The annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place this Monday, with festivities going on all weekend in Toronto at the Hall of Fame and around town. On Saturday night, the Maple Leafs will face off against the Rangers (riveting, I know) in the annual Hall of Fame Game at the Air Canada Centre. A host of legends will also be on hand all weekend long for the festivities, which culminate on Monday with the induction of Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Jim Gregory into the Hall of Fame.
I've never been up to Toronto to see the ceremonies, and it seems like if I could pick one year to skip, this would almost certainly be the worst one to miss. Why is that? Folks, this is likely to be the last chance we will have to see Mark Messier speak, and likely cry, at a meaningful event. Since his playing days have long been over, we haven't really had the chance to see him let the waterworks go in quite a while. It's really been too long. Personally, I would recommend making the trip to Toronto solely to see that. I know it's going to be hard for Mess to top his most famous performance, but let's not forget that this is the Hall of Fame we're talking about. You're supposed to break down like a little girl for this shindig. And we all know there is no one better at milking it than Mess.
The actual induction ceremony can be seen Monday at 7:30 PM EST on TSN's alternate feed. Somehow I doubt those of us in the States will be able to see it. When there's video of this, and there will be, you can bet BMR will be all over it.
For now, enjoy some oldies but goodies:
Mark Messier Day in Edmonton (skip to about the 2:30 mark)
And of course there is always his return to New York. Epic. Absolutely epic. (How is this not on YouTube?!?!)