I have never been one to believe that Paul Henderson belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Yes, he scored arguably the most famous goal in hockey history, but otherwise he was an above average but not great player. Still, many people want to see Henderson inducted, especially now with news that he is battling cancer.
Count Don Cherry as one of those who wants it to happen.
Last week Cherry argued for his induction on his "Grapeline" radio show with Brian Williams.
"I can not, for the life of me, I can not figure why he is not in the Hall of Fame," he proclaimed, later adding his exclusion is "complete nonsense."
"Now figure it out, folks. The most important series ever, as far as I'm concerned, in sports. He gets the three game winning goals like we talked about. Why he is not in the Hall of Fame, it is beyond me."
He goes on to compare Henderson with his 1972 nemesis, Vladislav Tretiak.
"I'm not here to knock Tretiak, he was a great goaltender and if you want to put him in the Hall of Fame, no question at all put him in the Hall of Fame.
Paul gets three game winning goals against him in the greatest series of all time. Tretiak is in the net that he put it in. He's the loser, Paul's the winner. Tretiak getss in the Hall of Fame, Paul doesn't get in. Absolute nonsense. Get smart Hall of Fame. Shake your head and put Paul Henderson in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
You can hear the entire episode of Grapeline with this direct audio link, including Don's memories of where he was when Paul Henderson scored "the goal heard around the world."
I throw it out to you - does Paul Henderson belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Definitely. If the hall's sticking point remains Henderson's mediocre pro numbers, I suggest they create a new category -- Great Stars, great moments -- which would allow them the chance to enshrine Henderson, his record and the three game-winning goals that saved the free world (my hyperbole, not yours), along with a number of other unforgettable moments.
I don't think fame means better than others only more FAMOUS.
Paul Henderson is famous for scoring the winning goal in the 72 series and belongs in the hall.
At the same time they really should put Rogatien Vachon in the Hall as well.
While I have no doubt that his goal was the most important in Canadian hockey history, I don't believe he belongs in the HHOF. He did elevate his play to an incredible level in the Summit Series, but his hockey career as a whole is not at the level of other Hall of Famers.
Mediocrity, albeit with short periods of greatness, shouldn't be reward with enshrinement into a HOF, regardless of sport. (or music for that matter)
Cherry clearly does not recognize the numerous international accolades that Tretiak attained in his career, as well has his notable appearances against NHL clubs.
As great an individual series achievement that Henderson's goal(s) were, his career performance as player is not Hall worthy.
He will always have his place in the Hall as taking part in one of of the greatest moments in hockey, but not enshrined as a player.
And Kalman, you're absolutely right. Rogie to the Hall! His numbers are clearly worthy.
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