In case you missed it earlier today, Sports Illustrated writer Alan Muir leaked some info ahead of today’s Hockey Hall of Fame announcement reporting that the HHOF selection committee has elected to induct legendary NHLer Willie O’Ree and controversial NHL commissioner Gary Bettman into the Hall under the “Builders” category.
Source: Willie O’Ree to be inducted as builder to Hockey Hall of Fame. Joining him as a builder…Gary Bettman. HHOF
Say WHAT!?!?! O’Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, will finally receive a nod from the selection committee and that will no doubt make a lot of hockey fans happy… but the man rumored to be joining O’Ree will certainly NOT make fans happy. I mean… Gary Bettman? The man responsible for three work stoppages and an entire lost season due to his insatiable desire for money and power? What a HUGE mistake by the selection committee…
Let’s… let’s just move on.
Among the candidates in the “Players” category are legends Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Daniel Alfredsson, Alex Mogilny, Curtis Joseph and Jeremy Roenick among others. According to Muir, only Brodeur and St. Louis got the call this year, the first year of eligibility for both players.
Brodeur and St. Louis are the others to get the call as players.
Muir also maintains that Russian Alexander Yakushev and women’s legend Jayna Hefford will also be part of the 2018 class.
Source tells me Russian great Alexander Yakushev is getting his call to the Hall of Fame today. So is Jayna Hefford. Finally.
So… Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Alexander Yakushev, Jayna Hefford, Willie O’Ree and… Gary Bettman? Remember that old game? One of these things is not like the other?
Since joining the NHL in 1993, Bettman has been responsible for work stoppages in 1994, 2004 and 2012. Surely we all remember the whitewashed season in 2004-05, which was truly the darkest days for NHL hockey fans. Under Bettman, the NHL has grown by five new franchises and has seen the relocation of five franchises. If you want a real answer as to why Bettman is set to receive such a prestigious honor, take a quick peek at the bank statements from NHL owners. Under Bettman the NHL has grown from a $400 million business to a $3 BILLION business. Like most things in life, if you want an answer just follow the money…