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Hall call reunites Detroit trio

STEVE Yzerman, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille, who won a Stanley Cup together with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, were reunited on Tuesday when they were voted into the Hall of Fame.

The 2009 class also included Brian Leetch, the first US-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup's Most Valuable Player (MVP), and New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello.

The Red Wings trio will be led into the Hall by Yzerman, who spent his entire career in the Motor City. He guided Detroit to three Stanley Cups before retiring after 22 seasons as the sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,755 points.

Regarded as one of the best leaders to play in the National Hockey League, Yzerman was the team's longest-serving captain (1986-2006).

He also won a Conn Smythe award and the Frank Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward.

Yzerman was a member of Canada's gold-medal winning side at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and now as general manager has the task of assembling his country's team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

"Even now when I go back home in the summers, it's really something that's really important to Canadian hockey fans and Canadians in general that we were able to win that medal," Yzerman said, referring to the 2002 title.

Hull joins his father, "Golden Jet" Bobby Hull, in the Hall. They are the only NHL father-son duo to record 600 goals and 1,000 points apiece.

Brett, like Bobby, was one of the league's most feared snipers, his total of 741 goals is third behind the "Great One" Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801).

During a career that spanned 21 seasons, Brett also had stints with the Calgary Flames, St Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes. He won two Stanley Cups and a Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.

Put into words

"It is hard to put into words what this means to me especially since I'm joining my father in the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Hull.

"Simply getting to the NHL was a challenge for me and I would like to thank all my supporters who made many sacrifices on my behalf."

Greatness was not predicted for Robitaille when he was taken with the 171st pick of the 1984 draft by the Los Angeles Kings. However he played 19 seasons, retiring as the highest scoring left winger of all-time.

Leetch, an offensively gifted player, won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1989 and the Norris Trophy twice as the league's top defenseman.

He is best remembered for helping the New York Rangers end a 54-year Stanley Cup drought in 1994.

A player must be retired for three seasons before becoming eligible to enter the Hall. Induction ceremonies for the 2009 class are scheduled for November 9 at the Hall of Fame in Toronto.


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