ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues honoured Al MacInnis on his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday night, announcing they’ve commissioned a bronze statue in his likeness.
Dave Checketts, principle owner of the franchise, said the statue would be situated next to one of Hall of Famer Bernie Federko. Federko’s statue is inside the concourse of the Scottrade Arena, but MacInnis said he’s been told both will be moved outside to give more tourists a chance to see them.
“To put up a statue alongside another Hall of Famer, after my kids grow a little bit older and walk by it with their kids and look at that stuff will be much more meaningful probably than it is today,” MacInnis said. He added, jokingly: “The only thing I said to Mr. Checketts is to make it better-looking than the live picture.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was among the attendees at the pre-game ceremony just outside the goal crease closest to the St. Louis bench before the Blues played the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Watching the Blues is always a treat, especially on a night like this,” Bettman said before the ceremony. “I’m delighted to be here for that.”
Fans in a sellout crowd gave MacInnis two standing ovations, when he was introduced along with his wife and four children, and again before he stepped to the podium for a brief speech. Highlights of his career were shown throughout the game and each fan received a highlight DVD.
MacInnis, who was born in Port Hood, N.S., played his final 10 seasons with the Blues and told fans “My home town is St. Louis.” He retired in 2004, mostly because of an eye injury that still restricts vision to his left eye, and is a vice president of scouting operations for the franchise.
He shook hands with players from the roster before leaving the ice.
“I hope to repay your loyalty one day with the only thing missing in the proud history of the St. Louis Blues – the Stanley Cup,” MacInnis said. “That’s our goal, and with your support we’re going to make it happen.”
MacInnis was inducted in Toronto on Monday along with Mark Messier, Ron Francis and Scott Stevens, like MacInnis a former Blues captain. The franchise has already retired MacInnis’ No. 2 jersey.