Tag Archives: Adam Oates

HOF Post Game Comments

The Hockey Hall of Fame Induction ceremony went off swimmingly, except for the time maybe when Mats Sundin pronounced Elmer Lach’s name “Latch,” and Patrick Roy took a swipe at the Canadiens, saying they decided to trade him, which only sort of happened after Roy told Ronald Corey he’d never play another game with the team. Maybe he’s upset he wasn’t hired as coach or GM.

The speeches went smoothly, although Bill Hay’s seemed long and drawn out, but I thought Pavel Bure’s was excellent, as were the others..

And to cap off a fine night, Gary Bettman looked tired, hollow, concerned, pale, and not a happy camper whatsoever, and the women looked lovely.

New Kids In The Hall

Congratulations to Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure, and Adam Oates for their induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the shrine in Toronto that houses photos, plaques, artifacts, and memories of players who once played  the sport that has become extinct and remembered by oldtimers who think back to a time, like last year, when the game was actually being played and fans would come to the rinks with full wallets and leave with empty wallets.

These are four worthy inductees, all classy, all proficient, and which include two Canadians (Oates and Sakic), one Swede (Sundin), and one Russian (Bure). Bure was a shoo-in to make it big ever since he, Alex Mogilny, and Sergei Fedorov dazzled in the World Junior Championships when they were just young, peach-fuzzed Russkies. I also remember talking to a buddy about Bure and agreeing that this guy must not have had any trouble getting the ladies when he was starring in Vancouver.

Sundin rubbed me the wrong way slightly when he came out of retirement to play for the Vancouver Canucks, taking him until January to actually make up his mind and lace up for a measly five million to play half a season Sundin Helps His Wallet. But a great player, huge at 6’5, 230 pounds, and enjoyed a brilliant career, particularly in Toronto.

Adam Oates was not only a great playmaker but also an excellent musician, teaming up with Daryl Hall to record such smash hits as “Rich Girl” and “Kiss is on my List.” Oh wait, wrong guy. Oates teamed up with Brett Hull in St. Louis to become Hull and Oates, not Hall and Oates. Sorry.

Joe Sakic is from Burnaby, which explains why he’s called Burnaby Joe. A quiet and all-round respected and admired fellow who was such an excellent player, and whom of course would have looked mighty fine in a Habs uniform. He possessed a wicked wrist shot, and just seems to be a fine gentleman, as do the other three as well.

Four great players who deserve to be called Hall of Famers, and I can’t wait to see what their wives, if they’re all married, look like at the ceremony.

 

Bure Exploded

 

I watched the Hall of Fame announcements the other day, and I’m only just now waking up from the coma.

Bill Hay, Jim Gregory, and Pat Quinn gave us the four new names (Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, and Mats Sundin), like they were giving a eulogy at a funeral. It was like everyone was dead – not just the newly-elected and still-alive players, but Hay, Gregory and Quinn too, who may or may not have been propped up with someone behind working their mouths..

It made a Catholic retreat seem like a biker bash.

Regardless, the four players deserve the honour, and I can’t help thinking how Pavel Bure would have made such a fantastic Montreal Canadien.

Bure, although he came a half dozen years or so after Guy Lafleur had left Montreal, would have been a wonderful successor to the throne. We haven’t had a true superstar since our number ten, and Bure would have fit the bill perfectly. But alas, he ended up with the Canucks, (and then the Panthers and Rangers) which was too bad for us and too bad for him.

I remember Bure during the 1989 World Junior Championship in Anchorage. He, along with linemates Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Fedorov, dazzled and burned up the tournament. Bure was a sight to behold. His blinding speed, his explosiveness, his goal-scoring, all with a face that looked to be about 11 years old. And he brought all of that to the NHL.

What a Hab he would’ve been. A new gunslinger in town who played a style of hockey most Habs fans love and older ones remember from heros no longer donning skates, or dead like Bill Hay, Jim Gregory, and Pat Quinn. Bure would have brought his girlfriend at the time, Anna Kournikova, to Montreal, and I would have seen that she was comfortable while Pavel streaked down the ice and netted huge goals to the roar of the crowd.

Certain teams need certain players; Boston likes guys who give the finger to fans and noses, Philadelphia leans towards obnoxiousness and lousy goalies, and Bure, with the offence and excitement he provided, would have been a terrific fire-wagon Hab. On the ice at least. Off ice, the Russian Rocket was apparently aloof, arrogant, and selfish, which led the Vancouver Sun’s Elliot Pap to say the only way they should hang Bure’s sweater from the rafters would be if he was still in it.

But that’s beside the point. It was what he did on skates as a smallish-yet-shifty right winger, and it was plenty. Besides, Pat Burns, and then Jacques Demers, would’ve kicked his ass.

 

 

Pre-Draft Pep Talk

The young guys are gathering in Pittsburgh for the big Entry Draft, and I’m sure they’re a nervous bunch. What if I don’t get chosen? they ask themselves. But fear not. Mathieu Darche, Raphael Diaz, Josh Gorges, Martin St. Louis, Adam Oates, Curtis Joseph, and heck, I’ll even throw these in – Nick Kypreos, P.J. Stock, and Mike Milbury, were never drafted either. Although I can understand about the last three.

Relax, have a nice lunch, and enjoy the ride. Eat what young, healthy 19 year old’s eat. Some low-fat yogurt, a healthy sampling of fruits and vegetables, and about 17 plates of spaghetti.

Number 3 pick, whoever you are, please do this - become a star quickly and make fans rise out of their seats, couches, and honeymoon beds. Lead the team to numerous victories, don’t bolt to the KHL, play for more than just money, be prouder than proud to wear the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens, be a leader, don’t be a hot dog, punch out Brad Marchand, don’t dive, don’t get into scraps in bars, don’t gamble, try not to smoke, play tough, don’t make any illegitimate children, find time for your fans, read books about the Rocket, honor thy father and thy mother, don’t talk or spit gobs during the national anthem (tiny spit is okay), and down the road be selected to the Hall of Fame.

That’s all we ask. Good luck in Pittsburgh.

 

Ron Caron Dies

St. Louis is in Montreal tonight to meet the Canadiens, the same day “The Old Professor,” Ron Caron, passes on. He was 82.

Mr. Caron worked alongside Sam Pollock as their Montreal Canadiens won six Stanley Cups in the 1970′s, and in the early 1980′s became general manager of the St. Louis Blues, where he pulled strings for 10 years and rebuilt a struggling franchise by bringing in young players such as Doug Gilmour, Brett Hall and Adam Oates.

He was an old-school hockey man, excitable and passionate, who had bled bleu, blanc, et rouge, learned in the mecca of hockey, and then like so many others, set out to tackle other hockey challenges.

RIP Mr. Caron