Knocking Hockey Hall of Famers Down a Peg or Two

There’s a lot of talk today about the class of 2015 being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. And sure, it’s a great group. Among NHL stars Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Chris Pronger, there is US National Team star Angela Ruggiero as well as builders Peter Karmanos and Bill Hay.

All are clearly deserving inductees, but I’m not here for that. I’m here to knock them down a peg or two.

1997-98 Score - Sergei Fedorov
1997-98 Score – Sergei Fedorov

Sergei Fedorov: I’m not sure celebrating a Stanley Cup win with the Detroit Red Wings is reason enough for that shirt, and those pants, even if it was their first title in 42 years. Hall of Famer yes, Fashion Icon no.

1992-93 Score - Phil Housley
1992-93 Score – Phil Housley

Phil Housley: The Gretzky Jofa is a legendary classic. The one that Housley sports here, even on his way to 97 points, was a disgrace to the game. You can be better, Phil.

1991-92 7th Inning Sketch - Chris Pronger
1991-92 7th Inning Sketch – Chris Pronger

Chris Pronger: Someone on the Peterborough Petes’ staff was clearly angry at Chris in 1991-92, which is why they gave him the biggest helmet and visor combo they could find, like ever. Tough to make a 6-6 guy look tiny, but they found a way.

1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier - Nicklas Lidstrom
1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier – Nicklas Lidstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom: I actually don’t think it’s possible to make fun of Nicklas Lidstrom. I’m not even mad at him for being Swedish, or playing for the Empire of Evil in Detroit his whole career. Let’s just appreciate this Red Wings retro jersey from before the time when retro jerseys were cool.

Congratulations to the inductees.

Now, If only this baseball superstar, Canada’s Bo Jackson, was going into the Hockey Hall of Fame too:

1990 Score - Eric Lindros
1990 Score – Eric Lindros

Petr Klima’s Mullet Was All About the Party

1990-91 Bowman - Petr Klima
1990-91 Bowman – Petr Klima (was Klima hung over here?)

They say “business in the front, party in the back.”  Petr Klima’s hair met the criteria, but from the sounds of things, he was all about the party – the one in the front and the one in the back.

I guess I was too young to realize it at the time, but Klima got himself into a lot of trouble (and had a lot of fun), especially when he was a Detroit Red Wing early in his career and he was buddies with a fellow named Bob Probert.  You could either say he adjusted very well or very poorly to life beyond the Iron Curtain, depending on your perspective.

There are probably lots of people who remember Klima for his lifestyle choices, but I choose to remember him in a bit of a different way.  I remember  him as the guy who brought the Czechoslomullet to the NHL, and possibly North America, before Jaromir Jagr made it mainstream.  I also remember him for his terrible helmet, which was probably designed to fit the hair properly.  Wayne Gretzky made the Jofa cool.  Petr Klima did not.

And who can forget him coming off the bench (where he’d spent most of the game) to score the triple overtime winner in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final?  I’ll bet that was a fun evening.