Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano were among those inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
Joining the four players in the 2014 class is the late Pat Burns, who was enshrined as a coach in the builder category, and referee Bill McCreary.
Hasek played nine seasons professionally in the Czech League before making his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1990-91 season. He was the backup to Ed Belfour, and played only 25 games over two seasons with the team.
A 1992 trade to the Buffalo Sabres gave Hasek the opportunity to emerge as a starting goaltender. Hasek took on that role when Grant Fuhr went down with an injury. In 1994, he won his first of six Vezina Trophies as the league's best goaltender.
He also won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1997 and 1998 -- the first time a goaltender had won that trophy since Jacques Plante in 1962. He earned the nickname "The Dominator" during his time with the Sabres.
"There were people who didn't like my style, but there were a lot of others who encouraged me to play the way that I did," said Hasek.
The Sabres traded Hasek to the Detroit Red Wings prior to the start of the 2001-02 season. He played for the Red Wings from 2001-2008, where he won two championships (2002, 2008).
In 735 NHL games, Hasek recorded 389 wins (11th place all-time), 223 losses, 82 ties to go along with 81 shutouts.
"My path here has been paved with kindness and support for a large number of people and I wish to thank them all," said Hasek. "There were so many people who supported me and helped me become the player that I was."
Forsberg joined the NHL after playing five seasons in the Swedish Elite league. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, but became part of the massive package used to acquire the rights to Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques in 1992.
In 708 career games over 14 seasons with the Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Flyers and Nashville Predators, Forsberg recorded 249 goals and 636 assists. A two-time Stanley Cup champion in 1996 and 2001 with Colorado, Forsberg also won the Hart Trophy in 2003.
Forsberg also represented Sweden in international play, including four Olympic Winter Games, at which he won gold medals in 1994 and 2006. He joins Borje Salming and Mats Sundin as the only Swedes in the Hall of Fame.
"I'm very proud to be the third Swede to be inducted," said Forsberg. "Growing up I looked up to those guys and it makes me so happy to be included with those guys. It was always an honor to represent my country."
Modano played primarily for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise, with whom he played 21 of his 22 NHL seasons. He holds the NHL record for most goals (561) and points (1,374) by an American-born player.
Modano added 58 goals and 88 assists in 176 playoff games. He helped the Stars win the Stanley Cup in 1999.
"It's hard to put into words what it means to be in the same room as some of the greatest players the world has ever seen," said Modano. "None of the great years would have been possible without the coaches and players I had the honor to play with."
Blake had 240 goals and 537 assists in 1,270 games with the Kings, Avalanche and Sharks. He won the Norris Trophy in 1997-98 and the Stanley Cup in 2001 with Colorado. He also won gold with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
"One of the things I took pride in throughout my career was being a good teammate," said Blake. "Family, teammates and friends are always going to be there for you and a lot of the times I was playing for them."
Burns started his 14-year NHL coaching career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1988 -- winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year in his first season.
He coached in 1,019 games with the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins and Devils. His career record stands at 501 wins, 350 losses, 161 ties and 14 overtime losses. The three-time Jack Adams Award winner won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003.
A third battle with cancer finally ended Pat's life on November 19, 2010.
"He was a very disciplined coach and was honest with his players 100 percent of the time," said Lou Lamoriello, president and general manager of the Devils. "He would gain their respect so that they would be accountable to themselves and their team. This caps off a tremendous career."
McCreary was elected in the referee/linesman category. He officiated 1,700 regular season games, 282 playoff games and one All-Star game before ending his career in 2011.
Internationally, McCreary worked the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, including the gold medal games at both tournaments.
"My dream was to play in the national hockey league, same as any other boy," said McCreary. "After my junior career wound down, I was encouraged to go into refereeing and have a chance to stay in the game."
Also part of this year's Hall ceremonies were USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen, the winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, who received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting.