Monday, November 09, 2009

Hockey Night in the Hall

Considering the running tribute to American hockey which ran for most of the night, perhaps they should have rescheduled this years Hall of Fame induction ceremonies until the 4th of July.

Monday night celebrated one of the most distinguished of classes to join the Hallowed Hall in recent memory, and the majority of them featured strong ties to American hockey or the footprint of the game in America.

Hockey's shrine welcomed the American born Bryan Leetch and Lou Lamoriello, Brett Hull who made his name in International hockey while wearing the Stars and Stripes, Luc Robitaille who helped keep the flame of the game alive in Los Angeles and Steve Yzerman, who set up shop in Detroit and never left during his playing days.

It was a celebration of how the game has become part of the American fabric, all be it in pockets of the nation, that sometimes treats it with indifference.

The speeches were heart felt, at times humorous, at times poignant. But all had an underlying message of thanks, to former coaches and fellow players, owners, parents, spouses and children all people who played a major part in the lives of those honoured on Monday.

There can be no second guessing of this list, truly the "A" team of hall selections, each player a major force in the game in their own right, with Lou Lamoriello the modern day father for much of American hockey's success.

Even beyond the main participants on the stage tonight, the salute to America was consistent.

Dave Molinari a long time hockey writer in Pittsburgh, was duly honoured for his efforts over the years in capturing the excitement and dedication to the game.

While John Davidson, the one time star of New York's Blueshirts, former broadcaster and now a successful part of management in St. Louis provided more connection for the imprint of the game below the 49th parallel.

The stars (and stripes) aligned this year, to provide for one of the most accomplished lists of inductees that have walked through the doors of the shrine to shinny, to remind you of the depth of that talent, we have a vew samples below, feauring our inductees at their best.

Bryan Leetch

Brett Hull

Luc Robitaille

Steve Yzerman

The Group in conversation with Ron McLean

Think of how many owners could bank on the stats of these four players and a legendary GM, had he or she put them together one one team.

New York Times-- Leetch and Lamoriello Take Place in Hall of Fame
North Leetch had his doubts about Hall
Corpus Christi Caller-- Leetch a local great - even if you didn't know
Ottawa Citizen-- Luc can't believe his luck
Montreal Gazette-- Scoring machine on left wing
Los Angeles Times-- Kings' Luc Robitaille fought to prove the skeptics wrong
National Post-- Brett Hull made it to Hall of Fame his way
Dallas News-- Brett Hull's special day
St. Louis Today-- Hull enters Hall on thankful note
Calgary Herald-- Yzerman leads strong class into Hall of Fame
Ottawa Citizen-- Yzerman ’09 class act
Detroit Free Press-- Steve Yzerman enters the Hockey Hall of Fame
New Jersey Star Ledger-- NJ Devils GM Lou Lamoriello enters Hockey Hall of Fame
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- PG writer is recognized by Hockey Hall of Fame
Montreal Gazette-- Tonight's group of Hall of Fame inductees among the very best
St. Louis Post Dispatch-- Turnout warms Davidson as he accepts Hewitt Award
CBC Sports-- Hockey Hall of Fame welcomes inductees

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