Hockey Hall of Fame, 2011 inductees: congrats to Nieuwy, Belfour, Howe & Gilmour
Any coincidence that three are ex-Maple Leafs? Absolutely; a grand bunch of entrants who have earned the honor.
Seriously: we can debate legitimate HOF qualifications all year long - whatever those qualifications may be (hard to say, since none of the discussion is made public), but it's near impossible to argue against any of the four inductees.
Cool that two of them laced up skates for a short spell with Florida; far cooler that they are known more for their off-ice - or between whistle - heroics with the club (Nieuwendyk, in a very surprising dressing room visit featuring a jacket and tie, rallying the team to victory between periods in a game we've all unfortunately forgotten about shortly after retiring in 2007, and Ed Belfour's quirky yet deserved performance of Swan Lake only months earlier against Carolina).
Our congratulations to Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Mark Howe (freaking YEAH!), and Doug Gilmour.