Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/31/14 at 10:12 PM ET
On June 24th, the Hockey Hall of Fame's selection committee will name its inductees for 2014, and as the process is a secretive one, we know its parameters and the men who represent the Hockey Hall of Fame, but we don't know how exactly one player of builder makes the cut and another does not in any particular year.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons believes that the selection committee needs to make amends for a long-standing omission amongst this year's shoo-ins:
At one time, in the early 1980s, they were considered the two most gifted and offensive explosive players in hockey. Wayne Gretzky won 10 scoring titles in the National Hockey League. Sergei Makarov won nine scoring titles in Russia, before he arrived in the NHL.
Gretzky had his Hall of Fame induction fast-tracked. Makarov is still waiting to hear his name called.
On June 23, the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2014 will be announced and the slam dunk this year is Dominik Hasek, as he should be. Joining him likely will be Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano and there’s really no argument with either of those. But somehow, Makarov’s candidacy appears to have been lost in time.
He was twice a world junior champion, 10 times a world champion, a winner of two Olympic gold medals and one silver. At the largest events, the Olympics and Canada Cups, he scored 59 points in 44 games:
Makarov came to the NHL late, won the rookie of the year award at 31, scored 292 points in 297 games in Calgary, ended his career quietly in San Jose and Dallas. Those who rule him out as Hall of Fame material because of his final NHL seasons, haven’t made enough attention to the final seasons of many already enshrined.
Makarov’s centre, Igor Larionov is already in the Hall, which is as much about NHL politics as it about truth. Makarov was the better player. It is overdue for him to be acknowledged for his wonderful career.
Simmons continues with his usual collection of hockey and sports-related observations--and Igor Larionov is now on the selection committe, for what it's worth..
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