UPDATE: Fred Shero was FINALLY elected into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday. No other ex-Flyers were named.
If the 18-member hockey Hall of Fame selection committee wants to increase its integrity, it needs to elect legendary former Flyers coach Fred Shero on Tuesday.
The committee will announce its 2013 Hall of Fame class Tuesday. In addition to Shero, former Flyers Rod Brind ‘Amour, Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Jeremy Roenick will get consideration.
Which former Flyer - if any - will be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday?
The fact that Shero isn’t already in the Hall is ludicrous.
Shero, who died in 1990, was an innovator, and he directed the Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cups in the 1970s. His 1974 Flyers won the Cup just seven years after the franchise entered the NHL during expansion.
Think about that.
In a six-year span, Shero led his teams to four appearances in the Finals, including 1979 with the New York Rangers.
Some say the committee members frown upon Shero because they think the Broad Street Bullies _ the nickname given to his brawling Flyers teams of the 1970s _ soiled the NHL’s image. But if that was the case, why did the Broad Street Bullies’ captain (Bobby Clarke), GM (Keith Allen) and owner (Ed Snider) earn spots in the Hall several years ago?
Since the Flyers won consecutive Cups in 1974 and 1975, only three coaches have led their teams to at least two straight titles: Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour and Glen Sather.
All are in the Hall.
As I wrote last year when Shero was bypassed, the man they called “Freddy the Fog” studied game films _ not common at the time _ and was extremely innovative. He hired a full-time assistant, started game-day morning skates, and went to Russia to incorporate parts of its game into his coaching.
Apparently, committee members feel Shero's coaching tenure _ 10 years _ was too short. But why give more importance to quantity over quality?
You want numbers?
During his NHL coaching career, Shero posted a 390-225-119 record, a points percentage of .612. Among coaches who have coached at least 10 seasons, that ranks fourth in NHL history, behind Bowman (.657), Mike Babcock (.635) amd Toe Blake (.634).
Starting in 1973-74, Shero's Flyers teams had a points percentage of at least .700 for four straight seasons, going 50-16-12; 51-18-11; 51-13-16; and 48-16-16.
Listening, committee members?
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.