Paul Henderson deserves to be in Hockey Hall of Fame

Team Canada 1972 Summit Series hero Paul Henderson poses with a print of his infamous...

Team Canada 1972 Summit Series hero Paul Henderson poses with a print of his infamous series-clinching goal. (JACK BOLAND/QMI Agency file photo)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:43 AM ET

Look up Duke Keats on a search engine and check out his stats. The same for Moose Goheen, Phat Wilson or Fred Whitcroft.

Theyíre all in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Paul Henderson is not.

Not to take anything away from Moose, Phat and Duke (sounds like a Mimico High reunion) ó who are hockey legends for various reasons (and in some cases war heros) and probably deserve to be in the Hall ó but are their accomplishments on the ice any more exceptional than Hendersonís?

The argument against Henderson gaining entrance into the Hall has long been that he was basically a one-trick pony. The Kincardine, Ont., native scored the winning goals in the last three games of the 1972 Summit Series for Canada against the Soviet Union, including the Goal of the Century in Game 8. And while that gives him a place in Canadian history, some feel that goal in itself is not enough for entrance in the HHOF. I would argue that it is. Even so, take away Hendersonís feats in 1972 and you have an exceptional player who toiled for 13 seasons in the NHL ó the best hockey league in the world ó scoring 236 goals, as well as 140 in the WHA. Henderson, who has been battling leukemia for years and was unable to attend the 40-year Summit Series reunion in Russia this week, was also a junior star, helping the Hamilton Red Wings win the Memorial Cup title in 1962. Hardly a one-trick pony.

The point is, any number of HHOF members have found their way into the Hall as a result of what they accomplished in international play, or in leagues inferior to the NHL, or what they did complimentary to their NHL careers. The fact that Henderson has not been honored is outrageous and the voting members should be ashamed. It reeks of politics.

FANS DESERVE BETTER

I guess itís predictable given thereís so much cross ownership between sports teams and media outlets in this town, but it seems the thing to do these days if youíre a radio guy is to belittle Toronto sports fans, the listeners if you will, while at the same time siding up to ownership.

Teams in this city have been lousy forever and the Toronto owners shouldnít be given the benefit of the doubt. Fans have every right to be angry and disillusioned without being ridiculed, or treated like morons, on a daily basis.

WEENIE OF THE WEEK

Some of my colleagues tease me about looking like former Winnipeg Blue Bombers coach Paul LaPolice. Which leads me to believe that LaPolice was not fired, he just decided to move to Borneo and live in a cave.

WHILE IíM AT IT

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez ripped his teamís ownership this week for not doing enough to win (i.e. spend money). Iíve decided that what I want for Christmas, besides world peace, etc, is for Chris Perez to play for the Blue Jays.

The Jays decision to sit former ace Ricky Romero a few extra days before his next start is suspicious. You gotta figure thereís something physically wrong with the guy, and perhaps the team is keeping it quiet until the seasonís over. How else can a such a good pitcher go south so fast?

I guess itís predictable given thereís so much cross ownership between sports teams and media outlets in this town, but it seems the thing to do these days if youíre a radio guy is to belittle Toronto sports fans, the listeners if you will, while at the same time siding up to ownership.

Teams in this city have been lousy forever and the Toronto owners shouldnít be given the benefit of the doubt. Fans have every right to be angry and disillusioned without being ridiculed, or treated like morons, on a daily basis.

TOO MUCH GREED IN HOCKEY

The NHL and its players arenít talking, but who cares? They will eventually, and a settlement will be reached. And if the season is cut short, so be it. There are too many games anyway. The way I see it, the two sides have a good idea how this thing will eventually turn out. Itís just posturing at this point. What really gets me is when an owner or player says that theyíre holding out ďfor the fansĒ. Iíve actually heard that a couple of times. Talk about an insult to anyone with half of brain. I know Iím insulted ... What the greedy owners and players should be worried about is the game itself. Far too many NHL games are boring (blocked shots, cycling, intercepted passes, defensive coaching schemes, etc).


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