Hockey Hall of Fame won’t name new class in ’21

NHL

The Hockey Hall of Fame will not induct a Class of 2021 — allowing the 2020 inductees to have their own stand-alone celebration next year.

In June, the Hall of Fame announced that it had elected six new members: players Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Kevin Lowe, Kim St-Pierre and Doug Wilson, as well as Ken Holland in the builder category. In August, however, the Hall postponed the 2020 induction ceremony due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The event is typically held in Toronto in November, and the Hall didn’t want to entertain the idea of a virtual ceremony. The ceremony instead has been scheduled for Nov. 12-15, 2021.

“The magic of the induction weekend from the perspective of the new inductees is participating in several days of close interaction with family, friends, former teammates, fellow legends and fans,” HHOF chairman Lanny McDonald said in a statement. “On that premise, the Board felt that this was the right decision to bestow upon the Class of 2020 the recognition and lifetime experience they so richly deserve in all ways consistent with past induction classes.”

The 2020 class includes two players who have endured long waits to get the nod. Lowe, who won five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, had been eligible since 2001. Wilson, who won the Norris Trophy in 1982 with the Chicago Blackhawks and had a top-four finish three other times, had been eligible since 1996.

“It was a pleasant shock, and that’s an understatement,” Wilson, the current general manager of the San Jose Sharks, said in June. “The timing? I didn’t even think about it. It never meant a thing to me.”

The Hall also announced that it had reappointed David Branch, Brian Burke, Marc de Foy, Mike Gartner, Anders Hedberg and Pierre McGuire to the selection committee. Their three-year terms will now expire on Dec. 31, 2024.

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