NEW-FOUND RESPECT FOR THE CHORE?
The committee was split in the area of whether they had new respect
for the Hall's Selection Committee as a result of this exercise.
SIHR President Ernie Fitzsimmons expressed disappointment that the
Hall of Fame has elected some above average players at the expense
of some better players. This project changed his opinion.
"I can understand the problem getting a consensus when I could
probably win a Stanley Cup with those I couldn't include on my ballot
in many seasons," Fitzsimmons said.
Mike Wyman was at the opposite side of the spectrum.
"If anything, it has made me more aware of the HHoF's shortcomings
when considering non-NHLers," Wyman said. "In 2002,
they saw fit to enshrine Bernie Federko and Clark Gillies, who probably
deserve to be in the Hall of the Very Good but who really ought
not be in the HHoF. Then last year they go and induct Brian Kilrea,
a career junior coach, just when I figured them as a pure Old Boys
outfit. Mind you, they also put Mike Illitch in for buying a team
and writing a mess of cheques. Go figure."
Larry Robertson said to compare the two Halls would be unfair.
"Those selection committees, as biased as they may have been,
voted on participants of their time, and times previous. We, however,
were taking an overview of the game back to its earliest beginnings,
and trying at times to see how close we could come to matching our
results with those of the selectors who had gone before us."
One area we differ from the real Hall is that we announce our voting
results. Jim Gregory, the Hall committee's current director,
has been quoted as saying that they do not release results because
they wish not to offend or embarrass players who do not get in.
Said Committee Chair Morey Holzman, "The Hockey Hall of Fame
in Toronto has it wrong. There's no shame in gaining just one vote,
unless the candidate happens to be a Jean Beliveau, and then the
shame is on the committee. One vote means that you struck someone
on the committee as a worthy member of the Hall, and that in of
itself is an accomplishment."