Hockey Hall of Fame 2011 selections continue to snub Pat Burns and Fred Shero, ignore women
The Hockey Hall of Fame announced Tuesday (June 28) its selections for induction into the hall, and this year there are no inductees outside of the player class.
Few people will argue with the inclusion of Ed Belfour, Mark Howe, Doug Gilmour, and Joe Nieuwendyk into the ranks of the hall greats, but why were there no names in the builder or women categories, the latter of which became official last year?
Three of the four players selected this year were available as players a year ago (Belfour was chosen in his first year of eligibility), but somehow only Dino Ciccarelli made it past the HHOF selection-committee vote last year.
What was with that? And now with an embarrassment of top-flight players seemingly available for enshrinement, why wasn’t last year’s snub of a terminally ill Pat Burns rectified with his inclusion in the builders’ category this year?
Burns, who died shortly after his denial in 2010, had the requisite Stanley Cup ring (with New Jersey) on his CV, not to mention three Jack Adams awards for coach of the year (the only coach ever to do so) with three different teams, all Original Six: Montreal, Toronto, and Boston.
And after Angela James and Cammi Granato made the cut in the inaugural year for the new women’s category, why were no others considered for this year (up to two per year are allowed, along with four men)?
Too new? Not enough quality candidates?
Abby Hoffman and Shirley Cameron come to mind as pioneering leaders in women’s hockey in North America, with Geraldine Heaney coming up on their coattails and players such as Cassie Campbell-Pascall (already eligible) and Hayley Wickenheiser soon to be considered, undoubtedly.
And as far as builders go again, look at the continuing blacklisting of Fred Shero
The winningest coach in Philadelphia Flyers’ history, Shero should be a no-brainer for his coaching innovations alone: morning skates, game-film studies, employing full-time assistant coaches, going with systems for team play, etcetera. Combined with his two Stanley Cups, what is the problem here?
And even though Vancouver Canucks fans might have been tantalized by the fact that hometown hero Trevor Linden was eligible for inclusion this year, maybe they should think again why skating sensation Pavel Bure hasn’t yet made it.
A spectacular career shortened by injuries shouldn’t be overshadowed by allegations of ties to Russian crime figures. Those unsubstantiated accusations came during a time of confused transition in the former Soviet Union, when it wasn’t unusual for Russian NHL stars to become the victims of extortion attempts.
Or is it because of—in common with Shero—an unpopular and controversial switch of team allegiances in mid-career?
No other player of Bure’s era—and few in the decade before and after his years here and in Florida—was able to bring an entire hockey rink to its collecive feet just by sweeping up a loose puck at centre ice.
Bure will get in some day.
Why not before Linden?