March 26, 2015

The Task Ahead For Lanny McDonald And The Hockey Hall of Fame

Lanny McDonald has been named as the Chair of the Board at the Hockey Hall of Fame, replacing the late Pat Quinn.

McDonald, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1992 and has spent the last 8 seasons on the selection committee, knows this will be a challenging position. But he does have one easy and early move to make - have Pat Quinn inducted as a builder. It is an overdue honour that Quinn would never have allowed while he was still serving as the Chair. Posthumous enshrinement is always unfortunate, but Quinn is a deserving builder.

Another early job for the HHOF will presumably be finding a new member of the selection committee to replace McDonald. The remaining members of the selection committee are comprised of 8 people who were primarily coaches/managers and four media members. There are six former star players, plus McDonald's vacant spot. That spot should remain open for a player. Joe Nieuwendyk? Scott Niedermayer? Joe Sakic? Or how about Lanny McDonald's close friend Wayne Gretzky? He doesn't seem too busy on the hockey front these days.

Or is it time to have a female on the committee? The old boys network clearly has had trouble identifying obvious candidates from the women's game. The problem is a female member would have to be one of the three existing inductees - Cammi Granato, Angela James or Geraldine Heaney. If the HHOF went with Cassie Campbell or Angela Ruggeiro, two strong candidates to comment on both the women's and men's game, that would risk their own overdue inductions.

One more question: Do you think Lanny McDonald's new position of power may improve the chances of former Calgary Flames players such as Mike Vernon, Theo Fleury or, perhaps most deservedly, Sergei Makarov?

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