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06-26-2012, 04:01 PM
vadim sharifijanov
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I dunno, that's getting awfully close to Alexander Mogilny territory.
this is why i think fleury should be at least a strong HHOF candidate:

today was the first time a player who actually accomplished meaningful things in a canucks uniform made it into the HHOF. you can't begin to overestimate what that means to vancouver fans. one fan on the canucks board said she cried on the bus when she heard.

basically, bure getting in validates our hockey watching experiences. our love for those early 90s teams, the superhuman things we saw bure do, those are no longer just our memories. they have become legitimized as memories and experiences that matter in the grand scheme of things. to a habs fan, guy lafleur getting in doesn't make a whole of difference. but to a canucks fan, bure getting in makes a huge difference.

i think you get the same thing with sundin and swedish hockey fans.

in a sense, this is an argument for the hockey hall of fame acknowledging the importance of regionalism, and the history/memories/experiences of specific underrepresented cities and countries.

now, obviously if fleury got in next year, he wouldn't be the first nor the last flame to get in. but to calgary fans of a certain age, he was the greatest flame of all. greater than lanny, chopper, and iginla. or if nothing else, he arguably means more to calgary fans as any of those guys, including iginla.

there are few guys that resonate with a fanbase on that kind of meaningful level. to mention only guys who are debatable HHOF choices: neely in boston, bure in vancouver, sundin in sweden -- and i suspect federko in st. louis and langway in washington could be added to that list, but i'm not sure.

i just saw the senna documentary. what senna meant to brazil, what pacquiao means to the philippines, what ali, jim brown, and bill russell mean to african-americans, to me that's the most meaningful thing in sports. what i'm talking about for the HHOF would be analogous but on a smaller scale.

and that's why it doesn't make sense to look at fleury's career and ask, "why fleury and not mogilny?" because mogilny, nieuwendyk, and turgeon never captured a city/country's imagination and no city or country ever saw themselves in what that one guy did on the ice. tarheelhockey, you're a carolina fan. imagine if ron francis had never played in pittsburgh and spent his entire career in the whalers/canes organization. maybe he retires with andreychuk stats and no individual honours or top five finishes. i think you would still argue that he belongs in the hall of fame and i think you would be right.

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