January 10, 2010

Hockey Snubbed By Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Canada's history in Olympic hockey dates all the way back to 1920, pre-dating the Winter Olympics itself.

Yet only 2 Canadian hockey players are enshrined as honoured athletes in the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

You read that right. Only George Mara (1948 Games) and Randy Gregg (1980 and 1988) are included for their on ice contributions. Mara technically is included in both the athlete and builder categories.

Other have been included in the HOF as builders: A. Sidney Dawes, Kenneth Farmer, Sydney Halter, Jack Hamilton, Dave King, William Northey, Robert Hindmarch and Claude Robinson.

The 1920 Winnipeg Falcons, 1952 Edmonton Mercuries and both the 2002 men's and women's teams have been inducted in the team category.

Still, the dearth of hockey players included in the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame is surprising. I would not be surprised by an Olympic backlash against the hockey players, given that they get all the attention in this country. But there are several notable omissions that the HOF needs to correct.

We can go back to the real old days and talk about the legends of Frank Fredrickson, Harry Watson, Wally Halder, and Ken Broderick. How about Seth Martin, Roger Bourbonnais, Brian Conacher, Terry O'Malley, and Wally Schreiber?

In modern times what about Sean Burke, Eric Lindros, Glenn Anderson, and Cassie Campbell not to mention a whole slew of active guys like Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Paul Kariya, Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer, Hayley Wickenheiser and, as a builder, Wayne Gretzky.

Speaking of builders, where is Father David Bauer?

It is time for the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame to enshrine the many great athletes that this country has cheered on first and foremost since 1920.

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