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TORONTO (AP) - Joe Sakic was four years old when his father took him to his first hockey game.
And his life-long love affair with the sport began.
The stylish center who spent his entire 20-year NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques-Colorado Avalanche franchise parlayed that passion into a berth in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Sakic was voted into the Hall by the 18-member selection committee Tuesday along with three other star forwards who terrorized goaltenders over the last three decades _ Adam Oates, Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure.
The players will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 12 in Toronto.
“It was all I wanted to do, on the ice or on the street.”
“Obviously, it’s been an absolutely fantastic day,” Oates said. “I’m excited about the coaching job and to be called to the Hall of Fame … it’s just a special day for me.”
They were the only inductees as no builders or women made it this year. Among those overlooked were power forward Brendan Shanahan, now the NHL’s disciplinarian who was in his first year of eligibility, and former coaches Pat Burns and Fred Shero.
Between them, the four new members had 1,967 regular-season goals and 3,786 assists.
Sakic was one of the smartest players of his era. Despite a slight frame, he could make plays in heavy traffic or snap home a goal.
By David Keene
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