It is rare, almost unheard of, for the Canadian government to name anything after anyone who is still alive. But when plans for the Gordie Howe International Bridge linking Windsor to Detroit were unveiled Thursday, it was a clear sign of the respect and admiration that Mr. Hockey still commands.
But according to Gordie’s son and fellow Hall of Famer Mark, nobody would have had to worry about the government bending that edict if the family hadn’t elected to have him undergo stem cell treatment in Mexico in December. A second round of treatments is scheduled for early June.
Sorry, hockey world. Rob Ford is your problem now.
The controversial former mayor of Toronto was elected to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors late last month, a Hall spokesperson confirmed this weekend.
Ford, who now serves as a Toronto city councillor, will hold a non-voting position on the board alongside two other city councillors. That means he’ll have no say in who is inducted.
Ford bowed out of Toronto’s last mayor election after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He ran for a council seat instead, and has settled into a quieter role at Toronto City Hall since winning that seat on council.
But the man’s pop culture legacy remains, and it’s going to be hard to ignore as he joins the Hall of Fame board.
According to an ESPN.com report, former NHL star defenseman Chris Pronger’s road to the Hockey Hall of Fame was cleared Thursday when the HHOF’s general voting members ratified changes to the induction eligibility criteria for players. The decision means it’s possible Pronger will be welcomed into the HHOF’s next group of honorees – and regardless of what you think of the process that led to this point, you can’t argue the 40-year-old doesn’t deserve to be acknowledged as one of the game’s all-time great blueliners and competitors.
The report states one of the HHOF’s new bylaws (No. 26, in this case) includes this section, which directly addresses Pronger’s situation: “a person is not eligible for election in the player category if he or she has played in a professional or international hockey game (which terms shall not be considered to include games played only or primarily for charitable or recreational purposes, or for any other limited purpose that the Chair of the Board of Directors determines, in his or her discretion, should not disqualify for nomination a person otherwise eligible) during any of the three (3) playing seasons immediately prior to his or her election.”
In effect, the new bylaw means that players such as Pronger – someone who everyone knows won’t play again because of injuries, yet who doesn’t file retirement papers because of salary cap issues – can be considered after the standard three-year period following their final game. Read more
Thursday night, Jaromir Jagr further solidified his Hall of Fame credentials by passing Phil Esposito for fifth all-time in career goals.
By scoring his 718th career goal, a beautiful snipe from the far circle, Jagr moved 13 goals behind Marcel Dionne as the fourth greatest goal scorer in NHL history. It’s not unthinkable that he could surpass Dionne if he plays at least one more year, and, if he were to get incredibly hot, 23 goals would tie him with Brett Hull for third all-time.
To the matter at hand, though: when you score 718 goals, there are bound to be more than a few beauties. Jagr’s list of career highlights is nearly endless and these are the 10 best goals of his career, almost all of which came in a Penguins uniform: Read more
Iconic Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos dressing room attendant Joey Moss is one of the most beloved figures in the city’s history, and the 51-year-old will be officially recognized as such in May when he’s inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
The Hall announced its new class of inductees Wednesday, and Moss is one of 11 honorees. He’s in the esteemed company of Olympic gold medalist curler Kevin Martin, Olympic gold medalist hockey player Carla MacLeod and former NHLer Bruce MacGregor (who also served as Oilers assistant GM) and hockey builder James “Bearcat” Murray. They’ll be honored at the ASHF’s induction banquet on May 29.
Moss has been famous in Edmonton – and for that matter, the hockey community – since joining the organization (and working primarily with the Oilers’ training staff) in the 1984-85 campaign; he’s been a part of four Oilers Stanley Cup championship teams and is a tremendous role model for those living with Down syndrome.
Moss was presented with the NHL Alumni Association’s “Seventh Man Award” prior to the 2003 All-Star Game, and four years later, he was given the Mayor’s Award from Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel as a recognition of the Oilers’ commitment to people with disabilities. He’s also served as an assistant to the training staff of the CFL’s Eskimos since 1986.
Oilers captain and native Edmontonian Andrew Ference paid Moss the highest compliment after hearing the news: Read more
Patrick Marleau has quietly churned out production for the San Jose Sharks since they drafted him second overall in 1997. Went right to the NHL and scored 32 points as an 18-year-old. Scored 20 goals 12 times, 30 goals seven times, 40 goals once. The 74 games he played as a rookie were a career low for a full season.
So, about that durability – Marleau, 35, played his 1,300th NHL game Thursday night, becoming the youngest player in history to reach that milestone. He beat Scott Stevens by 104 days. Marleau remains a consistent top-six performer, even if his game is in decline, and he’s seemingly indestructible, so we have to ask: can he pass Gordie Howe to become the sport’s all-time leader in games played?
The man who led the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups is now looking for a little motivation from his fans.
Hall of Fame coach and player Al Arbour, 82, is reportedly being treated for dementia and Parkinson’s disease at a retirement home in Florida. Toronto journalist Howard Berger tweeted a photo of Arbour in Florida earlier this week (since deleted from Twitter).
In a statement released by Stan Mikita’s family, it was announced the Hall of Famer and legendary Chicago Blackhawks center has been diagnosed with what is suspected to be Lewy body dementia.
Mikita, the Blackhawks all-time points leader with 1,467, was an instrumental part of Chicago’s 1961 Stanley Cup championship and is still a fixture with the team, acting as an ambassador and often appearing at team functions. Read more