Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Hazies - The Champs

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

Time for this week's Hazies - though with it being a week for milestones, we are just going to highlight this week's champs; while Hazel hasn't officially approved this week's winners, we'd like to think that in most cases, she give her trademark smile or a thumbs up and hand out the hardware.



The NHL inducted four former greats into the Hall of Fame last week; while we can't argue with any of this year's entrants into the Hall, we have to wonder why former Edmonton Oiler great Glenn Anderson was passed over again. There are a number of theories/rumours about why Anderson still hasn't been voted in - its all crap; the guy was a proven performer when it counted most...in the playoffs. It is time that the selection committee put aside their personal feelings about Anderson and his lifestyle choices (rumoured) and vote this guy in.

Mark Messier - one of the great leaders in all of professional sports, he is probably one of the greatest captains ever to skate in the NHL - the guy did it all. He showed the world he could win without Gretzky, leading the Oilers to a Cup when the Great One was in L.A. and led the Rangers to a Stanley Cup - their first in 50 years. Messier is probably the most complete player the NHL has ever seen. He finished his career as the second all-time scorer in the regular season and playoffs, trailing only Gretzky in both, but his six Stanley Cups trump Gretzky's accomplishment in that regard.

Ron Francis - one of the greatest players no one ever seems to mention. Francis finished his career fourth on the NHL's all-time scoring list, second only to Gretzky in assists; but he never got the recognition he deserved playing behind the likes of Mario Lemieux. Francis was a key member of the Penguins Stanley Cup teams, but what most people forget is that he was a key member of some very good Hartford Whalers teams - Francis was always a Habs killer which gets him plenty of love here. One of the classiest players to wear an NHL uniform; he played the game hard and clean - one of the few players that was universally liked by his peers.

Al MacInnis - best known for his cannon of a shot, but an all-around great defenceman who didn't break into the NHL with very high expectations. MacInnis' early years were marked by inconsistencies in his own end that had many wondering if he would ever be a good, let alone great, defenceman. MacInnis was one of the league's hardest workers, who wanted to be as good in his own end as he was in the opposition's end. MacInnis was an integral part of the great Calgary Flames teams of the late 80's before moving on to St. Louis. He finished his career with 1,274 points - his 340 goals put him number three on the all-time list for goals by a defenceman behind Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque.

Scott Stevens - the greatest acquisition Lou Lamoriello ever made, giving up five first round picks to sign Stevens away from the St. Louis Blues in 1990. Stevens was the anchor of the Devils teams that won three Stanley Cups. He was known as one of the hardest hitters to play the game (ask Eric Lindros) and often played on the edge. From our perspective, the only black/gray mark on Stevens' career was that he was out there to hurt people - he seemed to be a guy who had little to no respect for the opposition...he ended more than a few careers when he could have let up a little.

Roger Clemens - he recorded his 350th career win, that's got to count for some mention on this page. While he turned his back on Red Sox Nation yet again (you don't need him), you have to applaud his accomplish - even if he is a prick.

Craig Biggio - probably the best player ever to put on an Astros uniform (apologies to Nolan Ryan), Biggio recorded his 3,000th career hit last week, and was named the National League Player of the Week. He broke into the league as a catcher, but worked hard on his defense to become a better than average fielder - he was always a dangerous hitter who seems to be at his best in the clutch...Biggio is the kind of player every father wants his kid to grow up to be.

Frank Thomas - The Big Hurt hit his 500th career home run against Minnesota last week. One of the most feared hitters when he broke in with the White Sox, he went through a few lean years before rejuvenating his career in Oakland. While this hasn't been a stellar season for Thomas...500 home runs will get you a Hazie.

That's it for tonight gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps!

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Special thanks to Chip O'Brien for the artwork - you can contact him at chipobrien@verizon.net.
I'm Out.


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