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US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Chris Chelios
Mike "Doc" Emrick
Ed Snider
Gary Suter
Keith Tkachuk

2011 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Chris Chelios’ amazing hockey resume has been punctuated by significant accomplishment, including an NCAA Division I championship, three Stanley Cups, a World Cup of Hockey title and an Olympic silver medal.

He concluded a 27-year National Hockey League career as the league’s all-time leader in games played by defenseman with 1,651.  Chelios also holds the distinction of playing the most games of any American-born player in NHL history and amassed 948 career points, including 185 goals and 763 assists.

After helping the University of Wisconsin capture the NCAA Division I championship in 1983, Chelios moved on to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, who chose him in the second round (40th overall) of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.  There, he was named to the 1985 NHL All-Rookie Team and, the following season, won his first Stanley Cup.  He earned the first of three James Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenseman following the 1988-89 campaign.

In 1990, Chelios was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he spent the next nine seasons. He gained his second Norris Trophy in 1993 and repeated the feat just three years later.  It was during his nine-year tenure with the Detroit Red Wings (1998-2009) that he captured his second (2002) and third (2008) Stanley Cup titles.

The 11-time NHL All-Star Game participant set multiple records for longevity, including skating in more NHL playoff games than any other player (268) and becoming the oldest player (46) ever to compete in the American Hockey League during a stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2008.  He retired from the NHL in 2010 at the end of his lone season with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Chelios’ contributions on the international stage are impressive as well.  He is one of only two men ever to play for the United States in four Olympic Winter Games, winning a silver medal with Team USA in 2002.  He also helped the U.S. defeat Canada to win the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996.  Overall, he skated in 10 international events for Team USA, including the 1982 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991), two World Cups of Hockey (1996, 2004) and four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006).

2011 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

One of the most recognizable voices in sports, Mike “Doc” Emrick has been behind the microphone for some of the most memorable games in modern hockey history.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Manchester (Ind.) College in 1968 and his master’s degree in radio and television from Miami University in 1969, Emrick received a Ph.D. in communications from Bowling Green State University in 1976, earning him the nickname “Doc.”

Emrick began broadcasting professionally in 1973, when he signed on with the International Hockey League’s Port Huron Flags to do play-by-play and public relations.  He eventually worked his way up to the National Hockey League and, after stints with the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, and New York Rangers, he returned to the Devils in 1993 to serve as the team’s play-by-play voice until 2011.

A recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s prestigious Foster Hewitt Award, Emrick has called NHL games for all of the major networks, including Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN and Versus.  He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the NHL on ESPN from 1986-88, and later became the lead play-by-play voice of the NHL on Fox Game of the Week, calling regular-season games and the Stanley Cup Finals from 1995-2000.  Since 2005, he has served as the lead announcer for the NHL on Versus and the NHL on NBC for the regular season through the Stanley Cup Final.

In addition to his contributions to broadcasting in the NHL, Emrick has called five Olympic Winter Games, and was the voice heard during the 2010 men’s gold-medal hockey final between the United States and Canada – the most watched hockey game in America in 30 years.  He also served as the play-by-play broadcaster for both the 1996 and 2004 World Cups of Hockey and has called numerous college hockey games throughout his illustrious career.

In May 2011, Emrick became the first-ever hockey broadcaster to win the National Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play by Play. Among numerous other honors, Emrick received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2004, seven New York Emmys and the National Cable ACEAward in 1997.  

Emrick has served as vice president of the NHL Broadcaster’s Association for over two decades and is one of America’s foremost historians of the game. He is the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

2011 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

The driving force that brought the National Hockey League to the city of Philadelphia, Ed Snider’s entrepreneurial prowess in the sports and entertainment industry, along with his commitment to amateur hockey, are immeasurable.

Snider emerged as a leader in the Philadelphia sports market in 1966 when he put in a successful bid for the Philadelphia Flyers when the NHL made its first expansion from the Original Six.  He has built one of the NHL’s most successful franchises, a history that includes Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975 and trips to the Finals on six other occasions.

Snider helped construct the famed Spectrum and assumed control of the building in 1971.  In 1974, Snider created Spectacor as the management company to oversee the Flyers and Spectrum.

In 1996, Snider merged Spectacor with Comcast Corporation to form Comcast-Spectacor.  The new venture initially consisted of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers, Wells Fargo Center, Wells Fargo Spectrum, and Philadelphia Phantoms.  Comcast-Spectacor then joined with the Philadelphia Phillies to form Comcast SportsNet, one of the highest-rated regional sports cable networks in the country.

A member of the NHL Executive Committee, Snider is one of the most active owners in the NHL and is also part of League’s Board of Governors.

His efforts extend well beyond professional hockey, including the founding of Hockey Central in 1976.  The concept provided for an office whose only purpose is to promote, stimulate and develop interest in youth hockey in the Delaware Valley.  By the 1990s, the Hockey Central membership expanded to nearly 1,000 teams.

In 2005, Snider also founded the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which provides inner-city boys and girls with the opportunity to learn to skate and to play ice hockey.  As part of a unique public-private partnership with the City of Philadelphia, the foundation rescued five city rinks that were targeted for closure and refurbished them, making them year-round operational.

Snider’s ingenuity and accomplishment have been widely recognized by his peers.  He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1980.  He has been elected to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington, D.C., Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the Flyers Hall of Fame.

2011 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

A 17-year National Hockey League veteran and Olympic silver medalist, Gary Suter is one of the top American defensemen of all time.

Suter spent two years (1981-83) with the United States Hockey League’s Dubuque Fighting Saints and two years (1983-85) with the University of Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team before entering the professional ranks with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, who selected him in the ninth round (180th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.

Prior to entering the NHL, Suter laced up the skates twice for Team USA, participating in the 1984 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in 1984 and then joining the U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF Men’s World Championship the following year.

Suter became the first American ever to earn the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1986 after amassing 68 points (18-50) in 80 regular-season games.  That season, he helped the Flames advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before eventually falling to the Montreal Canadiens and also tied an NHL record for most assists by a defenseman in a single game with six against Edmonton.  The following year, Suter joined Team USA at the 1987 Canada Cup.

A staple on the Calgary blue line for 10 seasons, Suter set a career high in assists (70) and points (91) during the 1987-88 season and helped lead the Flames to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup title one year later in 1989. While at Calgary, Suter represented the United States at the 1991 Canada Cup and the 1992 IIHF Men’s World Championship. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in March 1994, where he played through the 1997-98 campaign.

Suter was part of the U.S. squad that won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey after topping Canada in a thrilling best-of-three final series.  He also skated for his first U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Suter, who was selected to play in five NHL All-Star Games, finished his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, where he played for four seasons (1198-2002).

He retired having played in 1,145 games and accumulating 844 points (203-641), the fourth most by any American defenseman.  Just before retiring, Suter helped Team USA capture the silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2011 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

One of only two men to have played for the United States at four Olympic Winter Games, Keith Tkachuk enjoyed a 19-year career in the National Hockey League as one of the game’s most dominant power forwards.

After being selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round (19th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft straight out of Malden Catholic (Mass.) High School, Tkachuk played one season (1990-91) with the Boston University men’s ice hockey team and one year (1991-92) with the U.S. Men’s National Team before entering the NHL.  During that time, he participated in both the 1991 and 1992 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, earning a bronze medal with Team USA in 1992.  He completed his season with Team USA by helping the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team finish fourth at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France.

Tkachuk joined the Jets for 17 games in 1991 and, by 1993, became the team’s captain.  He broke the 50 goal barrier in back-to-back seasons (1995-97) in the midst of Winnipeg’s relocation to Phoenix and, in 1996-97, became the first American-born player to lead the NHL in goals with 52.

During his time with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization, Tkachuk twice skated with Team USA; including helping the U.S. capture the 1996 World Cup of Hockey title and participating in his second Olympic Winter Games in 1998.

Tkachuk was traded to the St. Louis Blues in 2001, leaving the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization ranked second all-time in goals (323).  He spent parts of nine seasons in St. Louis (2000-10), with a brief stint in Atlanta during the 2006-07 season mixed in.  On November 30, 2008, he logged his 1000th career NHL point, becoming only the sixth American to accomplish the feat.  Meanwhile, on the final day of the 2007-08 season, Tkachuk tallied his 500th NHL goal, a milestone only three other American-born players had reached.

The five-time NHL All-Star Game participant played in two more Olympic Winter Games (2002,2006), including earning a silver medal with Team USA in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002.  He also suited up for Team USA at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Tkachuk retired from the NHL having amassed 1,065 points (538-527) in 1,201 career games.