Dominik Hasek won the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL six times. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Detroit – The Red Wings’ Stanley Cup-winning 2002 team was among the most talented in franchise history.
Dominik Hasek, who on Monday became the seventh member of that roster to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, certainly never played on a better team.
“I never played with so many great players,” said Hasek, who joined Westland native and former Red Wing Mike Modano, Rob Blake and Peter Forsberg as players who’ll be enshrined Nov. 17 in Toronto. “Already seven players in the Hall of Fame and I believe in the future, there will be even more.
“Our goal from Day One was to win the Cup. Nothing else.”
Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, also members of that 2002 team, will be eligible next year.
Joining the four players Monday in the Hall of Fame class were Pat Burns (builders category) and Bill McCreary (referee/linesman category).
Hasek won six Vezina Trophies as the best goalie in the league and two Hart Trophies as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player.
Hasek on Monday made special mention of Scotty Bowman, who coached the 2002 Red Wings team: “Great players, but also a great coach.”
Hasek was debating whether to return to Europe early in his career, but a trade to Buffalo in 1992 gave him an opportunity to play.
“I got a chance to play and prove I could play at the highest level,” Hasek said.
Modano (Westland native, Livonia Franklin High) won the 1999 Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars and is the all-time leading American-born scorer with 1,374 points (561 goals, 813 assists) in 1,499 games.
“This obviously trumps them all,” said Modano, of his Hall of Fame election compared to his career achievements. “It’s the pinnacle. It’s the ultimate recognition a player could ever have or ever get among his peers and the guys he played with.”
Modano ended his NHL career playing his only season with the hometown Red Wings in 2010-11, a season cut short when he severed tendons in his forearm in late November.
“I was just grateful for the opportunity to come back home and play in front of family and friends, and play for a team I obviously grew up watching,” Modano said. “It was an opportunity for a new chapter, to go home and play. It was a lot of fun.”
Modano felt had he stayed healthy that season and played at a level he was accustomed to, he may have been able to play one more season in a Red Wings uniform.
“I would have loved to have had another crack at another year or two there if I stayed healthy,” Modano said. “I got to play with some great plalyers, some world-class talent there in Detroit. Unfortunately it was curt short.
“Nonetheless, it was another great stepping stone, another great chapter that is very memorable.”
Forsberg was limited to 708 regular-season games but won the Hart and Calder (rookie of the year) trophies, as well as two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche and Olympic gold medals with his native Sweden in 1994 and 2006.
Forsberg scored 885 points in 708 games in a career also cut short by injuries.
Blake won the Stanley Cup in Colorado in 2011 (with Forsberg) and was a Norris Trophy winner (1998) and six-time all-star. In 20 seasons with the Kings, Avalanche and Sharks, Blake had 240 goals and 777 points in 1,270 games.
The Hall of Fame selection committee consists of 18 members and candidates needed to have 14 votes (75 percent) for induction.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 17 in Toronto.
Painting the Hall red
Dominik Hasek is the seventh player from the 2001-02 Red Wings team to be elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame:
Igor Larionov, C, 2008
Brett Hull, RW, 2009
Luc Robitaille, LW, 2009
Steve Yzerman, C, 2009
Chris Chelios, D, 2013
Brendan Shanahan, LW, 2013
Dominik Hasek, G, 2014
NOT YET ELIGIBLE
Sergei Fedorov, C
Nicklas Lidstrom, D
Pavel Datsyuk, C
Note: Scotty Bowman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991, coached the Red Wings in 2002.