Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Monica McAlister on 12/03/13 at 11:20 PM ET
It was a night that honored the past and yet looked it the future last night in Detroit as the US Hockey Hall of Fame inducted the class of 2013 in Hockeytown.
Kicking off the ceremony was the presentation of the Lester Patrick Award to Kevin Allen; whom wrote himself (of course he did) about what the honor means to him.
Not only were greats of the game being inducted but there were many others in the audience. Behind the scenes masterminds like the hometown General Manager Ken Holland to guys like Brian Burke, and Jim Nill. Retired players already inducted into the US Hall like Keith Tkachuk, and Chris Chelios were on hand to welcome the new class which included former American born NHL greats Bill Guerin and Doug Weight.
In a society currently debating sexism in sports (and hockey) watching USA Women’s team great Cindy Curley enter the US Hockey Hall of Fame should be a reminder that hockey is for everyone; and that no matter who you are if you can play – you can play (and shape this sport and society into a better place).
Shaping this sport into what it has become in the United States can largely be attested to the work and dedication that both Peter Karmanos Jr. and Ron Mason brought with them. No other setting than Detroit would have been fitting for these two to join The Hall. The work from Karmanos from youth hockey to owning one of the local OHL teams in the Detroit area has influenced many players and families – not to mention the fans that have seen his Plymouth Whalers become a top OHL team under him.
Mason created ice hockey programs from scratch and remolded some in existence to make them names within the college hockey world that demand respect. After working to create the CCHA to give Colleges and Universities that were developing and creating programs to have a place to start with competition and grow to the point where last season the CCHA played its final game – Now the Big Ten is taking over as hockey is growing in America. No one – not even the Canadians can doubt it now.
The spirit of American hockey was alive and well in Detroit last night. Giving recognition to the past that brought us to the present as we start to debate what the USA Hockey Olympic teams will look like for the Sochi Olympics that are quickly nearing. As debates rage on which NHL players will suit up for the National team sitting at tables on the upper level of the banquet floor sat the US National Development Team. Players as young as 16 that hold the future of USA Hockey in their hands. Names not yet known to many of us that spend our days critiquing players that do what we either never could or no longer can.
With the Class of 2013 now inducted into the US Hall of Fame it is time to shift focus to preparing to head to Sochi. USA Hockey is busy preparing for both the Mens and the Womens team to don the red, white, and blue. In Russia there will be no Miracle on Ice for the US National Teams; now thanks to those that have come before, the United States heads into Sochi with their reining 2010 Silver Medals – underestimated no more.
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