Tommy Ivan may not have made it to the NHL as a player (a serious cheekbone injury as an amateur player derailed that) but through a series of circumstances he found himself as the Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings. He inherited a team with young talent on the rise and honed their skills to where they won three Stanley Cups in the early 1950’s. Ivan would seek a new challenge and left Detroit to Chicago in 1954. The Blackhawks were in the dregs of the National Hockey League and through slow rebuilding took them to the Stanley Cup in 1961 as its General Manager and were a Cup contender for years to come. 
Inducted for his administrative work with Hockey in the United States,Tommy Lockhart organized the Eastern Amateur Hockey League in 1934 which promoted the sport in the New York City area. Three years later, Lockhart would help to organize the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States and was its first President. He would serve as the business manager for the New York Rangers for a six year stretch in the 1950’s and would have a spot the next decade in the U.S. Olympic Committee and on the IIHF.
Another early star of hockey, Tommy Phillips was a back checking superstar who may have been one of the first legitimate two way players in history. Phillips was involved in multiple Stanley Cup challenge series and was considered one of the best players in the country (Canada). Although, Phillips may not have been known when hockey really gained traction in North America, his pioneering efforts make him a legitimate inclusion to the first class in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
On the Stanley Cup for helping out the Ottawa Silver Seven for a few games in 1905, Tommy Smith turned professional the following year with the Pittsburgh Professionals in the IHL and led the league in scoring. Smith actually never stayed anywhere long, but regardless of what team and what league he played in, was usually put in goals by the truckload. Tommy Smith would win his second Cup (though this time in more of an active fashion) with the Quebec Bulldogs in 1913. Smith’s delay to the Hall of Fame may have been due to his playing in what was considered inferior leagues, but realistically he has a better resume than some players in the same era that got in earlier. 
One of the top Goalies of the 1970’s, Tony Esposito played the majority (all but thirteen games) of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks. He won the Calder Trophy in 1970, which was also the same year he won his first of three Vezinas. Chicago was a good team in the early 70’s, but declined as the decade progressed. Esposito was still a good goalie (though he his numbers were lower in the second half of the 70’s than the first), but he did not have the help out front like he used to. In 1980, Tony Esposito had his best season in years and was named to his third First Team All Star squad. He would join his brother Phil into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
A very popular player in Maple Leaf folklore, Turk Broda was a two time Vezina Award winner who was in the pipes for five Stanley Cups in Toronto. Broda was a clutch performer who posted a career sub 2.0 GAA in the playoffs which was a half goal lower than his already respectable regular season average.
Valeri Kharlamov never played in the National Hockey League, but every NHL fan in the 1970’s knew who he was.   Vladislav Tretiak may have received most of the attention in the Soviet Red Army, but it was the scoring prowess of Kharlamov that ran the engine. In addition to the passing and stickhandling fundamentals that were ingrained in the Russian players, Kharlamov was a flash on the ice and could maneuver around defenders effortlessly.
As one of the big five of the Soviet Union’s National Team, Viachevslav Fetisov was the top Defenceman in International Hockey in the 1980’s. He was not just a defensive wizard, but he was the team leader of the Red Army.
The bottom line is this: The Hockey Hall of Fame could not remotely claim to be an International entity without the induction of Vladislav Tretiak. For years, Tretiak was the dominant force on the International Hockey scene and is considered one of the best Goalies of all time and was named by Sports Illustrated as their Goalie in 2000 when they named their all-time team.
Initially a sportswriter whose true passion was hockey, W.A. Hewitt would become the secretary of the Ontario Hockey association; a position he would hold for nearly sixty years. He would also manage three teams for Canada to successive Gold Medals in the Olympics. Hewitt was a vital part of hockey’s growth in Toronto and was the longtime Manager of Attractions of the new Maple Leaf Gardens.
The original owner of the Boston Celtics also played a major role in the development of Hockey in the United States. Brown himself coached the amateur Boston Olympics to five titles and a World Championship and Olympic Bronze. He would later take over the financially struggling Boston Bruins as their president. He would also become the Vice President of the IIHF and the chairman of the U.S. Hockey squad that won at Squaw Valley. Hockey in the United States was a major beneficiary of the work of Walter A. Brown.
Walter Bush was one of the great administrators in American Hockey history.  Bush was part of a group that formed the Central Hockey League and was instrumental in helping to bring the NHL (in the form of the Minnesota North Stars) to his home state.  Bush would also become the President of U.S.A. Hockey for nearly two decades and was a key figure in bringing women’s hockey to the Olympics.   We will forgive him for that last achievement.
Wayne Gretzky is simply the greatest Hockey player period.  Nothing more needs to be said.
The son of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Charles AdamsWeston Adams took over from his father as the President of the Boston Bruins in 1936 and oversaw the team’s two Stanley Cup wins in 1939 and 1941. Adams served his country in World War II, and his franchise’s fortunes were not the same without Adams at the helm. He would reclaim his spot as team President and built up the team again through scouting and working with junior teams. When he relinquished control to his son, the Bruins were again a Hockey power.
A longtime President with the New York Rangers, William M. Jennings also sat on the NHL Finance Committee. Most importantly, Jennings was the Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors and the head of the Expansion Committee. Also in 1964, he was instrumental in setting up a National Hockey League office in New York City. His Rangers may never have won a Stanley Cup under his guidance, but the NHL became better because of him. As an honor to him in 1981 (shortly after he died), the William M. Jennings Trophy was created to be given annually to the Goaltender(s) who played a minimum of twenty five games on the team with the lowest Goals Against Average.
A very important figure behind the scene in the growth of hockey (especially in Montreal), William Northey helped to establish the ECAHA (Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association) and later the CAHA (Canadian Amateur Hockey Association). Northey helped to convince Sir Montagu Allan to donate a trophy (The Allan Cup) which was (and still is) given to top Amateur team in Canada. He would become the Cup’s trustee. In Montreal, he was the director of the Canadian Arena Company which built the iconic Montreal Forum.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his work in American and International Hockey, William Tutt helped to build the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs which would be the host of the first ever NCAA Hockey Championships. Tutt also helped organize the United States National Team and helped to organize the Soviet National Team’s visit to the States in 1959. He also brought the World Hockey Championships to Colorado Springs in 1962 and served a three year term as the President of the IIHF.
We can’t say that we love any Hall of Fame inductee with the nickname of “Porky”, but the induction of Woody Dumart in the Veteran Players category is one that we really don’t have an issue with.   Dumart was a solid two way player who played his entire career with the Boston Bruins. Three times he was a Second Team All Star and twice a Stanley Cup winner. Dumart served in the Canadian military during World War II and lost three prime years of his career and probably could have dominated in that era had he remained in the NHL. Overall, Woody Dumart was a popular star in Boston and we don’t have any issue with this Veterans category induction.
Dubbed the “Roadrunner” for his small frame and blazing speed, Yvan Cournoyer played his entire career with the Montreal Canadians and won a whopping eight Stanley Cups. Cournoyer was not just a participant in those excellent Habs teams but was one of its stars.