The November 1st, 2010 edition of The Hockey News features a wonderfully written feature about "the Hall of Fame's Missing Saint," Les Costello.
Writer Ken Campbell argues that Costello deserves enshrinement into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Okay, Costello only played 15 regular season games and the 5 playoff games, but he is a Stanley Cup champion, and a junior superstar with two Memorial Cup championships before that. He spent most of his three professional seasons in the minor leagues.
That is hardly a Hall of Fame worthy resume. So why should the Hall of Fame induct Costello?
Campbell argues "Costello deserves to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame because, when you think about it, no man has ever used the game for a more noble purpose. That he died doing God's work through hockey makes the case for his induction as a builder that much stronger."
It is an interesting suggestion by Campbell. By using hockey as the means, his message of charity did more for hockey than several of old boys network gang who pat each other on the back and overpopulate the builder's category. Bill Wirtz? Harold Ballard? Give me a break!
Costello's inclusion would be a great story, although I still very much a long shot. But you never know. I assume his name will be nominated at the next induction debate. Depending on the ballot, it could happen.
By the way, a 74 year old Costello died tragically in 2002 following complications from a puck to the head injury during a Flying Fathers game. 2200 people came to his funeral in Timmins, Ontario, fittingly held at a hockey rink.
You can learn more about Les Costello here.