We had 21 members of the committee. The major advantage our committee
had over other selection committees is that we represented every
major hockey playing area, with an age range from 28 to 63.
Said committee member Keith Lenn, "One would be hard-pressed
to come up with a more knowledgeable and eclectic group of hockey
historians, researchers, authors, collectors, statisticians, scouts,
and fans than our committee of twenty-one. I will be as bold to
say that the overall knowledge base of this group would rival, if
not surpass, any collection of players (past or present), front-office
personnel, and beat writers that one could muster up."
A wide diversity of background and credentials is what Committee
Chair Morey Holzman was looking for.
"I would consider it an incredible day if four of the 16 members
of the Hockey Hall of Fame committee in Toronto know why the Stanley
Cup is engraved with PORTLAND, PCHA Champions, and why the owner
of the Portland Rosebuds felt he could justify the engraving,"
"Heck, I'd be impressed if four of them know who the owner
of the Rosebuds was. Point being, they are not the most knowledgeable
hockey people – just the best connected. Most of this committee
could have answered that question before being appointed."
Here's who we are, and our qualifications:
CHIDLOVSKI, ARTHUR, 43.
Lives in Boston. Born in Moscow, U.S.S.R. and grew up rooting for
the Soviet National Team. Immigrated to the United States in 1990.
His background includes TV and film production, documentary filmmaking
and professional web development. He authored several web-based
projects about hockey history including The
Summit in 1972, The
Summit in 1974, Hockey
CCCP International, and Hockey
DAVIS, LLOYD, 41.
Lives in Toronto. During his 10 years in publishing he has worked
on books that run the gamut from gardening to investing to the Titanic.
He has had a hand editing in such books as Total Hockey, Kings Of
The Ice, Full Spectrum, Messier and Deceptions and Doublecross.
FITZSIMMONS, ERNIE, 66.
Lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The vice president of SIHR
was a longtime hockey referee and statistician and media liaison
for the Fredericton Express and Fredericton Canadiens AHL teams.
Co-author of From Pond-to-Pro and Total Hockey, Ernie self-published
his own book on Fredericton's history from 1895 to 1945. A
collector of hockey photos, Ernie's collection of more than
20,000 photos resides at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and
is the driving force behind the SIHR hockey record database.
FYFFE, IAIN, 31.
Lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A chartered accountant who
specializes in hockey's statistical analysis and historical
data. He is the SIHR vice president for the Atlantic region and
has published several articles in the Hockey Research Journal. He
writes an online column at www.hockeyzoneplus.com
HOLLAND, DAVID*, 44.
Lives in Calgary, Alberta. A full-time environmental consultant
and a spare-time hockey researcher, currently working on a publication
about the history of the teams that have represented Canada at the
World Hockey Championships.
HOLZMAN, MOREY, 43.
Lives in Escondido, California. Originally hails from Detroit. Co-author
of Deceptions and Doublecross: How the NHL Conquered Hockey (Dundurn,
2002). Now an Enrolled Agent, the former journalist is a contributor
to several books and the head of this committee.
HOUDA, PATRICK, 38.
Lives in Stockholm, Sweden. A long-time hockey researcher who once
"bird-dogged" for the St. Louis Blues. Co-author of
World Cup of Hockey (Warwick, 2002). Major contributor to Total
Hockey, Total Hockey 2, and several NHL Official Record Books. Regular
writer for European NHL magazine Pro Hockey.
JENNINGS, GORD, 66.
Lives in Plantagenet, Ontario. Originally hails from St. Catharines,
Ontario. A former Montreal Canadiens season-ticket holder for ten
years, Gord attended his first hockey game on January 10, 1950,
a OHA junior contest between the Toronto Marlies and the St. Catharines
TPs. He spends his time now collecting St. Cath memorabilia.
KASIOREK, JASON, 36.
Lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A life-long Red Wings fan and now
a Griffins (AHL) season-ticket holder, the computer systems administrator
writes scouting and game reports for www.redwingscentral.com.
Jason also has a website tribute to the WHA's Edmonton Oilers at
LENN, KEITH, 40.
Lives in Thiells, New York. A public school teacher and avid hockey
memorabilia collector. His monthly column, "Penned by Lenn"
appeared on the Professional Hockey Players' Association website,
www.phpa.com. Keith also wrote
and created HockeySandwich.com and actively involved in constructing the new VintageIceHockey.com site.
MATIC, ROB, 40.
Lives in London, Ontario. A Montreal Canadiens fan who grew up in
Leafs' Country, Rob was our alternate voter in case someone
missed an election. His vote counted almost every time.
NIEFORTH, JOSEPH, 44.
Lives in Toronto. Originally hails from Carroll's Corner,
Nova Scotia. Co-author of Deceptions and Doublecross: How the NHL
Conquered Hockey (Dundurn, 2002). Contributor to Total NHL, NHL
Official Guide & Record Book and the Hockey Hall of Fame's
Joe is SIHR's 2004 winner of the Brian MacFarlane Award for
PELLETIER, JOE, 33.
Lives in Northern British Columbia. Co-author of World Cup of Hockey
(Warwick, 2002). Creator of 1972SummitSeries.com.
Compiled several biographies of retired players with Patrick Houda
REIF, KARL-ERIC, 51.
Lives in Western New York. Co-author of five hockey books (with
Jeff Z. Klein), including The Hockey Compendium and The Death of
Hockey. A former sports writer and sports columnist for The Village
Voice, The American and The Hockey News. Founder of the website
Above and Beyond Hockey. Karl's work has also appeared in
The New York Times, Sport, Inside Sports, and Goal.
ROBERTSON, LARRY, 59.
Lives in Burlington, Ontario. A former sports editor for three different
Burlington newspapers, Larry has spent 35 years covering the NHL,
OHA Senior A, Major Junior, and Tier II provincial juniors. Larry
was the first person hired to be an assistant curator for Lefty
Reid at the Hockey Hall of Fame when it was located on the CNE grounds.
Larry co-wrote the first Hockey Heritage, published by the Hall
of Fame in 1969. In addition to his love of hockey, he was the Chief
Statistician Information Officer for the Canadian Football League
from 1982 to 1992. Currently, he writes The Sports Page program
insert for the AHL's Hamilton Tigers.
ROSENTHAL, HOWARD, 57.
Lives in Philadelphia. A Flyers fan since the team's inception
in 1967. Wrote a weekly report during 1997-98 on the Flyers'
AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, for In The Crease.
LARRY SEKULER, 55.
A former Winnipegger, Larry now resides in Mountain View, California, and is
a former employee of the St. Louis Blues. A lifelong hockey fan, he has
attended over 1,000 games at every level, and owns one of the world's largest
hockey video collections. Larry has worked with the CBC on some of their
hockey productions, and is scheduled to appear in the upcoming anthology
series, "Hockey: A People's History."
STEWART-CANDY, DAVID*, 38. Lives in East Vancouver, British Columbia.
Compiled the International Ice Hockey Almanac league-standings project.
Has contributed to several books including Total Hockey and Deceptions
and Doublecross: How the NHL Conquered Hockey, and to the independent
hockey movie Rhino Brothers.
SWIFT, BILL, 59.
Lives in Connecticut. Tax attorney and hockey researcher has been
a hockey fan since 1961. Amongst the games he attended were the
Flyers' first home game in 1967, the game Red Berenson scored
six goals, the game Guy Lafleur scored his 500th career goal, the
first game of the Summit Series in 1972, Gordie Howe's last
NHL game, all three games at Rendez-vous '87 and Challenge
TREMBLAY, SEBASTIEN, 33.
Lives in Ottawa. Raised in Quebec City. Hockey fan who grew up watching
his hometown Quebec Nordiques and is a self-proclaimed addict of
the art of goaltending.
UNDERWOOD, BILL, 45.
Lives in Philadelphia. Former NHL scout for the Quebec Nordiques
and the head scout of the ill-fated Plattsburgh Pioneers of the
QMJHL (don't look for their records, the QMJHL expunged them). A
scout for more than 20 years, he has been head scout at major junior
and minor pro level.
WYMAN, MIKE, 50.
Lives in Montreal. Originally from Arvida, Quebec. Lifelong hockey
fan writes a history column called Old School for www.insidehockey.com.
His work has also appeared in The Hockey News.
* former WWHOF Committe member
Universally, the committee anointed Arthur Chidlovski, the hockey
fan who grew up in the Soviet Union, as the most influential member
of the committee.
Bill Underwood, the former Nordique scout, spoke for the committee
when he stated, "Arthur's anecdotes about the earlier
Soviet players who I never had the pleasure of seeing and insights
into the general attitudes in Soviet hockey from someone who grew
up there were priceless!"
Karl-Eric Reif also praised the European content, as small as it
was, on the committee. "Arthur Chidlovski's deep well of knowledge
on Soviet hockey and Pat Houda's expertise on European hockey were
often enlightening and thought-provoking. I was already eager to
cast votes for some of the better-known Soviet and Czech players
of the post-Summit-Series era, but they convinced me to add votes
for a few lesser-known (to me and most of North America) Soviets,
Czechs, and Scandinavians of the 1950s and '60s," Reif said.
Not that we always got along or played follow the leader. One heated
discussion between Underwood and Iain Fyffe led Reif to send the
following e-mail to Chair Morey Holzman, "Aw, c'mon
ref. Let 'em go. C'mon ref."
Did we mention the Hanson Brothers received several votes as well?
By and large the committee was cohesive. We grew into a family,
much the same way a Stanley Cup champion grows on their path. Away
from the balloting, which took place twice a week for about 10 months,
we had births, deaths, a wedding and business trips.
We started with 20 members for the 1945 ballot, and added an alternate
in 1949, and didn't lose a single member after that. That
dedication was shown most aptly by Bill Swift, the international
tax attorney, who e-mailed his votes from Mexico City, Milan, London
and Calais, France, amongst other places. Bill was one of three
committee members who never missed a vote.