Anderson, Larionov heed Hall call


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The wait only made Tuesday’s announcement from the Hockey Hall of Fame that much sweeter for Igor Larionov and Glenn Anderson.

The famed Russian superstar and the six-time Stanley Cup champion were announced Tuesday as the headliners of the Hall’s Class of 2008, which also includes former WHL Commissioner Ed Chynoweth (posthumously) and former NHL linesman Ray Scapinello.

The quartet will be enshrined at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 10 in a ceremony that will cap the 2008 Induction Celebration.

“The big question I don’t have to answer any more is, ‘Why aren’t you in?’ ” Anderson said. “I think your peers and the people around you know if it was meant to be it was meant to be. This is a great honor today and I am very humbled by the honor.”

Anderson’s phone was buzzing during the entire media conference call with former “colleagues” calling to congratulate him. He said before he even had a chance to process the news former teammates Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe called to congratulate him.

Anderson is the sixth member of the Edmonton Oilers 1980s dynasty team that won the Stanley Cup five times to be elected. Anderson, who retired in 1996, two years after winning his sixth Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994, had been waiting almost a decade for this honor to come.

Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame three years after their careers are over.

“It was the first year I was a little nervous. The last couple of days I have been a little nervous about it,” Anderson said. “I don’t know if I should do a commercial for Kleenex or not – hopefully not – but I did catch myself walking down the street in New York today trying to catch my breath. I’m very, very excited. It’s been a long time since I won a Stanley Cup and this feeling I have inside now, the nervousness and excitement, is right up there with some of the great things I have done in life.”

Larionov, who played 14 seasons in the NHL starting at 29 years old after a lengthy and successful career in Russia, would have likely been elected last year had it not been for an iconic quartet of players. Since the Hall of Fame limits the amount of players elected per class to four, Larionov was the odd superstar out as Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Ron Francis and Al MacInnis were elected.

Larionov said he didn’t mind waiting another year.

“When you look at the players last year, players of that caliber, I had no regrets or disappointment,” Larionov said. “All those guys I played against them and with them and they’re great hockey players.”

Larionov’s induction is slightly bittersweet as he said his mother passed away a month ago. After taking the phone call from Selection Committee Chairman Jim Gregory, a 2007 HHOF inductee in the builder’s category, Larionov called his father.

“I was starting my morning routine for my workout. Today was an easy day. I was a half hour in the swimming pool and I got a phone call,” he said. “I was really overwhelmed by the news. It’s a big, big honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It just came a month ago that my mother passed away and I wish she was around. I called my dad and told him the news. It’s just unbelievable.”

Chynoweth, who passed away on April 22, was elected in the Builder Category. The Saskatchewan native became the first full-time President of the Western Canada Hockey League, which is now the WHL, in 1972. A year later he was one of the founders of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, which is now known as the CHL.

Chynoweth was president of the CHL for 20 years before he was awarded a WHL expansion franchise, the Kootenay Ice, in 1995. Chynoweth had the rare privilege of awarding the Memorial Cup to his son Dean, who used to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers.

“I know he’s looking down and beaming about everything that is going on,” said Dean Chynoweth, who also played 241 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders. “I know my dad would be tickled to be going in the Hall of Fame.”

Scapinello will be inducted in the Officiating category after serving as an NHL linesman for 33 years and close to 3,000 games. One of Scapinello’s claims to fame is that he never once missed a game, although he was close to missing one on Long Island.

“I got there in the second period,” Scapinello recalled. “We were supposed to leave the city of Toronto by 9:30. I didn’t follow orders and left at 10. I flew to New York and we got there, but we couldn’t land. We went back to Toronto. I flew to Philadelphia, took a shuttle plane to the Long Island airport and made it in the second period. I changed with Richard Trottier on the fly in the second period.”

Here is a closer look at the bios for the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008:

Igor Larionov

In 1989 Larionov was among the first wave of Russian players to come over to the National Hockey League, earning him iconic status among some of the country’s latest and greatest hockey stars.

Larionov is best known to North American hockey fans for helping the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup three times (1997, 1998, 2002). He was part of the famed ‘Russian Five’ that coach Scotty Bowman, a unit that also included Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov, Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov.

Larionov is best known in Russia for centering the famed ‘KLM Line’ with wingers Vladimir Krutov and Sergei Makarov. Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov were the defensemen when the ‘KLM Line’ played and the quintet was nicknamed the ‘Green Unit’ because they wore green jerseys in practice.

He was drafted by Vancouver in 1985, but didn’t make it to the NHL until 1989. His career spanned 14 seasons and took him from Vancouver to San Jose, Detroit, Florida, back to Detroit and finally New Jersey. Larionov scored 169 goals and registered 644 points in 921 games. He added 30 goals and 67 assists in 150 playoff games.

He was already a major star when he came over to North America as Larionov was a four-time Russian First-Team All-Star and won Olympic gold in both 1984 and 1988 as well as four World Championships. He played a major role in Russia’s 1981 Canada Cup victory and was the Russian Player of the Year in 1988.

Glenn Anderson

One of the slickest skaters in the League in the 1980s, Anderson won the Stanley Cup six times over the course of his NHL career. He’s fourth all-time in playoff points with 214 and fifth in playoff goals with 93. He finished with 1,099 career points.

Anderson played a year at the University of Denver before being drafted by the Oilers with the 69th pick in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He debuted in 1980-81 and played 10 straight seasons in Edmonton before being shipped to Toronto in 1991.

In his second season as a Maple Leaf Anderson helped the team get within one game of the Stanley Cup Final. He had seven goals and 11 assists in 21 games during the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Anderson was traded to the Rangers late in the following season and it was a magical move. While not the major playoff contributor he once was – he had just six points in 23 games – Anderson helped the Rangers win their first Cup in 54 years.

Anderson wound up returning to Edmonton for 17 games during the 1995-96, which was his last in the NHL. He played 25 games overseas in 1996-97 before calling it a career.

Ray Scapinello

Scapinello played Junior C hockey for a while, but began his officiating career as a 20-year-old in Guelph, Ont. in 1968. Three years later he debuted in the NHL and didn’t leave until 2004 after officiating 2,508 regular season games and another 426 in the playoffs.

Scapinello, who is now 61 years old, officiated the Stanley Cup Final 20 times and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He never wore a helmet during his career, but was never injured enough to miss significant time.

Ed Chynoweth

Chynoweth is one of the true builders of major junior hockey in Canada as he was not only the first president of the WHL but also a founder of the CHL. The WHL annually awards the Ed Chynoweth Cup to the league’s champion.

Chynoweth left his position as the CHL and WHL president in 1995 to form the expansion Edmonton Ice (now called the Kootenay Ice). He was the junior team’s president and governor at the time of his death from kidney cancer.


Son of Liberty
I dissagree about Oates vs. Stevens. Scott Stevens was an Iconic defenseman that embodied an edgy style of play that has rarely if ever been played as well as he did.

Lots of people hated playing against him because of that style, but everyone LOVED having him on their team. Adam Oates agreeably deserves his spot in the HHOF, but Stevens IMO deserved it more.


Registered Member
I think it was a real toss up between the two. Lets face it Oates was a staple for passers back in the day. The Blues , Bruins and Caps were very lucky to have him for the time they did. But at the same time Stevens was one of the main reasons his team won the cup in the years they did.

This year I think that finally Anderson gets his call. In my opinion he was one of the better pure scorers around back in the day and didn't really get a lot of credit because well he scored well over 400 goals and they wait this long to send him to the hall. Come on.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Very glad that Anderson finally made it to the Hall, he was an incredible player and he deserves to be it.

Same could be said about Larionov, he was an incredible hockey player. He was also very entertaining to watch. He was also better in Russia then he was in North America.

Congratulations to everyone that got in.


Staff member
I got to see Glenn Anderson play a ton when he wore the Blue Note. He was a very skilled player and deserves the call.