It was a huge day for the Vancouver Canucks organization on Monday. Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Roberto Luongo were all named to the Class of 2022 in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
As I mentioned in my last blog, Daniel and Henrik will become the first players inducted who spent their entire careers with the Canucks. They're also the first set of brothers who will be inducted in the same year.
And that's no small thing. I've been reading more about the Hall of Fame's voting procedures over the past few days. I knew that the standard for admission was high: there are 18 people on the selection committee, and players need to appear on 14 ballots to be approved for induction. But I hadn't realized that each member of the committee is only allowed to nominate one player for potential selection — and apparently there's no exception made for identical twins. So Daniel and Henrik would have had to be nominated by two different members before being voted in.
There were a couple of changes to the makeup of the committee this year. Mike Gartner assumed the role of chair after previous chair John Davidson stepped down, and Hall of Famer Cammi Granato joined Cassie Campbell-Pascall as the second woman on the committee.
Here's the full list of committee members, from the Hockey Hall of Fame
• Mike Gartner
• David Branch
• Brian Burke
• Cassie Campbell-Pascall
• Mark Chipman
• Bob Clarke
• Mark de Foy
• Michael Farber
• Ron Francis
• Cammi Granato
• Anders Hedberg
• Jari Kurri
• Igor Larionov
• Pierre McGuire
• Bob McKenzie
• Mike Murphy
• David Poile
• Luc Robataille
Seeing the Sedins and Luongo get this recognition in their first years of eligibility really underscores the impressiveness of those Canucks teams from the early 2010s. Yes, they fell short in their only trip to the Stanley Cup Final, but all three players have Olympic gold medals in their trophy cases — 2006 for the twins, and both 2010 and 2014 for Luongo. Daniel and Henrik also won World Championship gold in 2013, while Luongo won back-to-back golds as a player in 2003 and 2004, and as Canada's general manager in 2021.
The Sedins, of course, also won the King Clancy Trophy for humanitarian efforts together in 2018, after Henrik won it on his own in 2016. Henrik is the only player ever to have won that award more than once.
This year's other men's inductee will be Daniel Alfredsson, finally getting the nod after having been eligible since 2017. The long-time Ottawa Senators captain is probably best remembered for his commitment to the city of Ottawa, where he still lives. He won the King Clancy Trophy for those efforts in 2012 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2013, to go along with his Calder Trophy in 1996 and his Olympic Gold for Sweden in 2006, alongside the Sedins. Alfredsson also fell just short of winning the Stanley Cup, and earned two silvers and two bronzes at the World Championships.
The other player inductee in the 2022 class is Finnish women's hockey legend Riikka Sallinen, whose phenomenal career spanned 30 years. At the first Olympic women's hockey tournament in Nagano in 1998, she topped the leaderboard with 12 points in six games and with her bronze medal in Pyeongchang in 2018, at age 43, she became the oldest hockey player of any gender to win an Olympic medal — just beating out Teemu Selanne. She retired after the 2019 World Championship, when Finland stunned Canada to capture its first silver medal in tournament history.
Sallinen is the ninth woman to be honoured in the Hall of Fame, and the first non-North American.
In the builder category, the late Herb Carnegie will be honoured. It's widely believed that racism kept the talented Carnegie out of the NHL during his peak playing days. After his retirement from playing in 1952, Carnegie dedicated himself to growing and diversifying the game, particularly in his home region of Toronto, and founded one of the first-ever hockey schools, Future Aces. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 92.
Back on its normal schedule, the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is set for Monday, November 14 in Toronto, following a weekend of celebratory activities.
And on the news front, the Canucks announced earlier on Monday that they've re-signed three players to new two-way contracts for next season.
Forward Sheldon Dries signed a two-year deal, while forward John Stevens and defenseman Guillaume Brisebois both opted for one-year terms.
Now 28, Dries' deal will pay him the league minimum salaries of $750,000 at the NHL level in the 2022-23 season and $775,000 in 2023-24, according to CapFriendly
. Probably more importantly, he's set to make $450,000 at the AHL level in both years.
Dries finished second in scoring in Abbotsford last season, with 62 points in 54 games — a career high for him by a significant margin. He also played 11 NHL games with Vancouver, putting up a goal and two assists.
Stevens, also 28, also had a career year in Abbotsford last season, with 43 points in 68 games. Like Dries, he was signed as a free agent last summer, and he brings good size at 6'2" and 204 pounds. He's signed for $750,000 at the NHL level and $165,000 in the AHL, with a guaranteed total minimum salary of $180,000 for the year.
Brisebois turns 25 in July, so I guess it's time to stop thinking of this third-round pick from 2015 as a 'prospect.' He has 10 total NHL games on his resume so far, and was limited to 26 games in Abbotsford last season, where he put up two goals and five assists. He's signed for $750,000 at the NHL level and $180,000 in the AHL, and is set to remain Canucks property as a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
Also on the Abbotsford front, the club signed Kamloops Blazers captain Quinn Schmiemann to a two-year AHL deal last weekend. A good-sized left-shot defenseman listed at 6'2" and 204 pounds, Schmiemann was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round of the 2019 draft, but became a free agent when the club elected not to sign him to an NHL contract.
As a 20-year-old, Schmiemann had an excellent 2021-22 season with the Blazers, leading all defensemen on the team with 54 points in 58 games. He added another 18 points in the playoffs as the Blazers reached the third round of the WHL playoffs before falling in seven games to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Schiemann was also teammates in Kamloops with another Canucks defense prospect, Viktor Persson. A seventh-round selection in 2020, Persson finished with 29 points in 65 regular-season games in his first season in North America, and added another four assists in 17 playoff contests.