Having taken part in the debate about the formation of a hall of fame or ring of honor specific to the Edmonton Oilers for members of the organization who haven’t been inducted into the HHOF, today’s announcement that it’s a done deal is good news and long overdue.
The class of 2022 will be announced on Sept. 20 and will include Edmonton’s 10 HHOF members — Al Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, Glen Sather and Rod Phillips – plus two additional inductees selected by a newly formed committee.
From the Oilers: “Honoured members of the Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame will see their names permanently displayed on the ring above the PCL Loge Level at Rogers Place. The inaugural induction ceremony is scheduled to take place pre-game on Thursday, Nov. 3 when the Oilers host the New Jersey Devils” The full media release is here.
Considering all the terrific players who’ve worn Oilers silks for a franchise that’s celebrated five Stanley Cups and, for my money, was the last NHL dynasty, you know there’s going to be plenty of debate about who should get the first two spots. That’s especially true when you consider the award isn’t just for players, but for all members of the organization.
THE NAME GAME
When you consider additions to the OHOF will be limited to a maximum of three nominees annually and contemplate the number of potentially worthy honorees, it looks to me like the selection committee could fill the maximum three spots for the next five years right now. For me, there are no wrong answers and plenty of worthy people for those spots.
My call to the hall for players includes Charlie Huddy and Randy Gregg, who celebrated five Cups here, plus Craig MacTavish, who hoisted four Cups and also served as an assistant coach, coach and general manager. After that, in no particular order, I think of Dave Semenko, Andy Moog, Kelly Buchberger, Bill Ranford, Craig Simpson and Esa Tikkanen.
From the post-Stanley Cup era, I think of Ryan Smyth first and foremost. After that, it’s Doug Weight, the magnificent Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Curtis Joseph and Tommy Salo. That’s 15 players right there and it’s a guarantee I’ve left out several worthy candidates, like tough as nails and mean as hell captain Jason Smith to name just one.
As for non-players. How do you overlook Wild Bill Hunter? I’m looking at dressing room attendant and noted anthem singer Joey Moss. There’s John Muckler, anthemist Paul Lorieau, and Barrie Stafford, one of those behind-the-scenes guys who makes things run. I think of video coach and practice goaltender Brian Ross. Like Sammy, we lost Joey and Brian far too soon.
Like I said, there are no wrong answers. If I were filling the first two spots that will be announced Sept. 20, they would go to Joey Moss and Ryan Smyth.
Previously by Robin Brownlee
- Ryan Murray: Better Late Than Never
- Off the Top of My Head
- Sheldon Kennedy Chimes In
- Standing Pat
- Off the Top of My Head
- The Closer You Look