By Allan Muir
The Hall of Fame selection committee voted in five new members to join the game’s greatest legends on Tuesday and did as well as it has done in years. After honoring a stream of marginal players like Bernie Federko, Leo Boivin and Dick Duff, the 2013 class of Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Geraldine Heaney and Fred Shero deserve all the accolades coming their way.
But as good as this group was, there’s plenty of room for debate because of who didn’t make the cut.
Again, nothing wrong with the Shero nod, but the Pat Burns snub in the Builder category has gotten past the point of reason. Forget that the committee had a chance to do the right thing and induct him just before he died of cancer three years ago — that refusal may have been the its self-important way of saying it wouldn’t be influenced by the massive social effort aimed at pressuring it to induct Burns while he was still alive. But it’s been three years now. Three years. Whichever voters the admittedly brusque ex-cop offended along the way need to step back and recognize the greatness of the only three-time Jack Adams winner in NHL history, a man who guided the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2003 and who won 501 games during his 14-season career.