Viacheslav Fetisov shudders when he recalls trying to stop Mike Gartner, Dale Hawerchuk and Jari Kurri.
"They scored so many goals that there are not many good memories for me playing against these guys," Fetisov said Monday as he sat on a stool surrounded by those three old foes, who scored a total of 1,827 goals in their NHL careers.
As a defenseman, Fetisov always was trying to find a way to break up their rushes toward the net. But now they are on the same side, as members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The four received their blazers and rings Monday, and formally entered the shrine in later ceremonies.
The four new inductees also often met on international ice, when Gartner and Hawerchuk played for Canada, Kurri for Finland and Fetisov for the Soviet Union.
"I considered (Fetisov) the general of that hockey club," Hawerchuk said.
Joining them was Craig Patrick, the general manager of the Penguins, who was voted into the hall in the builders category, the fourth member of his family to be honored.
Gartner, 42, scored 30 or more goals in 17 of his 19 NHL seasons including 15 in a row _ both NHL records. Kurri, 41, is the highest-scoring European in NHL history. Hawerchuk, 38, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year by becoming the youngest player (18) in history with 100 points in a season. Fetisov, 43, an assistant coach with the Devils, will be head coach of Russia's team at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Patrick, 55, was preceded in the hall by grandfather Lester; his father, Lynn: and great uncle Frank.
At a luncheon, Eric Duhatschek of Calgary received with the Elmer Ferguson award for distinguished hockey journalism, and Mike Lange, the voice of the Penguins, received the Foster Hewitt Award for outstanding work as a broadcaster.
AVALANCHE: Defenseman Todd Gill is out indefinitely after left shoulder surgery.
BLUES: Veteran defenseman Marc Bergevin was called up from Worcester. St. Louis signed the 36-year-old as a free agent Nov. 6 and sent him to the AHL to get in game shape.
AWARD: Chicago goaltender Jocelyn Thibault was named player of the week after going 3-0 with a 1.33 goals against average.