NHL Makarov, Quinn inducted to Hockey Hall of Fame

The Russian speedster was inducted on Monday as part of an elite class of hockey sportsmen.

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Sergei Makarov is honored for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, on November 11, 2016 play

Sergei Makarov is honored for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, on November 11, 2016

(Getty/AFP/File)
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Sergei Makarov, arguably the greatest Russian forward of his generation who helped blaze a trail for his countrymen to follow to the NHL, was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Russian speedster was inducted on Monday as part of an elite class of hockey sportsmen along with the late player and coach Pat Quinn, goaltender Rogie Vachon and forward Eric Lindros. Longtime Chicago Blackhawks hockey writer Bob Verdi and New York Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen were given the media awards.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Makarov was a nine-time scoring champion in Russia before finally being allowed to play in the National Hockey League. Despite being a 31-year old rookie with the Calgary Flames he still scored 86 points in 80 games.

His brilliant season earned him the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year. His performance surprised those who didn't know his game and even ruffled some feathers in the NHL head office. The league then decided that players must be 26 or younger to be eligible for the award.

Makarov, who played on eight World Championship teams, said the first time he skated on the same Russian league team as legendary forward Valeri Kharlamov he was wonder-struck.

(From L) Rogatien Vachon, Sergei Makarov, Kalli Quinn representing the late Pat Quinn, and Eric Lindros take part in a Hall of Fame induction event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, on November 13, 2016 play

(From L) Rogatien Vachon, Sergei Makarov, Kalli Quinn representing the late Pat Quinn, and Eric Lindros take part in a Hall of Fame induction event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, on November 13, 2016

(Getty/AFP)

He eventually formed the KLM line with the late Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov.

"If someone told me I'd be part of that line I would never have believed it," he said.

Makarov finished his NHL career with 134 goals, 384 points in 424 games.

Makarov, who retired in 1996, joins Larionov in the Hall. Along with defenseman Slava Fetisov, they faced many struggles in leaving the Soviet Union to play in the NHL.

Makarov thanked his first NHL general manager Cliff Fletcher. "I am still grateful to Cliff," he said.

Quinn was an all-star player but an even better coach and general manager. He was considered one of the great minds of the game and at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics he coached Canada to its first gold medal in 50 years.

Knocked out Bobby Orr

On the ice, Quinn was known as a steady defenseman and fierce warrior. He also couldn't be intimidated, as evidenced by a check he once delivered to Bobby Orr that knocked the superstar out cold.

As a NHL coach, Pat Quinn racked up 684 wins in 1,400 games play

As a NHL coach, Pat Quinn racked up 684 wins in 1,400 games

(Getty/Getty Images/AFP/File)

As a coach Quinn racked up 684 wins in 1,400 games.

In 1969, Vachon combined with Gump Worsley to help the Montreal Canadiens win a second consecutive Stanley Cup. He was part of three Stanley Cup winning teams in Montreal.

He finished his career with 51 shutouts, 355 wins and a 2.99 goals against average.

Vachon, of Canada, had an emotional induction as he tearfully talked about his late wife, Nicole, who died of brain cancer earlier this year.

"I wish you would be here. Sometimes it is not fair. I love you, gal. I'll see you on the other side," he said.

Lindros, of Canada, is a former first overall draft pick who refused to play for the Quebec Nordiques that year and was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Lindros dominated in juniors and was at one time labelled as the next Wayne Gretzky, but he failed lived up to those expectations.

The seven-time all-star finished with 372 career goals but never scored 50 goals in a season and fell short of winning a Stanley Cup championship. He had 865 points in 760 games before injuries put an end to his career.

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