an invisible midget, the inductees had begun
to realize the photographer may be crazy.
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.