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Open them Hall doors wide. We need a larger podium.

Our World Wide Hockey Hall of Fame is pleased to induct Honoured Members Larry Robinson and Alexander Yakushev. Also added to the Honoured Members, through the Oldtimers ballot, is Gump Worsley. We've added two former members of the Islanders front office to the Hall as well: Bill Torrey and Brian Kilrea, who admittedly, is better known for his junior coaching in Ottawa. And entering as a Contributor is Soviet broadcasting legend (and lifelong icon of our own Arthur), Nikolai Ozerov.

Ozerov was not well-known to the west, as Sweden's Patrick Houda told us.

"I would say that Ozerov's name is only known among the old journalists over here in Sweden. But the same thing goes for Foster Hewitt who was almost an icon in Canadian broadcasting," Houda said.

"Canada had Foster Hewitt, the Russians had Nikolay Ozerov, the Czechs had Josef Laufer and Sweden had Lennart Hyland. All helped popularize the sport thanks to their great radio and TV broadcasts."

Arthur Chidlovski grew up in the Soviet Union, listening to Ozerov. Chidlovski said, "Ozerov's reports from the 1972 Summit belong to the classics of TV broadcasting. When the Soviets won the first game in Montreal, Ozerov said that the 'myth of unbeatable self-praised Canadian hockey professionals is over now.' "

Chidlovski added that although not intentional, Ozerov's phraseology would sometimes send a nation of hockey fans into fits of laughter.

In 1974, the WHA played the Soviets in an lesser-known eight-game series, won by the Russians, and Ozerov was there to broadcast the only international tournaments played by Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe.

"Gordie Howe is a legend of Canadian hockey," said Ozerov. "He is 46, has over 1000 scars on his body, his hair is gray but it's still not enough for him. Life is expensive and Howe needs money. He plays himself and forces his children to play too. His sons, Mark and Marty, are playing for Team Canada too. Canadian hockey pros don't wear helmets. They wear nothing. The only one who wears anything is Bobby Hull. He wears a wig."

That was enough to convince several of the North Americans on the committee that Foster Hewitt wasn't the only person who had hickey fans turned on and tuned into the radio.

Another who made the Hall was Lorne Worsley. A lot of the committee members felt there were too many Original Six goalies already selected, but Karl-Eric Reif made a plea, which he termed Stumpin' For The Gump.

"To me, at least, there's not a single more worthy candidate in the Honoured Players category on the current ballot than Gump Worsley. Sure, it's easy to sneer at that assertion if you buy only his reputation as colourful and 'roly-poly' but then look no further and simply dismiss him as 'another journeyman goalie.'

"Such, perhaps, is the inevitable legacy of a great goalie playing the best years of his career behind perennially godawful teams in a town where hockey barely registers as an afterthought, and finishing up in his 40s with an expansion team," Reif said.

Reif added that Worsley won four Stanley Cups in five years with the Canadiens, "I would venture that during the many years in which all of them were playing as contemporaries, Worsley ranked just a shade behind only Bower and Plante, and easily on a par with both Sawchuk and Hall."

There were three others with 14 ballots who just missed being elected.


Larry Robinson
Alexander Yakushev
  Gump Worsley


Bill Torrey   Brian Kilrea


Nikolai Ozerov    

Here are the final results:

Worsley, Gump 16
Howell, Harry 14
Laperriere, Jacques 14
Mantha, Sylvio 11
Pulford, Harvey 11
Reardon, Ken 11
Ullman, Norm 9

Robinson, Larry 19
Yakushev, Alexander 15
Clarke, Bobby 13
Maltsev, Alexander 11
Gainey, Bob 10
Vasiliev, Valery 9
Esposito, Tony 8
Lapointe, Guy 7
Nedomansky, Vaclav 4
Simmer, Charlie 1
Corsi, Jim 0
Hagman, Matti 0
Linseman, Ken 0
Liut, Mike 0
Pouzar, Jaroslav 0
Tonelli, John 0

Torrey, Bill 17
Kilrea, Brian 15
Boucher, Frank 11
Sather, Glen 7
Brabham, Henry 3
Kelly, Pat 0

Ozerov, Nikolay 16
Young, Scott 14
Conway, Russ 7
Hansen Brothers 5
Dryden, Ken 4
McGregor, Roy 3

Pollock, Sam 12
Selke, Frank 11
Tretiak, Vladislav 10
Blake, Toe 9