SUN Hockey Pool

Honour too long coming

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

NEW JERSEY -- Oilers president Kevin Lowe has to choose between watching his former and current team get it on at Madison Square Garden or fly to Toronto to watch Glenn Anderson inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

And he's not happy about it.

"Terrible scheduling on the NHL's part," said Lowe, one of many voices who believes the league should schedule an off-day on induction day. "The managers have asked the NHL not to have any games on Hall of Fame night in honour of the players, and they're receptive in some respects, then they schedule Edmonton and New York this year, which is not great for us."

It's great for Anderson, though. Lowe, who'll be there in Toronto, says the honour has been a long time coming. Too long, actually.

"This was really important for all the (other Oilers) who are in," said Lowe. "We all felt like he was in the same category they were in, but for some reason he was being snubbed. It was getting to the point that it was pretty embarrassing for everybody that knew him in the NHL."

The annual snubs actually said more about the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame selection committee than it ever did about Anderson.

The voters looked petty and vindictive and it cheapened the accomplishment of players who actually were in the Hall because the whole thing looked like a popularity contest.

"There were some really misguided people making the decisions," said Lowe, who never could get to the bottom of the black list.

"It's a very secretive process, but any of the stuff we could gather was that there seemed to be only a few people who were blocking the process and everybody else felt that he should get in."

But justice is finally done.

"I've read a few of his quotes recently where it's almost better in some respects that it's happening now because he's more appreciative," said Lowe.

"If he'd have gone in a couple of years after he retired he maybe would have taken it more for granted.

"Given him personally and what's gone on in his life, his mom and dad aren't really well, it makes it that much more of an emotional moment."

The old Oilers gang will reunite for this ceremony, like they have for the others.

"I know Mess is going to be there and Paul is going to be there," said Lowe.

"It's always great to be together. We don't see each other or speak together for months at a time, in some cases years at a time, but when we do get together it's like we just stopped playing a few months ago."


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