2003 Stanley Cup Finals
Two former members of the New Jersey Devils highlight this years list of NHL Hall of Fame inductees. Eddie Belfour, Mark Howe, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk make up the class of 2011. The latter of the group played a portion of their careers in the “Swamp” in East Rutherford. Gilmour and Nieuwendyk are New Jersey alumni, both played parts of two seasons for the Devils with varying results.
Gilmour was traded to the Devils along with Dave Ellett for Steve Sullivan, prospect Alyn McCauley and defenseman Jason Smith with 20 games remaining in 1996-97 season. In 83 games as a member of the Devils, spanning two seasons Gilmour put up 75 points (20g 55a) and although his regular season production was solid he will be long remembered for disappearing in the post-season and his inability to help New Jersey escape the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Gilmour played for 8 teams in his career (Toronto x2, St.Louis, Calgary, Devils, Chicago, Buffalo and Montreal). HE finished with 1414 points. (450g 964a)
Fellow inductee Joe Nieuwendyk had a bit more success in a Devils sweater. He too was a late season acquisition along with Jamie Langenbrunner. During the 2002-03 season while a member of the Devils, Nieuwendyk notched his 500th career goal. The milestone goal was a thing of beauty. Nieuwendyk beat Carolina Hurricanes goalie Kevin Weekes on a Break away to become the 32nd player in NHL history to reach the illustrious mark. There couldn’t have been a more thrilling way to score a goal of that magnitude.
Later that same season he and the Devils captured the organizations third Stanley Cup beating the Anaheim Ducks in a thrilling seven game series. Despite being injured and missing most of the series he became the teams inspirational leader and played a major role in capturing hockey’s Holy Grail. Nieuwendyk played for five teams (Calgary, Dallas, New Jersey, Toronto, Florida) winning a championship with three of them. (Cal, Dal, NJ) Nieuwendyk ended his career with 1126 points (564g 562a) in 1257 games.
Also entering the HHOF is goaltender Ed Belfour and defenseman Mark Howe. Eddie “the Eagle’s” 484 wins ranks him third all-time in the NHL behind Marty Brodeur (625) and Patrick Roy (551). Howe, the son of former NHL great Gordie Howe, played 16 seasons for three different teams. (Hartford, Philadelphia, Detroit) During his career he amassed 742 points (197g 545a) and finished as runner-up for the Norris Trophy 3 times.
Congratulation to the HHOF Class of 2011!
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Former Devils Gilmour and Nieuwendyk Headed to the Hall
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