Finally, Fred Shero is a Hall of Famer.
Twenty-three years after his passing, Shero, a Philadelphia Flyers coaching legend who is a big piece of the folklore of the old St. Paul Saints, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders’ category Tuesday. He will be formerly inducted on Nov. 11 in Toronto.
Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan and Geraldine Heaney were also elected to the Hall.
"Great honor for my dad and our family," Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, Fred's son, emailed me. "He was always about his players, so I know he would want to thank them for making this happen. Also to Mr. Snider and Mr. Allen for giving him his chance in the nhl back in 1971."
Shero, who died in 1990, coached the former International Hockey League’s St. Paul Saints and former Central Pro Hockey League’s St. Paul Rangers in the early-to-mid 1960s. Shero coached the Saints to two Turner Cups in 1960 and 1961 and the Rangers to Adams Cup Finals in 1964.
Ray Shero was born in St. Paul. He lived in White Bear Lake until the age of 4.
"I still remember skating at the old rink and skating at this pond down the street from our house," Ray Shero told me a few years back. "I remember shuffling around and cutting my head open to get stitches. I remember listening to the games on radio, and I remember one of my dad's players gave us a pet duck.
"So instead of a dog, we had a duck."
Fred Shero coached the Flyers to their only Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He is still their all-time coaching wins leader with 308 and won the Jack Adams Award in 1974. He also played for the USHL St. Paul Saints in 1947-48.
"When my mom and dad got married, this is where they first set up shop," Ray Shero told me a few years ago. "We have all kind of scrapbooks from here. My dad always talked fondly of being here and coaching here. I was young, but I still remember."
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