Monday Musings: Hockey Hall of Fame edition | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: Hockey Hall of Fame edition

Posted: Monday, November 11, 2013 | 08:00 AM

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Geraldine Heaney, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios and Penguins GM Ray Shero, son of late inductee Fred Shero, are honoured Saturday prior to the Devils-Leafs game at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Geraldine Heaney, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios and Penguins GM Ray Shero, son of late inductee Fred Shero, are honoured Saturday prior to the Devils-Leafs game at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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This week's Monday musings focuses on Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Chris Chelios, Geraldine Heaney, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan and the late Fred Shero.

Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and rest of the hockey world to get you started for the week that will see:

  • The Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Chris Chelios, Geraldine Heaney, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan and Fred Shero. Jay Greenberg and Harry Neale are the media honorees.
  • NHL general manager meetings in Toronto on Tuesday.
  • Former Edmonton Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff makes his first visit to Edmonton as a member of the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.
  • The Los Angeles Kings visit New Jersey to play the Devils for the first time since the 2012 Stanley Cup final.

Here were some tidbits about each of the inductees picked up during HHOF weekend.

Chris Chelios

Chelios has an interesting connection to Moose Jaw, Sask. When he was 15, his family moved from Chicago to San Diego so his father could open a restaurant.

But hockey was his desire, so a 130-pound Chelios tried out with no success with junior teams in Hawkesbury, Ont., Chatham, Ont. and "somewhere near Windsor." He returned to San Diego and, a couple of years later, was cut from a startup team at the United States International University.

One day, the university team was working out on the beach and Chelios just happened to be there. One of the players, Bobby Parker, asked Chelios where he was playing. He was toiling in an adult "beer and pizza" league and felt his career was over.

Parker suggested he go to Moose Jaw. Parker had connections with the Moose Jaw Canucks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and he offered to place a call to coach Larry Billows. Chelios eventually found his way to Moose Jaw and played two seasons there.

The Canucks made it back-to-back league finals with Chelios on the blue-line, but they were beaten twice by Prince Albert. Still, the Montreal Canadiens discovered Chelios from his days in Moose Jaw and drafted him in second round (40th overall) before he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin.

Oh yeah, and Chelios' defence partner in Moose Jaw for his second year turned out to be Parker. Turns out he didn't like it much with the university team in San Diego and returned home. 

Geraldine Heaney

Heaney has been referred to as the Bobby Orr of women's hockey, especially after she scored a goal flying through the air in the inaugural 1990 world championship against the United States, just like Orr did in the Stanley Cup final two decades earlier.

Heaney said the Orr reference did not bother her. In fact, when she married husband John, she sent a bunch of pictures of her goal to Orr and asked him to sign them as gifts for each member of her wedding party.

"He was so nice," she said. "He personalized each of them. I had them framed and it was pretty special."

Scott Niedermayer

Niedermayer was asked what NHL players influenced when he was a young minor-hockey player.

"Growing up in Western Canada, I watched a lot of the Oilers in the 1980s," he said. "With Paul Coffey back there, he was pretty hard to ignore [with] the great teammates he had and the great things he would do.

"He would be one guy, but I just enjoyed watching hockey in general and all the great offensive players. I was no different than any other kid, except maybe for the goalies.

"We all liked to score goals and getting involved in that side of the rink. I liked to score goals."

Brendan Shanahan

Shanahan remarked that he never felt he was the best player on a team he played on, even when he was a youth playing minor hockey. He recalled a story when he played on the Mississauga Reps and they won the prestigious 1982 Quebec City Peewee Tournament.

Shanahan said that three players from that team went on to play in the NHL. Defencemen Jason Woolley and Bryan Marchment were the other two. But Shanahan's recollection was the three best players from that youth team were goalie David Humphries, David D'Amico and Steve Glugosh.

Fred Shero

The late two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach, who passed away in November 1990 at age 65, was lauded as an innovator. He was one of the first head coaches to use film to help him teach and formulate game plans.

Shero also was the first to hire a full-time assistant coach, when he appointed Mike Nykoluk as his sidekick for the 1972-73 season. Nykoluk and Shero were teammates with the 1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors.

Nykoluk also was an assistant coach with Shero for two seasons with the New York Rangers before he had a three-year stint as head coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Canadian Olympic Goalies

Each week, we rank the top contenders for the three goalkeeper spots on the Canadian Olympic team based on their play to date.

1. Mike Smith (Phoenix) - He recorded two shootout wins in three starts and now has three shootout wins in total, one behind the league leader Jonathan Quick of the Kings.

2. Corey Crawford (Chicago) - The defending Stanley Cup champion goalkeeper won three in a row, but he yielded four goals on 23 shots to Edmonton on Sunday.

3. Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh) - He suffered back-to-back losses to the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues last week.

4. Roberto Luongo (Vancouver) - He went 1-1-1 and was pulled in his latest start in Los Angeles after giving up four goals on 18 shots on Saturday. 

5. Carey Price (Montreal) - The Habs goalie also went 1-1-1 and returned to Ottawa and did not play well against his playoff foe of last spring. He surrendered three goals on 23 shots against the Senators.

By The Numbers

4 - Trips in six seasons to the Stanley Cup final for Shero. He guided the Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975, two more finals with the Flyers in 1976 and Rangers in 1979.

12 - Championships in 20 years for Niedermayer: two WHL titles, 1 Memorial Cup, 1 world junior crown, 4 Stanley Cups, 1 world championship, 1 World Cup of Hockey, 2 Olympic gold medals.

17 - Gordie Howe hat tricks for Brendan Shanahan, a record and two better than Rick Tocchet. A Howe hat trick is a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.

36 - Points in 35 world championship games for Heaney, which is a Canadian team record for a defenceman.

46 - Age of Chris Chelios when he became the oldest in league history to win a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2007-08.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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