The Flyers have another face in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Mark Howe, one of the best defensemen to ever pull orange and black over his head, will been inducted into the Players Category as a member of the 2011 class, the HHOF announced today.
Howe, the son of Gordie Howe, played 10 seasons in Philadelphia and was a member of the 1987 club that pushed the the Edmonton Oilers to seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals, as well as the 1985 team that also played the Oilers in the Finals. Howe was a Norris Trophy finalist three times in the 1980s as a member of the Flyers -- in '87, '86 and '83.
Howe was overlooked for Hall of Fame induction every year since 1998, when he first became eligible. That's probably due to a number of reasons: he played a huge chunk of his career in WHA with the Whalers and some of the good ole NHL boys that sit on the committee don't particularly like the WHA, and he was certainly overshadowed by his dad, one of the best to ever play.
But there's no doubt about it: Howe is deserving, and now he's in. Congrats to him.
Two Flyers were snubbed again, though.
Fred Shero might never get in at this point. (For the record, those in the Builders category don't have eligibility requirements.) He was the head coach that brought Philadelphia our only two Stanley Cups, and he did it as one of the most influential head coaches in the history of the game.
He was the first North American coach to actually study and learn from the Soviets, which certainly helped when his Flyers beat them in 1976. He was one of the first coaches to use film to study opponents, and he was the first coach to utilize the help of assistants. He'd be inducted in the Builders category if he were to ever make the Hall, and it's hard to argue that Shero isn't one of the more innovative builders hockey has ever seen.
Also snubbed this year, again, is the slightly more controversial Eric Lindros. No. 88 has been eligible for the hall since 2010, but there's no argument that he wasn't one of the most dominating players of the 1990s. His career was cut short by injury well before it should have been, and that hurts his case dramatically. His dramatic departure from Philadelphia certainly still rubs people the wrong way as well.
But Lindros was just as big a marketable hockey star as Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin or hell, even Mario Lemieux, and we forget quite often just how good a player he was before he was robbed of his career by concussions. For the second year in a row, the Hockey Hall of Fame has forgotten that as well.