Legends of Hockey - Induction Showcase - Viacheslav Fetisov
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2000 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

Joe Mullen – Player Category

Joe Mullen Growing up in the heart of New York City and not having hockey skates until the age of 10 are just a couple of the obstacles Joseph Mullen overcame to become the preeminent U.S.-born NHL player of his era.

Joe was born in Hell's Kitchen, New York on February 26, 1957. He was born to Tom and Marion Mullen, who would be instrumental in steering a young Joe through the proper choices in life. He learned his early hockey skills on the street wearing roller skates and with a role of electrical tape in place of the puck. His father worked at Madison Square Garden and would frequently bring home discarded sticks for Joe and his brother Brian to use. Joe finally received his first pair of skates at age 10 and instantly began to flourish. He would play four seasons in the New York Metro Junior Hockey League and during his final season against weaker competition recorded unheard of totals with 110 goals and 182 points in only 40 games.

The next season 1975-76, Mullen was off to play for the Boston College Eagles, however, unlike most aspiring hockey players, Boston College was unable to offer him a scholarship and he was forced to spend $700 to get through the year. They money proved to be well worth it though, gaining a full ride for the next three seasons, his final two of which he was a 1st Team All-American. Following his final year in Boston, 1978-79, Mullen had his first opportunity to represent his country at the World Championships in Moscow, recording 8 points in 8 games.

After many NHL teams had shied away from him in the draft, claiming he was too small and couldn't play defensively, the St. Louis Blues took a risk and signed him as a free agent. Over the course of the next three seasons, Mullen would only play 56 games in St. Louis, spending most of his time developing in Salt Lake City of the Central Hockey League. This time in the minors would prove critical to his success. In 1979-80, he was named the league's top rookie and was named to the 2nd All-Star team, while the following year he led in scoring with 117 points, was named to the 1st All-Star team and won MVP honours.

Finally, during the 1981-82 season, he got his break with a mid-season call-up and never looked back. That year, Mullen became the first player in history to record 20 goals during the same season in the minors and in the NHL. Mullen would have 4 ½ productive years with the Blues, recording two consecutive 40-goal seasons, as well as representing the U.S. during the 1984 Canada Cup. Joe was quickly becoming known as a tenacious player, who flourished against larger, more intimidating forces and this was in demand in the NHL, leading to his trade to Calgary mid-way through 1985-86.

Mullen would spend the next 4½ years in Calgary, recording two more 40-goal seasons and a career-high 51 goals in 1988-89. During this time he would again represent the U.S. in the 1987 Canada Cup, win two Lady Byng Trophies for both his sportsmanship and abilities, be named to the 1989 1st All-Star team and capture his first Stanley Cup in 1989. During the summer of 1990, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Over the next five seasons, Joe led by example, recording another 40-goal year and two 30-goal years, however, it was his leadership during the Penguins Stanley Cup championships of 1991 and 1992 that stood out. Also in 1991, he led a strong U.S. to a 2nd place finish at the Canada Cup.

Mullen finished his career with one season in each Boston and Pittsburgh before retiring following the 1996-97 season, not before leaving his legacy however. On February 7, 1995 in Florida, Joe became the first U.S. born player to reach the 1,000-point plateau, finishing his career with 502 goals and 1,063 points, the all-time U.S. leader. He was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding service to U.S. hockey and during troubled times in 1998, at the age of 41, came out of retirement to save the U.S. from relegation to the 'B' Pool World Championship. A final farewell for America's best.

Denis Savard – Player Category

Denis Savard A native of Pointe Gatineau, Quebec, Denis Savard was born February 4, 1961. He was touted as a star throughout his hockey career.

Playing amateur hockey in Quebec, Savard's teams consistently won titles at all levels of peewee, midget and provincial leagues.

In his three seasons with the Montreal Jr. Canadiens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Savard accumulated 455 points and was named a 1st team all star in 1980. He was subsequently projected a "can't miss" prospect in the National Hockey League.

The Chicago Blackhawks drafted Savard in the 1st round, 3rd overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. He did not disappoint. Savard was among the top 10 in scoring five times in his career, including two third-place finishes. His exceptional stickhandling skating and playmaking skills earned him numerous appearances on hockey's highlight reels.

Savard spent the first 10 years of his professional career wearing the jersey of the Chicago Blackhawks. In a blockbuster deal on June 29, 1990, Savard was traded to Montreal for defenseman Chris Chelios. During his three-year tenure with the Canadiens, he earned a Stanley Cup ring in 1992-93. Savard went on to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning before returning to Chicago to round out his career.

Upon retirement, "Savvy" as he was nicknamed, had amassed five 100 + point seasons and held numerous records within the Blackhawks organization, including most points in a season (131) and most assists in one season (87).

A classy player both on and off the ice, Savard registered 1338 points on 473 goals and 865 assists during 1196 games during his stellar 17-year career.

Walter L. Bush, Jr. – Builder Category

The name Walter L. Bush Jr. is synonymous with the game of ice hockey. Bush was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 25, 1929. He played amateur hockey in the United States for 22 years before hanging up his blades and turning his talents to the administrative side of the game.

Walter Bush was named manager of the 1959 USA National Team along with being elected as a director to the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS) board that same year. He is also a member of the United States Olympic Committee.

Amateur or professional, Bush was involved in everything. He was part of the team that formed the United States Central Hockey League in 1955 and served as the leagues' President for three seasons. Bush was the former owner of the Minneapolis Bruins of the old Central Hockey League, a team that he also coached and managed and was instrumental in bringing the National Hockey League to the Twin Cities in 1967. As well, he assisted in merging the Cleveland Barons with the Minnesota North Stars in the late 1970's.

Walter L. Bush Jr., received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1973, for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

In 1986, Bush was named President of AHAUS, which is now known as USA Hockey and committed to further unite the various functions of hockey in the U.S. That same year, Bush was elected to the International Ice Hockey Federation Council and was later named Vice-President of the Federation in 1994.

Bush was also the first US-born member of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee, a position he has held since 1972 and is currently the chairman of the IIHF's Womens, In-line hockey and Hall of Fame committees.

Once asked whether or not he would rather be involved with amateur of professional hockey, he commented, "My first love is hockey and I hate to say whether I preferred amateur or pro. Whatever I was most involved in at the time, I threw myself into it."

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