HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: AL MACINNIS
Norm Sanders writes in the BELLEVILLE NEWS-DEMOCRAT, "Neither of his parents are still alive, but they were the first people to enter Al MacInnis’ mind Thursday when the former St. Louis Blues star defenseman learned he had been voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 'You think about how many people have actually had a hand and an influence on the path that you’ve taken to get here,' said MacInnis…Growing up in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia, MacInnis was always looking for something to do. His father managed the local ice rink and his son would help him lock up at night, gathering stray pucks that had been shot over the boards or over the glass. He lugged them home and built his muscles by firing puck after puck against the family barn. 'Never did I think it’d turn out this way, I was just bored and needed something to do,'"
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: MARK MESSIER
Sam Weinman writes in the ROCKLAND JOURNAL NEWS, "Just like he was standing before an empty net, Mark Messier's selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday was never in question. The NHL's second-leading scorer, already revered in New York for bringing the Rangers their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994…The 46-year-old Messier will be the 43rd Ranger to enter the Hall, but the first player elected in more than a decade who spent a significant portion of his career with the team. Messier won five Stanley Cups in 12 years in Edmonton, but his most dramatic feat may have come in 1994, the third of his 10 seasons as a Ranger. Fortunately for him, the Hockey Hall of Fame doesn't force players to designate a team when they enter."
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: SCOTT STEVENS
Tom Gulitti writes in the BERGEN RECORD, "Scott Stevens was just about to start cleaning the kitchen floor when he received the telephone call Thursday morning that he had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame's incomparable Class of 2007. 'I still don't have the floor done yet,' the former Devils captain confessed later…During his 22 NHL seasons, Stevens was one of the game's most feared players. His knockout open-ice hits on Detroit's Slava Kozlov and Philadelphia's Eric Lindros added to his legend. Although he played in Washington and St. Louis before coming to the Devils in 1991 as compensation for the Blues' signing of Brendan Shanahan, he will be forever linked to the Devils."
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: RON FRANCIS
Luke DeCock writes in the RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER, "Ron Francis went through his career as one of the most underappreciated players of his generation. He was also one of the most productive. When the Hockey Hall of Fame selected him for membership Thursday, it honored the latter while correcting, once and for all, the former. The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, played 16 of his 23 seasons for the Carolina Hurricanes franchise, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals as captain in 2002. Francis was at home in North Raleigh when he got the news. Francis said, 'As a kid growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, I dreamed of playing in the NHL and holding the Stanley Cup over my head. But never did I expect to accomplish this.'" Also See: Hartford Courant
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: JIM GREGORY
Mike Zeisberger writes in the TORONTO SUN, "The nicest story of the day might have been the announcement that long-time hockey man Jim Gregory was being welcomed into the builders' category. Gregory, who served as the general manager of the Maple Leafs from 1969-79, easily could have been a candidate for the sympathy vote, having served under the tyrannical Harold Ballard for 10 years. But his duties with central scouting and his role as the NHL's vice-president of hockey operations underscores the work of a man involved in the sport for more than four decades. He received the call concerning his induction while driving home from a family function in Dunnville Wednesday night, causing him to pull off the road."