Congratulations to this year’s inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney and Fred Shero.

After passing over Brendan Shanahan, the Hall of Fame committee rectifies last year’s faux pas and enshrines Shanny.

Brendan’s record speaks for itself. He should have made it in last year in his first year of eligibilty. Better late then next year. Even though Brendan played for the Devils, the Blues, the Whalers and the Rangers, he’ll always be a Red Wing to me.

Same for his teammate, Chris Chelios. I think even Cheli he would acknowledge that deep down, he’s a Wing. He won two cups wearing the Winged Wheel.

His record is outstanding. I was not aware of all his accomplishments until today. Playing to the grand old age of 47, Chelios earned his place in the pantheon of hockey’s elite.

Scott Niedermayer, meh. He was a Devil for the lion share of his career. I don’t like the Devils. I never will. Niedermayer, along with Stevens and Daneyko were the front men that made Marty Brodeur look good all those years. I guess Niedermayer’s accomplishments are impressive. I never paid attention.

Geraldine Heaney? I have absolutely no idea about her or her record. I suppose the HHOF committee knows what they are doing. Wait. They passed over Shanahan last year in favor of Adam Oates.

Lastly, they are finally lionizing Fred¬† Shero in the “Builder” category.¬† ‘Bout damn time.

Shero literally wrote the book on modern NHL hockey. I read it. I didn’t understand all the diagrams and systems at the time. I needed “Hockey for Dummies” back in the day. The man was an innovator and a true hockey genius.

More then that, he had a sense of humor. Ron Greschner tells the story of getting on the elevator with Shero in a hotel in an away city. Ronnie was out after curfew.

Ron was expecting to get his ass chewed out in the elevator. But Shero didn’t say a word. Next day at the game, Shero had Gresch on the ice for 35 minutes. You could say it was an in-game bag skate for breaking curfew.

The only fault I found with Shero is that he didn’t take Phil Esposito’s advise in 1979 in Montreal during the Stanley Cup final.

Having ELIMINATED the Islanders (one of my favorite Ranger memories – seeing Potvin on his knees in a dejected heap), the Rangers moved on to the final against the Canadiens in Montreal.

After winning the first game, Espo told Shero to sequester the players in their hotel. Dont’ let the “Oo-la-la Sassoon” Rangers out on the town. Shero didn’t listen. The Rangers lost the next four games and the rest is history.

Congratulations to all the inductees. Gotta love Cheli. He’s been a vocal critic of the Commish for a while now. No love lost there. Can’t wait to see the two of them at the ceremony in Toronto.

Should make for an interesting night.


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