Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hockey Hall of Fame incoming class

By Rick Morris

Our good friend at Sportsology, Russ Cohen, passed along this article to us and allowed us to reprint it here. Like him, I share a tremendous respect for the Hockey Hall of Fame -- it's the only one of the "Big Four" that I haven't been to and I want to rectify that when I make it up to the fun town of Toronto some day -- and I am personally a huge fan of "The Professor" Igor Larionov. I even own a copy of the DVD that was released in honor of his retirement; it's pretty sweet -- it's got the all-star retirement game that was thrown in his honor and an accompanying documentary.

As such, I'm pleased to reprint Russ' article here.

Anderson heads interesting 2008 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees
By Russ Cohen

Glenn Anderson is a player who has been overshadowed by some of the greatest names to ever play the game. Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Jarri Kurri and that list of ex-Edmonton Oilers seems endless and now Anderson is the latest from that group to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this November 10th.

“I’m really kind of humbled by it,” said Anderson, who is rarely a man of few words.

The other three inductees are Igor Larionov, Ed Chynoweth (in the builder category) and Ray Scapinello (in the referee/linesman category).

Back to Anderson: it seems this honor took him a bit by surprised, and even this veteran of six Stanley Cup Championship teams was at a loss.

“I did catch myself while walking on the streets of New York catching a second breath,” he said honestly. “It’s been a long time since I won a Cup. It’s up there with the greatest things I have had happen to me in my life.”

The New York experience from 1994 has obviously agreed with Anderson, but he hasn’t forgotten who helped him get inducted. You don’t get 94 playoff goals and 214 points (both good for fourth on the all-time list) all by yourself.

“You don’t realize how great the players are until you play with them,” he said, talking about his former teammates and his recent play with Larionov over in Russia.

“We were invited over by the President of Belarus,” Anderson explained. “We had a game over there and we opened a building. (Slava) Festisov had his 50th birthday in another game to open a building.”

Larionov and Anderson have stayed busy and the Russian player has his own reasons to be thrilled about being inducted.

“To be recognized is a huge part of Russian and international hockey,” he said. “It’s nice to see. For me to be inducted next to Slava and other Russian players like Valeri Kharmalov, who I got to play four game with before he died, and (Vladislav) Tretiak ...”

Scapinello never missed a game.

“I’m so humbled by this honor. Obviously the highlight of my 33-year career.”

Chynoweth had passed away in April, so his sons spoke on his behalf. He was one of the founders of the CHL.

If you haven’t made the trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, check it out this November!

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