The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1983
The 1983 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony featured just three players and a builder. However, there was no questioning that the four belonged in the shrine.
Long-time Chicago Black Hawks tandem, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, joined Ken Dryden who had one of the most compact but explosive careers of anyone in the Hall of Fame (except maybe for Bill Barilko). Harry Sinden, coach, general manager and president of the Boston Bruins for decades entered as a builder.
For Mikita and Hull, it couldn’t have been anymore parallel. Both played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association with the St. Catherines Teepees, a team sponsored by the Black Hawks. Bobby was two years ahead of Stan so the two got to play together in St. Catherines for just the 1956-57 season. The two played together in Chicago from 1959-60 to the end of the 1971-72 season when Hull left for the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association. Both retired after playing sparingly during the 1979-80 season.
Stan Mikita played in the National Hockey League from 1959-60 until 1979-80. He totaled 1467 points over 1394 career regular season games. Mikita is the only player to win the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy and Lady Byng Trophy in the same season. He accomplished this feat in consecutive seasons, 1966-67 and 1967-68. He won the Art Ross on two previous occasions. After his 97 point performance during the 1966-67 season, Stan was briefly tied with Bobby Hull for the record for most points in a NHL regular season.
Bobby Hull won all the same trophies as Stan Mikita, just not all in the same season. He was a three time Art Ross Trophy winner, a two time Hart Trophy winner and won the Lady Byng in 1964-65. Hull played with Chicago from 1957-58 until 1971-72.
He became the poster boy for the fledgling WHA right from the rebel league’s inaugural season in 1972-73. Bobby played the entire existence of the WHA with the Winnipeg Jets, although only playing in four games in the final season 1978-79. With Hull, the Jets won the Avco World Trophy twice and reached the finals two more times. The team won in 1978-79 as well, but without Bobby in the lineup.
Hull returned to the NHL for one last season in 1979-80 when the WHA was swallowed by the league. He played 18 games with the Jets and nine more with the Hartford Whalers and Gordie Howe before hanging up the blades.
Ken Dryden played just seven full seasons in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens from 1971-72 to 1978-79. However, he starred in the 1970-71 playoffs as the Canadiens captured the Stanley Cup. Dryden was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie the following season. Dryden is the only player to win the Conn Smythe before winning the Calder.
Out of his seven full seasons, Dryden was awarded the Vezina Trophy at end of five of them. In his final four seasons of NHL play, Dryden ended up with his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
Harry Sinden was another product of the OHA, having played four years for the Oshawa Generals between 1949-50 and 1952-53. As a player, he won a silver medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics with Team Canada.
It was as a coach and GM that he earned his position in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sinden coached the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970. He built and coached the Canada team that narrowly beat the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series. He continually assembled a perennial playoff contender in the Bruins for decades.