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June 28, 2011

Cornell's Nieuwendyk Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

TORONTO -- In just his second season of eligibility, former Cornell men's hockey player Joe Nieuwendyk is one of four honorees to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe. The 2011 Induction Celebration will be held on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

"The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these four hockey legends as Honoured Members," said Jim Gregory, Co-Chairmen of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee. "Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved."

"Every player does their best year after year and strives to play at a very high level," said Nieuwendyk. "I truly love the game and love to compete, and I'm pleased to be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame."

Recently named one of the 50 greatest players in ECAC hockey history, Nieuwendyk was a two-time All-American during his three seasons at Cornell, earning the league's rookie of the year award in 1985 and the player of the year award in 1987. A two-time first-team all-league selection in 1986 and 1987, he twice led the league in goals, scoring 21 in 1986 and 25 in 1987. He also finished his junior season as the league's points leader, tallying 49 points in 22 games, earning him a spot as a finalist for the 1987 Hobey Baker Award. Nieuwendyk finished his career with 151 points on 73 goals and 78 assists in 81 career games, ranking him 12th on Cornell's all-time scoring list. His 73 goals rank sixth all-time in Big Red history.

Nieuwendyk departed Cornell after his junior season for a 20-year career in the National Hockey League, a career in which his offensive production balance mirrored that of his career at Cornell. He finished with 564 goals and 562 assists for 1,126 points in 1,257 career games. He was a part of three Stanley Cup championship teams (1989 - Calgary; 1999 - Dallas; 2003 - New Jersey) and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1999 in leading the Stars to the Stanley Cup. He made an immediate impact on the National Hockey League, scoring 51 goals and tallying 92 points in his first full NHL season in 1987-88, becoming the second player to score 50 goals in his rookie season. That year, he captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. Nieuwendyk also won the 1995 King Clancy Memorial Trophy as the NHL's player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and makes noteworthy humanitarian contributions.

A four-time NHL All-Star (1988, 1989, 1990 and 1994), Nieuwendyk was a two-time Olympian for Canada (1998 and 2002), winning the gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, and competed for Canada at the 1986 World Junior Championships and the 1990 World Championships.

Nieuwendyk is currently the general manager of the NHL's Dallas Stars.