By @MichaelCaples –
The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced its 2019 IIHF Hall of Fame Class of 2019, and the headliner is one of Michigan’s own.
Livonia native Mike Modano leads a class that features Ziggy Palffy, Miroslav Satan, Jorgen Jonsson and Canadian women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser.
“When you talk about the great players of the game from any country, Mike Modano’s name is part of that conversation and he is most deserving of a spot in the IIHF Hall of Fame,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, in a release. “He was one of those players that everyone looked forward to watching every time he hit the ice.”
The late Jim Johannson will also be honored during the official ceremony on May 26 in Slovakia; Johannson is the 2019 recipient of the Paul Loicq Award for his outstanding contributions to the IIHF and international ice hockey.
“…When you consider people that have contributed to making the game better globally, which is central to the Paul Loicq Award, Jim Johannson could not be a better choice,” Kelleher said. “He was unique in his abilities to bring people together for the greater good, and while his focus was certainly on developing American hockey, he always looked forward to helping others from across the world.”
Modano will be the 24th American inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame. He represented his country on the international stage 11 different times across three decades, including the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Modano also captured gold with Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
He remains the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring and points leader among American-born players; Modano racked up 561 goals and 1,374 points over 21 seasons.
In 2014, he entered the Hockey Hall of Fame; here was one of MiHockey’s stories about that accomplishment for the hometown hero: