coach Brad McCrimmon and goaltending prospect Stefan Liv.
Murray Costello, who played for the Red Wings from 1955-57, was inducted in the builders category.
Yzerman and Lidstrom both won Olympic gold medals during their international careers.