Welcome to summer! Well, almost if you are reading this shortly after it is posted. Summer officially begins today in Toronto a few minutes before 11:00 a.m., so if you are one of those people like me who hates super-early morning daylight you can rejoice that the Sun's climb over our horizon will begin a little bit later each and every morning from now through December.
Hall of Fame Induction
The next inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame will be announced this afternoon and of course everyone has opinions on who those should be. Obviously, Henrik Lundqvist is widely expected to be a first ballot lock. There's simply no way that one isn't happening. Henrik Zetterberg is also eligible and he's being talked up too. Current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour also stands eligible and there's chatter about him making it in this round too.
I am all in on bringing in a long and patiently waiting player, and that one is Maple Leafs alumnus Alex Mogilny, now 54 years old he retired about 20 years ago. Mogilny famously defected from the Soviet Union to play in North America where he had a very long career of 990 NHL games earning 1032 points in that time.
Beyond the men, the HHOF has a ridiculous backlog of women players, and they have not even been using their two slots per year, usually only inducting one woman, so there is a huge list to pick from.
Back in 2019 we noted Riika Salinen would be an obvious choice with Annie writing "if there was any justice she’d skate right on in to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2022 and get a standing ovation while doing it," which is exactly what happened, but Annie noted many more women on her list back then who still haven't been inducted despite years or more than a decade of eligibility, like Karyn Bye-Dietz, Katie King Crowley and Jennifer Botterill, and now even more have since become eligible. You can read more of those names and their careers here, but note married couple Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette were both mentioned and now eligible and both are worthy, and wouldn't that be one fantastic selection for the two slots for women available this year?
There are also openings for selections in the "builder" category and the rarely used "referee and linesman" category. The selection announcement will be made at 3:00 p.m. ET and it's live on TSN4 if you want to watch.
By the way, the Hall of Fame is always a good visit. If you are looking for a family activity to do in the summer in Toronto, I highly recommend it. There are new exhibits, and it is also a child-friendly museum where you can see all of it and be in and out in around one hour (about the maximum attention span of a six to ten year-old).
The spectacle of the first round of the NHL Draft is one week from today in Nashville.
Have a great Wednesday!
Update: The HHOF inductees are...
Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix
- Tom Barrasso
- Henrik Lundqvist
- Caroline Ouellette
- Pierre Turgeon
- Mike Vernon
- The Glass Ceiling that keeps the women inducted to half of the allotted number every year