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Put Henderson in hall -- now

So says editor-in-chief of Canada's History

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There's no point in waiting any longer, according to Mark Reid, editor-in-chief of Canada's History magazine.

Paul Henderson, author of the greatest goal ever scored, belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

And not soon. Now.

The Winnipeg-based magazine is out with a 12-page spread to help commemorate Henderson's heroics in the 1972 Summit Series and to go along with it, has launched an petition to try to spark a groundswell of support for Henderson's Hall induction.

"At the magazine, we wondered how we'd commemorate the event," Reid said in an interview Thursday. "So we've devoted 12 pages to it."

It includes a new cartoon from Terry Mosher (aka Aislin).

But there's something missing from the entire spread, Reid said.

"It's that Paul Henderson's not in the Hockey Hall of Fame," he said. "He's at the top of the mountain in that cartoon ... everybody can picture it and yet the Hall of Fame is saying that's not good enough to belong to our exclusive group. So we thought we'd do something about it."

The petition can be found at www.canadashistory.ca.

Reid didn't sound concerned the effort might backfire, given that the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee is a secretive group that has a reputation for resisting any and all public pressure.

"For starters, Paul is not part of our effort," Reid said. "We haven't even contacted him about it.

"Look, if no one is willing to stand up in Canada for our history, including Canada's sports history, if Canada's History magazine won't, then who will?

"I hope this has a positive effect on the situation. In some ways, if the people who make the decisions wanted Paul in the Hall, they would have put him in years ago.

"All I can do is just remind them and the general public at a time when we are celebrating the 40th anniversary that none of us are getting any younger. Are we going to wait until the 50th anniversary? The 60th? The 100th?

"One thing I will say is this, it's not the Hall of Numbers or the Hall of Stanley Cups. It's not the Hall of who piled up the most assists."

Reid simply cannot fathom why Henderson has been excluded.

Some point to his career statistics, 477 points in 707 NHL games, and 283 more points in 360 WHA games.

"You can go up and down the Hall of Fame and randomly find players where numbers don't tell the tale," he said.

He cited a 1958 inductee, Duke Keats.

"It's apples to pickles, I know, and this is not to disparage Duke Keats," he said. "But 49 total points over a five-year span? And his coaching record, 9-23? What they say is that he was renowned for his elegant and amazing skating style.

"I'm just saying that 100 years from now, when people are still talking about the greatest goal ever scored in hockey history, will they remember goal No. 26 of Duke Keats' 30-goal total or will they remember the moment in which Canadian hockey was redeemed against the Big Red Machine, the Soviet Empire?

"I'll let readers decide."

As part of the effort, Canada's History is also auctioning off the original new Aislin cartoon, with proceeds going to benefit the magazine's charitable efforts.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 21, 2012 C6

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