Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hall of Fame Inductions

The 2006 Hockey Hall of Fame iductions have been announced. Here are the players I would have supported had I been on the Hall of Fame committee. Inducted are Patrick Roy, Dick Duff, Harley Hotchkiss and Herb Brooks.

Patrick Roy was an obvious choice as the winningest goalie of all time. I support that choice.

Dick Duff finally makes it on his 31st year of eligibility. I think he makes it for the wrong reasons. If he was denied 30 times, there is probably a reason for it that didn't change on the 31st attempt. He is a friend and contemporary of many members of the Hall of Fame committee, so they may tend to favor him a bit. He won 6 Stanley Cups, which is impressive, but he was never considereded the best player on his team. He was lucky to be part of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in their glory years. I will write in the future a piece about why I dislike this kind of choice.

Harley Hotchkiss undoubtedly played a significant role in NHL history as the Calgary Flames owner is the chairman of the NHL's board of governors and guided them through the lockout. He clearly had a big part in the history of the NHL, but I hate that chapter in the NHL story. As a leader of it, I despise him as well. It allows the NHL press to create a documentary about how Hotchkiss and others "saved" the NHL with their brilliant foresight to cancel an NHL season and create a CBA where ultimately the big markets should prevail. I don't like to speculate on builders in the Hall of Fame because of cases like this. Hotchkiss is extremely important for his role in the lockout, but he should live in infamy and not in the Hall of Fame.

Herb Brooks is in the Hall of Fame for a two week period in 1980 when he guided the US Olympic Team to an improbable gold medal in hockey. He is a mostly unsuccessful NHL coach, who had stints with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. I don't see him as a great coach. He was the right man in the right place at the right time. Despite his Olympic gold, the Hall of Fame committee never saw fit to induct him duiring his lifetime. Brooks died in a 2003 car crash. I think the press from the movie Miracle has as much to do with the Brooks induction as anything he did in his lifetime.

All in all interesting picks. Mostly the lack of players selected is interesting. Doug Gilmour and Phil Housley were snubbed. Dino Ciccarelli once again snubbed. After the 2005 Valeri Kharlamov, induction I thought they might begin to add more Europeans from the days before they could come to the NHL. That appears to be wrong.

Here is TSN's story on the inductions.

I'm no expert on old-time hockey, but I've read enough books and heard quite a few stories. Dick Duff is not a name I had ever heard or read about before, unless I totally forgot about the guy. This sound stupid, but wow can a guy be a Hall of Famer if I've never heard about him before? really, that's like the baseball Hof and their veterans committee...all about favours and buddy-buddy picks.

It's obvious by now that there are some serious flaws in the HoF voting. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for their selections, and they go looking for political picks rather than just having one ballot and giving a threshold for the selections. do they even make the results public?
I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you!
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