Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things overheard at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony

By the third time he ordered them to punch
an invisible midget, the inductees had begun
to realize the photographer may be crazy.
Last night saw four former NHL stars receive the highest honour the sport has to offer when they were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Doug Gilmour, Eddie Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk and Mark Howe will each now see their names included among the legends that line the wall in the Great Hall.

The induction ceremony capped off several days of celebration, which included the annual Hall of Fame Game, a fan forum, and a legends game. It all makes up one of the most popular weekends on the NHL's calendar, with many of the biggest names in the sport gathered to take part in the festivities.

Needless to say, my sources were there with tape recorders rolling. And they put together a list of the most interesting comments overheard during the course of the evening.

  • Wow, Doug Gilmour sure is getting emotional during his acceptance speech. Wait, what do you mean you can't see him? He's standing right in front of you, Mr. Fraser.

  • That's a great question, Mr. Belfour, I'm not sure why your plaque has that asterisk next to the mention of your Stanley Cup win. I'll ask the engraver, he's the guy over there in the Sabres jersey.

  • Mr. Nieuwendyk, how does it feel to be the only player in NHL history to have ever been traded for Jarome Iginla? You know, until next March.

  • BOOOOOOO! Oh, sorry Mr. Bettman, I saw you brush up against the Stanley Cup display and I guess it was just force of habit.

  • Come quick! Mark Howe is telling some great stories about how in the old days the Flyers would respond to a tough defence by working harder instead of just refusing to play any more like spoiled toddlers.

  • I know he's your best friend, Joe, but any chance you could get Gary Roberts to stop standing in front of the buffet with his arms crossed and forcing everyone to eat wheat germ smoothies instead?

  • Hello, security? Adam Oates is standing in front of Bernie Federko's plaque and weeping again.

  • I think this is the first time Mark Howe and Doug Gilmour have been together at the Hall of Fame since they opened that exhibit called "From Cow Tights to Cooperalls: the most embarrassing things hockey players have ever worn on their legs".

  • Did anyone else find it odd that out of the ten people that Nieuwendyk personally thanked during his speech, seven of them were Patrick Lalime?

  • That's interesting, I never noticed that the first sentence on Wayne Gretzky's plaque mentions him being the worst coach Georges Laraque ever had.

  • This is going to be kind of awkward, Mark, but Brendan Shanahan needs to talk to you. They've made the new rules against elbows to the head retroactive, and he needs you to tell your dad he's been suspended for 7,000 games.

  • Sorry about accidentally inducting you tonight, Sidney. I guess it only feels like it's been three years since your last game.

  • For a guy who's supposed to have such a great sense of humour, Nieuwendyk really didn't think it was all that funny when I hung that big sign next to his plaque saying "This space reserved for Brad Richards".

  • Hey, wait a second, Mark Howe never played for the Leafs. Let's get him!

  • Eddie, during your speech you may want to avoid mentioning that you were a goalie. You wouldn't want Milan Lucic to charge up and try to take your head off.

  • Wow Dougie, you look like you could still suit up and play! No seriously, you do. Sign here, Brian Burke says you're centering the Kessel line Tuesday night.


  1. Now for a real post (Sheesh)

    Great stuff DGB. I especially enjoyed the Gilmour/Burke line.

    Totally classy on Gilmour's part mentioning Pat Burns. Let's hope he gets in next year!

  2. "Adam Oates is standing in front of Bernie Federko's plaque and weeping again."

    Ouch. Very, very true... but, ouch.

  3. The line about the Flyers playing hard is exactly what needed to be said.

  4. Another Golden One, Sean. Kudos are in order.

    --Das Rhino

  5. So after a few public appearances, can we definitively say that Eddie Belfour doesn't own a suit?

  6. I think the Gordie Howe retroactive suspension one was my favorite. Well-done sir!

  7. Not even close to your usual standard

  8. Should also be an asterisk next to Belfour's name on the Calder trophy, considering the dude had played 23 games (which is a lot for a goalie) two seasons before his "rookie year".

  9. The flyers thing is kinda dumb cause you could say the lightning "weren't playing hard" as well since they were sitting back in the 1-3-1. Not fore-checking is generally considered lazy. I guess you gotta write something but it was a bit of a stretch.

  10. The Gary Roberts line had me howling.

    Nice work.

  11. not an invisible midget. they were trying to punch cammallari but he duked in time.

  12. Great post! The Oates-line was great. Just a shame that you had the opportunity to make it. Not even Patrick Lalime knows why Nieuwendyk is in and Oates is not!

  13. Well done, I don't know how you do it!

    Your articles continue to combine the latest hockey news with many of the of the most popular punctuation marks!

  14. It was all pretty funny except that Flyers crack.

    Where do you live?

  15. Caption should've been:
    "Hall of Fame inductees showing how they would punch a Habs forward in the face."

  16. You said Iginla will get traded in March... Am I missing something? Thought the deadline was always in February, no?

  17. Hm, good point. It used to always be in March but last year I think may have been Feb 28.

    Oh well, if it's Feb I'll just claim the joke was a metacommentary of Feaster always being a few days later.