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Belfour, Gilmour, Nieuwendyk Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

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Yesterday's big news was that three players with Maple Leafs' connections were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, and especially Doug Gilmour had short but impactful stopovers in Toronto. They all may have won their Stanley Cups elsewhere but they all played big parts in pushing the Leafs into contention. Doug Gilmour's impact especially was massive as he was the driving force behind the 93 and 94 semi-finalists that drove the stake through the Harold Ballard Era.

All three players are deserving entrants to the Hall although, as usual, there were some awful oversights especially in the decision to induct no one in the Builders category for the first time since 1981. That meant that Pat Burns and Fred Shero remain on the outside looking in. Ben Massey, of all people, made the good point that the Hall of Fame voting is so opaque that there is no purpose in getting upset about the outcome. He's right. I know, shocking. Instead, it's a great opportunity to share your favourite memories of the inductees.

My personal Gilmour highlight: in third year he strolled (actually stumbled is more accurate) into the Peel Pub with Kirk Muller after last call when just us stragglers were left (I think it was a Monday night but who could possibly remember after that much beer). We drank some beers and took some great pictures of Dougie putting our Canucks' fan into a headlock and pretending to punch him. If I can ever find them, I'll post them.

Links after the jump. Share your favourite memories in the comments.

Doug Gilmour snookers Curtis Joseph

Joe NIeuwendyk ensures Patrick Lalime can never show his face in Ottawa

Belfour racks up his third shutout of the opening series against Ottawa in 2004 

Bloge Salming & DGB present: ‘Ranger State of Mind’
"Time for hanging out downtown once you're out in the first you're in New York! The media will make you shout out 'Mayday!' but you'll get your payday". Awesome.

Are the Caps Betting on Brooks Laich or Betting on the NHL?
On the heels of Larry Brooks' article about the upcoming CBA negotiations Gould Old Days is asking if the Capitals are banking on him being wrong.

The Pensblog
#JagrWatch has an official music video that is unreal. Adam and Derek will probably die if Jagr doesn't come back. Deadline day is today.

Now It's On: Islanders' Christian Ehrhoff Gamble is Reach for Next Step
Dominik examines the gamble behind the trade for Ehrhoff.

The 2011 NHl Entry Draft - A Travellers Notes
Kent Wilson (who you should be following on Twitter @Kent_Wilson) describes his time at the draft as well as his flight with Brian Skrudland who I assume was trapped in the middle seat.

NHL Awards Voting, The PHWA & Transparency (Or Lack Thereof)
Derek Zona breaks down the The NHL awards voting and surprise, surprise, but the voters produced some fishy results. Wouldn't it be swell if the vote was transparent so that at least something connected to the league was open?

Andrew Brunette Fires Agents Over Sean Avery Debacle
Brunette fired his agents based on their poor handling of the same sex marriage issue.

Maple Leafs Of Yore Dominate 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
Former Leafs make up a big part of the Hall of Fame. Wendel Clark is thus far the only inductee in the Hall of Awesome.

Valeri Bure angry Hockey Hall bypasses his brother Pavel
Also angry Canucks haven’t retired sibling’s sweater. Gillis says "why you heff be mad?". Anyway, Valeri can shut up because he married my childhood love DJ Tanner. Jerk.

Hockey Hall Class of 2011: Howe, Gilmour, Nieuwendyk, Belfour
These are some pretty handsome outfits these guys are wearing.

Ed Belfour, ‘flabbergasted’ 1st-ballot Hockey Hall of Famer
Puck Daddy shows just how strong Belfour's case was for enshrinement.

MLHS 2011 Free Agency Contest
Alec is giving away prizes for predicting which bullets Brian Burke will use to shoot himself in the foot.

Ed "The Eagle" Belfour: Hockey Hall Of Famer
Brad Lee remembers Ed Belfour, new hockey hall of famer.

Leafs Qualify 7; Waive goodbye to Laich; + Other Tidbits
Mark Teofilo shares his thoughts on yesterday's signings and news.

Leafs Draft Feeds Marlies
Clayton Hansler (@chansler for the latest Marlies news) looks at the Marlies as a weigh station for the Leafs' draft picks.

Gilmour makes the grade, and deservedly so
Michael Langlois reflects on Gilmour and how exclusive the Hall of Fame should be.