"I want to thank Bill (Hay) and the Hall of Fame committee for this great honor and Kelly (Massey) for all of your great work in making this a great weekend for my friends and family.
"I've got to congratulate Lou (Lamoriello) and Steve (Yzerman) and Luc (Robitaille) and Brian (Leetch) . . . when they call this is a class, they had you four in mind, I can tell you that.
"We don't have a lot of time to thank everyone. But I would certainly be remised if I didn't thank a few.
"To the St. Louis Blues and my friend Susie Mathieu . . . she did more for me in the time I was there - on and off the ice - and I can't thank her enough. Ron Caron, the professor, we all know and love. He saw my potential when a lot of people didn't. Brian Sutter, he made me realize and reach that potential . . . that the professor saw.
"The Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family. They are just wonderful people to work with, as I'm sure Stevie (Yzerman) can attest to. Ken Holland, he gave me the opportunity to play for what might be the greatest team ever assembled. And Scotty Bowman, the greatest coach that ever coached the game. I am honored to have won a Stanley Cup with him.
"To the Dallas Stars, who I'm still very proud to be a member of, and the whole organization. Tom Hicks and his family, who are passionate and determined to bring another Stanley Cup to the city of Dallas. Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock, they gave me the opportunity to win my first Stanley Cup and I'll never forget them for that.
"My mother, who gave me love and support only a mother could give. She gave me my laid-back, easy-going attitude and my razor-sharp wit that I use daily with the media.
"My father, you gave me giant footsteps to follow. You taught me to speak my mind. You gave me the best advice in your own unique way that you could have ever given. And I quote: 'The further you are from the play, the closest you are to it.' I am really fortunate that I was able to figure out what the hell he was talking about.
"To Bobby, Blake, Bart and Michelle . . . my brothers and sisters, you were always there with me. When I climbed out of the gate for my first game, and I scored my first goal, and when I raised the Stanley Cup, you were always there with me.
"To my kids, Jude . . . I'm so proud of you, how you've become a mature and passionate young man. And I'm not sure where it happened . . . but between your great-uncle Dennis and your grandpa (Bobby Hull) and me, we have 1,654 goals . . . and you're a goalie.
"To Jade, you're only 13 and you're wise beyond your years. Your enthusiasm and willingness to try anything puts a smile on everyone's face.
"Crosby, my little pumpkin, you're a friend to everyone. Your warm heart and infectious sense of humor can lighten up the darkest room, and I love you all very much.
"Make sure you listen to your mother because she was a great role model and a mentor and you're lucky to have her.
"To my wife Darcy . . . I love you because you get me. You accept my faults and just because you're you. I'm very lucky to have you as my best friend.
"We're supposed to be here celebrating why I did in this game. But I want to talk about what this game gave to me: and that's everything and more than I could ever dream of. Unforgettable teammates, many who are hear tonight. I thank you for making this trip to be here for me, and I'm proud to call you my friends.
"As teammates, we can't always be together, but when we do, it's like time stands still. We won't be able to see Peter Zezel anymore, and we will miss him dearly. And I can't think of a better place to honor him, and his family, than right here in this most special place.
"The game gave me a chance to do what I loved in the grandest of places . . . Chicago Stadium, right on through to here in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens. It gave me the opportunity to play and become friends with Wayne (Gretzky), simply the greatest player who ever lived. He didn't just play the game, he is the game and always will be.
"I accept this honor for all those playing pickup, beer league and senior hockey, who never got the opportunity that I did. For every mom up at 5 (a.m.), who drives to practice . . . every dad working overtime to buy equipment and a pair of tickets to take his kids to an NHL game.
"Every teammate that sacrificed, every trainer that patched me up and every stick boy that brought me a cold one after the game. Nothing in life is worth a damn without friends. And I cherish all of you that are here with me and those of you that couldn't come tonight.
"I'm grateful for every one that touched me in this great game, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
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