Dino finally gets his due

Cammi Granato (L) Angela James (R) and  Dino Ciccarelli, three of this year's Hockey Hall of Fame...

Cammi Granato (L) Angela James (R) and Dino Ciccarelli, three of this year's Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees are introduced at pre-game ceremonies, prior to the NHL hockey game in Toronto between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, November 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)

STEPHEN KNIGHT, Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

TORONTO -- The Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee certainly made Dino Ciccarelli wait.

For a guy who scored 608 goals over 19 NHL seasons, you'd think Ciccarelli would have been a shoo-in long ago, especially considering a solid but unspectacular player like Clark Gillies made the grade back in 2002, but no.

Ciccarelli had to wait 11 years after his retirement following 14 games with the Florida Panthers in 1998-99 before he finally got the call.

The undrafted scoring sensation is joined in the Class of 2010 by women's hockey sensations Angela James and Cammi Granato and builders Jim Devellano and Daryl "Doc" Seaman, who will be inducted Monday.

When he wasn't potting buckets of goals for the Minnesota North Stars, Washington Capitals or Detroit Red Wings, Ciccarelli was usually getting under the skin of his opponents.

His yappy on-ice demeanor certainly didn't win Ciccarelli many fans, especially in opposing rinks, but his stats speak for themselves. Despite spending more than 1,400 career minutes in the penalty box, Ciccarelli racked up 1,200 points in 1,232 career games.

Maybe he also got under the skin of the Selection Committee. Who knows? It's not like there weren't spots available in previous years for the now 50-year- old former NHLer. In 2005, '06 and '08, for example, there were only two players inducted per year.

Are Ciccarelli's numbers as good as those of 2005 inductee Cam Neely? You bet. Even better, in fact. Ciccarelli never won a Stanley Cup, but neither did Neely.

Trying to divine what the Selection Committee was thinking in having Ciccarelli wait around for his eighth year of eligibility before his induction is a fool's game.

Could it have something to do with his famous stick attack on Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Richardson in a 1988 game that resulted in a conviction for assault, a $1,000 fine and a day in jail? Could it have anything to do with pleading guilty to indecent exposure in 1987 after allegedly retrieving the morning mail minus his underwear in a Minneapolis suburb?

Who knows?

What we do know is that eight years is a long wait for a guy who scored 608 goals. What we also know is that if you're going to measure a player's eligibility for the Hockey Hall of Fame by his adherence to the law, community morals and general decency, well, we might then have to get our heads around the idea that a few of the plaques may need to be reconsidered.

Right then, let's stick to pucks.


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