Credit where it’s due: Tom Barrasso made a very classy speech at his Hockey Hall of Fame induction. I half-expected a revenge tour a la Michael Jordan.
Next order of business: Put Jaromir Jagr in the Hockey Hall of Fame immediately.
Jagr has the second-most points all-time, 1,921. He has the fourth-most goals all-time, 766. He's a former MVP, five-time scoring champion and seven-time first-team All-Star. He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins. Jagr hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2017-18 season.
Jagr is 51 and isn’t in the Hall because he still occasionally skates in the Czech pro league for Kladno, the team he owns. A player must be retired for three years before induction into the Hall.
Jagr’s absence from Yonge St. is stupid. He won’t ever again play in the NHL.
Make an exception. Put Jagr in the Hockey Hall of Fame now.
Jagr’s absence from the Hall diminishes the institution, not Jagr. He’s a one-of-a-kind talent, among the very best players ever.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is punishing Jagr because he still wants to play hockey. Because he’s keeping his hometown team alive. That’s idiotic.
Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe and Guy Lafleur all came back and played in the NHL after being inducted into the Hall. The building didn’t collapse.
If Jagr was an Ontario native occasionally playing in, say, the ECHL, a special case would have been declared long ago.
For a more in-depth look, read Chris Johnston’s story at The Athletic by clicking HERE.