OUR INITIAL THOUGHTS
A majority of the committee held the current Hall of Fame selection
committee with some degree of contempt. Viewed as an NHL-centric
Old Boys Club, the current head of the Hall of Fame's Selection
Committee is NHL Vice President Jim Gregory. This dual-role certainly
smells like conflict of interest, which has led numerous hockey
fans to raise eyebrows. Perhaps no more a selection than Bernie
Federko, with his former GM Emile Francis on the Hall's selection
committee, drew the ire of most of us to join this project.
Rob Matic, the London, Ontario-based hockey fan who said he felt
a little intimidated to join the group, said even ordinary hockey
fans have this perception. He said, "The Hockey Hall of Fame
Selection Committee is an Old Boys' Network who votes for
their favourites or for those who tow the company line."
Said book editor Lloyd Davis, "I wasn't particularly motivated
to right historical wrongs. There are a couple of players whose
absence from the HHOF puzzles me – Mark Howe, for instance.
But I've never felt the urge to lobby for a Paul Henderson or Ron
Ellis or Dino Ciccarelli. I was hoping the panel would be a bit
more selective than the actual Hall, and would avoid voting in every
1,000-point player from the 1980s or every Original Six netminder
with a goals against average below 3.00."
Arthur Chidlovski echoed Davis' sentiment, noting the IIHF
Hall of Fame is even more limiting that the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
"I felt that there were some players that were unfairly overlooked
by the HHOF. Jean-Claude Tremblay, Mark Howe and, of course, many
European stars that didn't have a chance to play in the NHL. On
the other hand, the IIHF Hall of Fame ignores many NHL stars because
for, a variety of known reasons, they didn't play in the World Championships
and Winter Olympics tournaments," Chidlovski said.