You won’t have any argument from me regarding Dino Ciccarelli’s inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2010.  There are only 18 600-goal scorers in the history of the game, and he’s one of them.  I’d go as far as saying he was overdue.  Some will argue that Ciccarelli’s induction is based less on substance, more on statistics.  Regardless, he had a helluva a career for a guy that entered the league as an undrafted free agent.  It’s the people that were not included that may send me into a fit of drunkenly blind rage.

So no Pat Burns, no Joe Nieuwendyk, no Doug Gilmour, no Pavel Bure, no Adam Oates, no Dave Andreychuk (he of 640 NHL goals).  Oh, but Cammi fucking Granato, Angela effing James, Jim frigging Devellano, and Daryl “Doc” Seaman were all honoured.  Don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want to diminish the contributions to women’s hockey that Cammi Granato and Angela James made.  Nor do I want to undermine the “builder” contributions of Devellano or Seaman, but the exclusion of Pat Burns is a black mark on an already bullshit voting system.

I made a case for Adam Oates yesterday, knowing that he was a long shot.  That Oates won’t receive the call to the Hall doesn’t come as a surprise, but to see Burns, Nieuwendyk, Bure, hell even Lindros, and a handful of others excluded doesn’t do much to soften the blow for me.  USA Today’s Kevin Allen summed up my feelings on the Burns omission perfectly with this tweet on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s understandable after last year’s super class of inductees (Hull, Leetch, Robitaille, and Yzerman), that this year’s may have been short on NHL players.  This, though, is bordering on travesty.  Way to go HHOF.  Tip a few, give a salute, or just do what you do in honour of Pat Burns tonight.  He deserves better.

Comments (18)

  1. I’m in full agreement. With all of the quality names up for inclusion, to pass them over for a (deleted) who’s entire career consisted of destroying a bunch of girls who couldn’t even skate and some dude’s little sister is a bleeping travesty.

  2. I won’t distinguish the above commenter’s chauvinistic and homophobic slander with a direct response, but I will comment on the tone of the article.

    While I agree that passing over Pat Burns is a travesty and I would also agree that others such as Bure, Andreychuk and probably Lindros also deserve a spot in the HHOF at some point, I think you have to be careful not to come off as anti-women’s hockey. A key point of contention with the Hall has been that it is the HOCKEY Hall of Fame, not the NHL Hall of Fame. The lack of women until today has been just as damaging for the HHOF’s reputation and image as the exclusion of Burns is. The same is true for many of the overlooked legends of European hockey including many of the Russian stars who dominated at world competitions for decades.

    So be sad that Burns was overlooked yes, but Cammi Granato and Angela James were pioneers and stars in their own right and to them I say Congratulations.

  3. @Greg (SGMFC) I agree with you that the lack of women in the Hall has been damaging. I did not intend to come across as anti-women’s hockey, if that’s what you’re implying. My stance has nothing to do with the inclusion of women, but more the exclusion of some guys that really should have gone. I’d have been happy with Granato, James, Ciccarelli, either of Seaman and Devallano, along with Burns.

    Unrelated, but on Greg’s point… let’s try and keep sexist/homophobic/racist comments out of the conversation. I’m all for freedom of the commenter, but slanderous remarks will have to be taken down and/or deleted.

  4. Well said Scott, didn’t mean to imply, just a cautionary note. :)

    Glad to see you supplementing J-Dub’s stuff, love the Unicorn too!

  5. DownGoesBrown had the best take on the induction with a tweet this afternoon: “Worst thing about this HOF class: No Burns. Second-worst thing: the backlash its going to cause against women inductees.”

    I think women should be in the Hall. I think there’s not really a need for their own category; let them go in as players in their own right, but since that’s not how they decided to do it, Angela James and Cammi Granato are fine choices for the first women’s inductees.

    But it’s a travesty that Pat Burns isn’t inducted as a builder, and ironic that one of the men he was passed over for died last year and is inducted posthumously, because that’s what’s going to happen to Pat sometime in the next few years when he does get in. If the committee liked Doc Seaman that much, they should’ve put him in in 2008 alongside Ed Chynoweth while he was still alive. I’m sure he’d have appreciated the courtesy. Or they should’ve waited until next year, because with all due respect to Doc Seaman, there’s not a whole damn lot of urgency to put him in now. With Burns there is, and it’s despicable they didn’t select him. This is the first time I’ve been enraged by a HHOF induction decision. I’m sure Pat Burns will be very touched to be inducted well after his death, like I’m sure Seaman is at being inducted a year and a half after his.

    It does a disservice to Ciccarelli for him to be the only inductee, because he’s got the whole spotlight for the player’s category (well, “male players” category, I guess) on him. Now we get to hear endless debates about how much character influences induction, why he was overlooked for so long, and whether he deserved in as a very good, but never great, player for a long time, with no one else to share the spotlight. Really, they should’ve inducted him, Glenn Anderson (who’s already in, but had to wait quite some time), Doug Gilmour, and Eric Lindros all in the same year and get all the players that the Hall selection committee obviously finds so distasteful done all in one fell swoop.

    DGB’s take has it exactly right: the bad things about this induction class overshadows and probably will cause backlash against what’s good about it, namely the first female inductees.

  6. “…Cammi fucking Granato, Angela effing James… Don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want to diminish the contributions to women’s hockey that Cammi Granato and Angela James made.”

    You made it kind of easy to take it the wrong way Scott. It’s hard enough for women to get respect in this sport (and most sports that don’t sexualize a woman’s body), so it wouldn’t hurt for you to make a deliberate effort to avoid wording that can be taken the wrong way. I’m not trying to be a feminist b*** about this….you just don’t know how it feels unless you’re on this side of it.

    Side note: Thank you to Greg and Brian P for their comments – they were intelligent and well-worded, and communicated the frustration over the Pat Burns overlook (which I, and probably most female hockey players/fans, share) without undermining the female inductees’ accomplishments.

  7. @Anne You forgot “Jim frigging Devellano”.

  8. On touchy subjects the reader will always interpret tone and intent. Nothing anyone can do about that. However, insinuating that Scott’s words can be taken the wrong way seems to imply that the reader can CHOOSE to take them the wrong way, or they can be INTERPRETED the wrong way because hes a guy. Either way, Scott Fucking Lewis, you’re screwed. Adding a clear disclaimer (“don’t take this the wrong way”) will do nothing to stop people with agendas from taking it the wrong way apparently.

    On a hockey related note, it’s the Hockey Hall of FAME, not the HOCKEY Hall of Fame. Regardless of gender, who on that list is the most FAMOUS??? That should be the deciding criteria. I’m not so sure they got it right…especially with respect to Burns.

  9. I think we should have a category for men’s rec. hockey players too.
    I played against some of the women from the Olympic team recently, I got a hat trick in a 7-2 win and I’m 32 years-old and never played higher than jr. C.

    Where’s my category?

  10. @Velo, actually Greg and Brian P seemed to have interpreted it that way too…and I don’t think they shared my “agenda” whatever that is.

    @Scott…just meant that the inclusion of Cammi and Angela had absolutely nothing to do with the overlooking of other well-deserving males, because like everyone’s already pointed out, females are just in that “female” category anyway. So if you’re going to give people that you think are less deserving some disparaging middle names, you should have excluded Cammi and Angela. That’s all.

    @Cgare…clearly, you’re in a category all on your own.

  11. @ Anne…what would you and your interpretive associates call it then when you choose to take something the wrong way after the author explicitly implores you to not take it the wrong way? It’s either some sort of an agenda (and they all don’t need to be the same agenda) or, and don’t take this the wrong way, you can’t read stuff so good.

    Back to hockey…my disagreement over the inductees centers around fame, not gender. I’m not convinced that the most famous candidates got in.

  12. To get the obvious out of the way first, Pat Burns got screwed on this one. And now for the more difficult…

    It does seem curious to me why, if the male and female categories are separate and all, only Cicarelli was given the honour. A lot of this uproar could have been muffled by simply inducting Niewendyk (or whoever else) as well. Am I missing something here?

    Insofar as the “absurdity” of Granato and James getting the call, I must REALLY be missing something. I figured that Olympic gold medal winning captains who were a major part in expanding the game to include women may just be worthy of a picture on the wall in the HHOF. The arguments of how they stack up ability wise against other (male) players is not even relevant if you look at how they played a part in bringing the game to a whole other gender.

    What does bother me are some of the posts on this site and every other site I have visited. Comments like Cgare has made are common and make it pretty tough to deny the fact that a lot of male hockey fans aren’t exactly, shall I say, secure.

    @Scott and Velo… I understand that you are not trying to attack Granato and James. That said, tacking on “I don’t want to diminish contributions” does not grant you any immunity from judgement.
    For example: ‘I am not racist but, I don’t think that black people make very good hockey players,’ IS STILL a problematic statement to make, and black people have every right to be offended even if you implore them not to be.

  13. @ Sanderson…Your point is well taken. However, for the sake of a blog, how is a writer supposed to articulate to a reader that the reader is not to take something seriously? I don’t find any of Lewis’ comments negative toward women. He criticized 2 men and 2 women which he is able to do in this context if he feels they aren’t worthy of induction. Instead of attacking him, perhaps a clarifying question as to why he thinks those 4 people are not good candidates would be more appropriate. Instead, readers choose to draw their own conclusions. I do take issue with your assumption that prefacing statements can’t meaningfully take the edge of what would otherwise be a harsh statement. Your example is over the top and, in my opinion, meaningless as it pertains to this article and the intended meaning.

  14. “It does seem curious to me why, if the male and female categories are separate and all, only Cicarelli was given the honour.”

    Because you need 14 of 18 votes to get in. All it takes is five people deciding that they don’t like a player for whatever reason – too arrogant / whiny (Lindros), not enough defence (Bure), if Dino had to wait then so will the better version of him (Andreychuk) – and you’re out.

    Compare that to, say, the baseball hall of fame, which has something like 500 voters, which makes it much harder to just get a couple of people together and block inclusion.

    My only issue with inducting two women in one year is that they’re going to run out of candidates awfully fast, given the bi-national nature of the women’s game (I’m sure you could find someone on Sweden or Finland, but they’d be stretches). Hell, Hayley Wickenheiser would be the next logical choice, and she’s still active. Due to the limited turnover on the US and Canadian national teams, your pool is awful small.

  15. Adam Oates should of been there for joke

  16. @Cgare…I take it back, you’re not on your own: @Velo obviously fits in your category very well.

  17. Insert Allen Iverson ‘Practice, we’re talking about practice’ vid here.

    Stop bickering, Lewis just got your attention to something he deems a blight on the game. Opinion is ok, the choice of wording was dope (see what I did there).

    Now everyone let’s get back to the idea that Oates wasn’t an inductee, boo!

    I’d also like to nominate ‘arm chair coaching’ a category.

  18. Nice one Anne. What part of defending the author’s statements has anything to do with the remarks Cgare made. Re-read my last post and, if need be, get someone to explain it to you.

    Hockeybreath, I agree with the Oates thing. He was, when I think back, the quintessential passer in the NHL. Some players seem to resonate an image or aura…those players should be the ones inducted. Drawing a statistical line in the sand, or personal grudges should be left out of it.

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