The five newest inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame occupy various places along the game’s spectrum. Doug Weight and Bill Guerin forged long careers in the NHL; Ron Mason set the standard for college coaches; Cindy Curley helped prove women could play; and Peter Karmanos Jr. brought the NHL to Tobacco Road.
Thursday, the five were united on the same pedestal. USA Hockey announced their selection as the newest members of the Hall of Fame, which commemorates Americans’ contributions to the game at its museum in Eveleth, Minn.
Guerin and Weight represented the U.S. in several international tournaments, including the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004. They were part of a great generation of American players who won the World Cup in 1996, infusing U.S. hockey with a new sense of confidence and pride. Guerin played 18 NHL seasons with eight teams and twice won the Stanley Cup. Weight captured a Stanley Cup in 2006 with Carolina — owned by Karmanos — during a 19-year NHL career.
Curley’s playing career ended before women’s hockey became part of the Olympics, but she helped get it there. She competed in three women’s world championship tournaments, including the first in 1990 — where her 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points set tournament records that still stand. After her retirement, Curley became a coach and official and has served USA Hockey in several roles.
Mason’s 924 victories as head coach at Lake Superior State, Bowling Green and Michigan State was an NCAA record until Boston College’s Jerry York broke it last season. Karmanos established the NHL in North Carolina when he moved the Hartford Whalers there in 1997, and he founded one of the nation’s premier youth and junior hockey programs — Compuware — during his time as CEO of the Detroit-area company.
The class of 2013 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony later this year.