Seen and heard at the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions

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TORONTO — As usual, the big names came out to celebrate hockey’s biggest names. An impressive group walked the red carpet on Sunday night, Hollywood style, to honor the 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. This class was highlighted by best — if unlikely — hockey friends in Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. The former teammates had plenty of time to gush about each other — and some playful jabs snuck in as well. Also honored were Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Clare Drake, Jeremy Jacobs and Danielle Goyette.

Snippets of what we overheard over the weekend:

“It’s a big night for Finland.” — Edmonton Oilers legend Jari Kurri who, until the induction of Selanne, was the only Finnish player in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“Last two nights have been something. Can’t wait for Teemu to get out of town. These Finns haven’t changed.” — former NHL player Tie Domi on the weekend’s, uh, festivities.

“We will always be brothers, in this life and the next.” — Kariya, thanking Selanne in his speech.

“It was minus-28 Celsius in Winnipeg. My first morning in Anaheim, I’m having breakfast outside, it’s plus-28. I looked up and said, ‘Thank you.'” — Selanne reflecting on a career with many diverse stops.

“I couldn’t stand him. He was a nightmare to have as a player. … No, he was a great. He was a wonderful kid, always happy, always upbeat, which is a great asset for a hockey team.” — current Calgary Flames president Brian Burke, talking about Selanne. Burke served as GM of the Ducks during Selanne’s playing days.

“I don’t feel like I disappeared. Ninety-five percent of my friends are hockey players, coaching hockey, in hockey. When those guys are in town, we go to dinner and all we do is talk about hockey. I’ve never felt separated from the game for one bit. … It’s more been me being a private person and being out of the spotlight.” — Kariya, who has been out of the hockey spotlight until this weekend.

“I just hope Paul is enjoying life, that’s what is important. He played hard. We played in a tough era. At the time, it was a pretty crazy game.” — former defenseman Scott Stevens on playing on the same ice as Kariya in the Legends Classic exhibition, the first time they were reunited since Stevens’ infamous hit in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final that concussed Kariya.

“Last year, they got a little slap on the wrist. It happens to all the good teams, where you want to prove to the hockey world that you belong, and we sure do. I think that they realize that the start that they have is very important. [Last season] they went 8-2 in their last [10] games and didn’t make the playoffs. That’s a lesson learned. Jon Cooper and myself have talked about it lots of times. Winning in October is just as good and important as winning late.” — Andreychuk on the Tampa Bay Lightning, whom he is now an executive with.

“He’s so popular among our fans, everyone loves him,” Lightning GM Steve Yzerman on Andreychuk.

“It’s never going to have the aura of the Montreal Canadiens‘ [dynasty], I mean that’s untapped. But five Cups for a team that started in ’67? I mean, some teams haven’t won any. It’s a huge honor [to be part of it]. I like that kind of pressure, it’s a fun pressure. Obviously, with Sid and Evgeni — when you have a core like that, it helps.” — Recchi, who is an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of his former teams.



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