For years, former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Fred Shero inspired people to argue about his Hockey Hall of Fame credentials. On Tuesday, the snubs finally came to an end, as he’s part of an impressive 2013 class.
To little surprise, his former players were ecstatic, with Bill Barber nailing much of the mood:
“I think it’s long overdue,” Barber said. “I’m happy for the Shero family and I’m happy for the Flyers family. I think it was an era in time that was very, very special, us winning championships, and I think it kind of completes the whole process as far as the Hall of Fame goes. Like I said, I couldn’t be any happier for them. I think Freddie was a unique man and I think he touched a lot of people’s hearts – especially mine, being a young kid and all. He gave me an opportunity to play and have fun and succeed. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”
Speaking of family, his son (and Pittsburgh Penguins GM) Ray Shero spoke to CSNPhilly.com about his father’s innovative approach.
“Dad saw how [John Wooden] used his psychology of reading people at UCLA as applicable to hockey,” Ray Shero said. “My dad was pretty quiet, but if he trusted you, he would engage you and talk for hours about things. He was a big, big reader and even on Russian history. After the first Cup, he went to Russia and brought my mom for three weeks. He met with Boris Mikhailov and took Lou Vairo over there. It was a hockey seminar. He must have met with Viktor Tikhonov, too. He really loved it.”
His former goalie Bernie Parent believes his impact continues to be felt.
“I’m so happy. It’s a beautiful thing for Philadelphia and a beautiful thing for hockey,” Parent said. “I’ll never forget the quote, the last quote before the first Stanley Cup when he said ‘Win together today and we walk together forever.’ And that quote went further than just the team – it meant the whole city. Today, 39 years later, it means as much to people as it did then.”
CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio discusses how Fred Shero made it into the Hall of Fame in the video below: