SPORTS

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame to welcome Coffey, Forrest, Heil and others

04/22/2015 10:46 EDT | Updated 07/17/2015 03:59 EDT
TORONTO - Former star defenceman Paul Coffey is proud of the many individual NHL scoring records that he set over his 21-year career.

But it's the four Stanley Cup wins and his experiences with the national team that really stand out when he looks back at his many accomplishments.

Coffey was recognized for his stellar career Wednesday as he was named to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2015.

"Winning the Stanley Cups, winning the Canada Cups — those are the things you talk about later," Coffey said Wednesday. "You don't say, 'Oh, I scored this or I did that.' Nobody wants to hear that. It's all about the championships and sharing something with the city or a group of guys. That's what it's all about."

Coffey is one of 10 athletes and two builders who will be formally inducted on Oct. 21 at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Soccer player Craig Forrest, freestyle skier Jennifer Heil and women's hockey player Danielle Goyette are also included in this year's class. They're joined in the athlete category by speedskater Susan Auch, judoka Nicolas Gill, para-swimmer Michael Edgson, cross-country skiers Sharon and Shirley Firth, and track cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer.

"Having people not only from my sport but people on a selection committee choose me to be among this small honoured group is just awe-inspiring," Auch said. "It's amazing, it's fully overwhelming. It's awesome."

Auch was a five-time Olympian in speedskating, winning bronze at the 1988 Calgary Games and silver in Lillehammer in 1994 and Nagano in 1998.

Coffey won the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers in 1984, '85 and '87 and with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991. The three-time Norris Trophy winner and 14-time all-star also won three Canada Cups ('84, '87, '91) and finished with 396 goals and 1,135 assists in 1,409 career regular-season games.

Forrest earned 56 caps for the Canadian men's soccer team from 1988 to 2002 and guided the national side to a Gold Cup title in 2000. He made his pro debut with Ipswich in 1987-88 and spent 14 seasons with the English club.

Edgson is the most accomplished Paralympic athlete in Canadian history. He won nine gold medals at the Paralympics in Seoul in 1988 and set over 20 world records over his career.

Gill was a four-time Olympian who won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games and silver eight years later at the Sydney Olympics.

Goyette spent 15 seasons with the Canadian women's hockey team and helped the squad win Olympic gold at the 2002 Salt Lake Games and the 2006 Turin Games. She scored 15 goals at the Olympics and recorded 68 points at the women's world hockey championship over her career.

Heil was the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup overall moguls title. The eight-time national champion won Olympic gold in Turin and took the silver four years later at the Vancouver Games.

Muenzer won Olympic gold in track cycling at the Athens Games in 2004. She earned 13 national titles and 11 World Cup medals over her career.

The Firth twins were the first Indigenous athletes to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.

They competed at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics and went on to compete at the Games three more times. Shirley Firth succumbed to cancer in 2013 at age 59.

Jocelyne Bourassa (golf) and Marina van der Merwe (field hockey) will enter the Hall in the builder category. The Hall will also induct a 60th anniversary Legends Class this June in Calgary to honour war heroes, athletes who broke down racial and gender barriers, along with other sport pioneers.

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Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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