It took 15 years for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to create their own Hall of Fame, but there’s a good reason, according to team CEO Jeff Barrett.
“You have to have some history to create some history,” he said.
Now, as the Penguins enter their 15th season, the organization feels that enough players have come through, and made an impact, that a Hall of Fame is warranted.
So do the fans.
According to Barrett, voting for the first class opened Wednesday, and in less than a day, the Penguins received more than 300 emails with fans’ choices.
In order to be considered for inclusion, players must meet the following requirements:
• Must have spent parts of at least two seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
• Been retired from professional hockey for at least two full seasons
• Made a significant contribution to the Penguins and community, either on the ice or off
“It’s not just about their play on the ice, it’s about how they worked with the community, their teammates, the organization and the fans,” Barrett said. “It encompasses everything.”
And it’s bound to spark some lively debate over who deserves a Hall of Fame nod and who doesn’t. Barrett views that as a positive.
“I think the discussion will get emotional and it’s fun because people are excited to make their case for their favorite player,” he said. “They’re actively involved.”
Selections will be determined by combining fans votes along with input from local media members and Penguins front office representatives. The inaugural Penguins Hall of Fame class will be announced during the month of October 2013. Barrett hopes to have the players representing the first Hall of Fame class come to a home game for a ceremony, but that will all depend on their schedules and availability, he said.
As more former Penguins retire and reach the eligibility requirements, the list of potential Hall of Famers will expand, Barrett said.