They’re exclusive clubs in hockey and membership grew in both this year.
And the new members of both gathered in Edmonton Monday.
They’re the Triple Gold Club. And the Double Glory Gang. The most exclusive of the two is the latter.
In 1980, Ken Morrow of the New York Islanders was the first to do it — win an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup the same year.
Only two had managed to do the double since — Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan in 2002 with Detroit and Canada.
In 2010, however, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook doubled the membership as Canada won Olympic gold and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. It was a gold at a home Olympics in Vancouver and the first Stanley Cup since 1961 in Chicago.
The other club has four times as many members. When it comes to players, that is. But when you think about it, exclusive is the right word to describe it, too.
Eric Staal and Jonathan Toews became only the 23rd and 24th players to qualify for it this year. And it’s really exclusive when it comes to coaches. Mike Babcock became the only member.
To qualify, you require a gold medal at the Olympics, a Stanley Cup and a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships.
More than 15,000 players have tried to win a world championship since 1930, more than 9,000 have tried to win the Stanley Cup since 1993 and more than 4,000 have tried to win Olympic gold since 1920. Only 24 have done it. And one coach.
Staal and Babcock qualified February in Vancouver. Toews became a club member in June when he made it an Olympic gold and a Stanley Cup in the same season.
Toews said he knew he had a chance at the Triple Gold Club after he won the Olympic gold.
“I’d heard about it a few times,” said Toews who won his world title in 2007. “I hadn’t given it much thought. But now that I’ve seen the list and found out there’s only 24 of them, it’s a pretty good group to be part of.
“I didn’t know they had a pin for it. They gave me a pin from the Hockey Hall of fame. And now I have this Olympic ring, too,” he said of the championship ring the players were presented here.
“You don’t expect anything like this to happen,” said the Winnipeg product about being in both exclusive groups.
“I feel so very lucky. It’s so very special. I think it turned out to be a good thing that we had to move along from the Olympics and get back to the NHL regular season so quickly,” said Toews.
“For Duncan, Brent and myself we had to kind of forget about the gold medal quickly. That’s what’s so great about coming back here for this. This is our chance to enjoy the Olympic gold with the guys we won it with in Vancouver.”
Seabrook said there really aren’t words for it.
“It’s been a fun year,” he said. “It’s been unbelievable. It’s just been so great to be able to have been one of the guys to experience it.”
Keith said being one of six to do the Olympic gold-Stanley Cup double is impressive because of the people who did it before.
“It’s pretty neat. It’s amazing to be part of a group that includes Yzerman, Shanahan and Morrow. To have all the experiences that go with it, is great. It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Staal who won his Stanley Cup with Carolina against Edmonton in 2006, won a world championship gold the following year when the Hurricanes missed the playoffs.
“I feel so very fortunate,” he said. “You just don’t expect all of these things to fall into place. It’s a pretty awesome club to be part of.”
But only one coach?
“Being in the Triple Gold Club is a special, special thing for me,” said Babcock who won the world championship in 2004 as a last minute head coach replacement for Joel Quenneville and went on to coach the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 2008.
“It’s pretty exciting to have that claim for your career,” said the coach who also won a World Junior title in 1997 and a CIS title.
But he says the three Blackhawks are the guys.
“Can you imagine? They’re kids”
email@example.com. Tomas Jonsson, Sweden 2. Mats Naslund, Sweden 3. Hakan Loob, Sweden 4. Valeri Kamensky, Russia 5. Alexei Gusarov, Russia 6. Peter Forsberg, Sweden 7. Vyacheslav Fetisov, Russia 8. Igor Larionov, Russia 9. Alexander Mogilny, Russia 10. Vladimir Malakhov, Russia. 11. Rob Blake, Canada 12. Joe Sakic, Canada 13. Brendan Shanahan, Canada 14. Scott Niedermayer, Canada 15. Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic. 16. Jiri Slegr, Czech Republic. 17. Nicklas Lidstrom, Sweden 18. Fredrik Modin, Sweden 19. Chris Pronger, Canada 20. Niklas Kronwall, Sweden 21. Henrik Zetterberg, Sweden 22. Mikael Samuelsson, Sweden 23. Eric Staal, Canada 24. Jonathan Toews, Canada 25.Mike Babcock, Canada