Thursday, July 14, 2005
there is SOME justice in this world... just a little bit of it...
Consolation prizes - like a momentary moment of bliss in this realm we call "reality" and are reluctant to leave for that very reason - can make up for a lot - if never all of life's hardships. Take last month's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame of one most meritorious individuals - former Boston Bruin Cam Neely. Cam "The Man" Neely I should say... or rather, to be honest, type! Do such honors make up for what happened to him *during* his career? No... However, the fact that he is in the Hall of Fame, and goons like Ulf never will be, is indeed quite satisfactory... (For those of you not in the know, discover the despicable character "Ulf" and the hero, Cam Neely - in the comments / cornucopia section! As I call it, yes...!). Alas, I cannot forget the fact that Ulf went on NOT to pay for his actions immediately - and rather was part of a Stanley Cup winning team that should have never won... Oh well... details, right?
Today I also learned that one of my dear friends had passed away on Monday...
Departing this world is nothing to be afraid of - it is liberty and communion with GOD - in the purest and truest sense of the expression.
And my dear friend Sisi is now truly... free :)
I hope she is allowed to place a few good words in for those of us left behind...
Incidentally, Cam Neely knows all about that - he lost his mother and father, back to back, a year apart - to cancer. He was still playing at the time. Ulf had not acted disgraciously yet...
08/06/2005 7:00:00 PM
TORONTO (CP) - Injuries may have cut Cam Neely's career short but that didn't stop the former Boston Bruins star from entering the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, the late Russian superstar Valeri Kharlamov and longtime amateur hockey executive Murray Costello were named to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 7.
"I can't quite fathom yet what this means," Neely said. "Being in the Hall with all the other great players is quite an honour."
The 18-member selection committee again declined to pick 608-goal scorer Dino Ciccarelli. Also passed over again was Glenn Anderson, one of the top playoff performers in NHL history. A candidate requires 14 votes to get in.
Neely, a power forward, played for Vancouver and Boston between 1984 and 1996, scoring 395 goals, assisting on 299 and serving 1,241 penalty minutes in 726 regular-season games. His 55 playoff goals are a Boston club record. The six-foot-one right-winger was a five-time all-star and made such an impression in Boston that his No. 8 sweater was retired last year.
"Beating Montreal in 1988," he quickly replied when asked for a highlight. It was the first time the Bruins beat the Canadiens in the playoffs in 44 years so it was "quite an experience to be involved in."
Hip and leg injuries ended his career prematurely.
"It wasn't the way any athlete wants to leave sport," he said. "It was difficult the first couple of years.
"I lived in the moment when I was playing and I didn't really look at what my career was all about until long after I retired. I have some regrets, feeling I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have while I was playing, but looking back at all the great relationships I made after coming from a small town to Boston, it's all been great."
Kharlamov became recognized during the 1972 Summit Series as one of the greatest forwards to play in Russia. He died in an auto crash in 1981 at the age of 33. His son, Alexander, was five at the time.
"Thank you to everybody who selected my father," he said from Moscow. "I can't believe it.
"I want to say thank you to all Canadian people who remember my father."
Costello, 71, who grew up in the Timmins, Ont., region, was president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association - now Hockey Canada - from 1979 to 1998. He played 162 NHL games in the 50s but he's going into the Hall in the builders' category for his organizational work.
"I never envisioned it would end up like this," he said from his Ottawa home. "To see myself among the people in that Hall is difficult to comprehend."
He currently is on the executive council of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Neely would go through a defencemen if he felt he couldn't skate around him.
"I gave everything I could each shift," said Neely. "I may not have played well each shift but I tried as hard as I could each shift.
"My physical play was something I took great pride in. I knew I had to play very physical to be successful."
The fact he got in with lesser stats than players such as Ciccarelli and Anderson won't bother him.
"To be quite honest, I learned a long time ago not to concern myself with things I can't control," he said. "I'm certainly honoured that the selection committee looked at not just points and production but at my impact on the game.
"I'm very appreciative of that fact. I'd have loved to have played another handful of years at a level I would have wanted to compete at to have (better) stats."
His first comeback from injuries earned him the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1994. He'd been drafted the Canucks but only played two years with them before an unexpected trade. The way it worked out, he was happy it happened because he wasn't satisfied with how he was being used in Vancouver. Now this.
"My hip does not bother me right now," he said.
Kharlamov stood only five foot eight but helped Red Army win 11 league championships and skated on eight world-champion Soviet sides. He won Olympic gold in 1972 and 1976.
In Game 6 of the '72 Series, Canadian forward BobClarke slashed Kharlamov and broke his ankle. Canada won the game and the next two as well and all Kharlamov could do was sit with his crutches and watch.
Alexander Kharlamov said his father's teammates have told him how good his dad was on ice.
"I was told he was a great player who had great opportunities," he said.
Selection committee members Serge Savard and Stan Mikita played against Kharlamov, committee members Scotty Bowman and Harry Sinden coached against him, and the Hall opened an expanded international section on Tuesday.
"His talents were God-given and he could do practically everything - a smart play, a tricky pass, a precise shot," said Vladislav Tretiak, a former teammate and a Hockey Hall of Fame member. "Everything he did looked so easy, so elegant.
"His execution of hockey was aesthetic and he amazed millions."
Before Kharlamov, the last individual to be selected posthumously was Roy Conacher in 1998.
Costello played in NHL games with Boston, Chicago and Detroit, where selection committee member Al Arbour was a teammate. He finished up with a senior team in Windsor, Ont., in 1960.
While heading the CAHA, the process that led to formation of the national junior team was started.
"The success of that program remains rewarding to me," said Costello. "Players who were on our national junior teams still respond to the call to play for the country and that is quite special to me."
Another defining moment in the development of the sport during his presidency was the merger of Hockey Canada and the CAHA, which brought the entire development process into one stream.
"I think it has made a lot of difference in the sport in this country," he said. "They game has been better, particularly on the development side, because of that."
Committee chairman Jim Gregory wouldn't bite when reporters sought specifics on why players such as Ciccarelli and Anderson again were bypassed.
"Our confidentiality agreement doesn't allow us to comment," said Gregory.
He mentioned others who haven't been inducted who might be worthy. Claude Provost was on nine championship Montreal teams but has never been selected.
"I get only one vote," he said. "I try to put an exceptional person in the Hall, and I have confidence that the people sitting beside me do the same.
"It is not easy to get in. It is a very difficult thing."
Among first-year eligibles, goalie Mike Vernon was among those with the highest-profile credentials. But he was passed over, too.
Patrick Roy, who will be eligible next year, might as well start making travel plans for the 2006 induction gala.
Other committee members are Colin Campbell, Pat Quinn, Emile Francis, Marty Pavelich, Richard Patrick, Ed Chynoweth, John Davidson, Eric Duhatschek, Mike Emrick, Dick Irvin, Yvon Pedneault and Frank Selke.
The poem below is for your friend that passed away. I am so sorry for your loss.
Gone on from this world to a new place,
It isn't an end, but a new beginning.
Gone on to forever be surrounded by beauty,
constantly showered with Gods love.
Gone on to talk and walk with the Angels,
never fearing anything ever again.
Gone on to sing praises to God,
in Heaven's glorious choir.
Gone on yet not forgotten,
forever in the hearts of loved ones.
Copyright © 2005 Countess Demetria
Thanks for the fine poetry, Countess! :)
I realize now that Ulf Samuelsson was not even worthy of mention in the recap of Cam Neely's career... fine... I'll add another revolting summary of what he and his coach did... some other time! OR... you can check my archives - I have blogged about this before... simply... revolting!
Ulf is most definitely another one of those BAD ELEMENTS that have to be granted long lives on this earth... so that CHRIST Has lots to chastise upon His Return!