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Forsberg, Hasek, Modano, Blake to join Hall of Fame

Legendary Czech goalkeeper Dominik Hasek warms up prior to his first official match at the Russian open of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), on September 9, 2010

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Toronto (Canada) (AFP) - Czech goaltending legend Dominik Hasek and Swedish center Peter Forsberg were among four National Hockey League stars announced Monday as this year's inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Other spots in the sport's honor shrine will be taken by American Mike Modano, Canadian Rob Blake, the late Pat Burns as a coach and referee Bill McCreary.

The induction ceremony will be staged in Toronto on November 17 following votes by an 18-member selection panel this past weekend.

Hasek won the NHL's Vezina Trophy as top goaltender six times in his 16-year NHL career, second only to legend Jacques Plante. Hasek won NHL Most Valuable Player honors in 1997 and 1998.

Hasek backstopped the Czechs to Olympic gold at Nagano in 1998 in the first Games to include NHL talent. He won 389 NHL games, led the league six times in save percentage and twice won the Stanley Cup while playing for Detroit.

"After I retired I really began to appreciate what the game did for me," Hasek said. "Achieving this recognition is far beyond what I could have imagined."

Forsberg's shootout goal brought Sweden gold at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics and the moment was immortalized on a Swedish postage stamp.

Forsberg, who won the Stanley Cup twice while playing for Colorado, saw his career cut short by injury but he ended with 249 goals in 708 career games.

"It has been a good run and I wouldn't change places with anybody," Forsberg said. "Joining Borje Salming and Mats Sundin in the Hall of Fame as the third Swedish member makes it especially gratifying for me."

Modano is the all-time top US scorer in the NHL with 561 goals and his 1,499 games played are the most by an American-born forward. He helped Dallas win the 1999 Stanley Cup.

"When I played I always hoped that I could make an impact on the game, both on and off the ice, and this honor recognizes that," Modano said.

Blake, an executive with the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, had 240 goals in 1,270 games with Los Angeles, Colorado and San Jose and won a Stanley Cup in 2001 with Colorado as well as a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

"This is a tremendous honor," Blake said.

Burns, who died in 2010, spent parts of 14 seasons coaching in the NHL, winning Coach of the Year honors three times and taking a Stanley Cup in 2003 with New Jersey.

McCreary officiated 1,737 regular-season games and an NHL-record 292 playoff games from 1984 to 2011 and officiated in the 1998, 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics, working the gold medal game in each.

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