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FEDERKO: Hall nod was beyond even wildest dreams

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Bernie Federko

 
   
 
Fox Sports Midwest's Bernie Federko, an analyst for St. Louis games, got the thrill of a lifetime Tuesday when he was told he had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Federko, a 14-year NHL veteran, played for the for 13 seasons (1976-88). He holds team records for games played (927), assists (721) and points (1,073). He joins former Washington defenseman Rod Langway, former New York forward Clark Gillies and long-time NHL coach Roger Neilson as this year's class of inductees. FOXSports.com caught up with Federko Tuesday to talk with him about his latest honor. FOXSports.com: First of all, congratulations. Bernie Federko: Thank you. Thank you. We couldn't be happier in this town right now. My kids and my wife and my friends are all excited. This is pretty exciting stuff. FOXSports.com: What was your first reaction when you heard about being elected to the Hall? BF: I guess shock. Shock for the right reasons, I guess. I didn't even know they were voting on this at the moment. Usually I thought this was done in September. I was actually working on the Fox Sports Midwest golf show and I had my phone turned off. I turned it back on during a break from the show and I had one message on it to call the Hockey Hall of Fame. So I called and they put me on with Jim Gregory and it's been crazy ever since. It's just wonderful. FOXSports.com: Was this something you dreamed of when you were younger? BF: You know, I don't think you even dream of going into the Hall of Fame. It's just something that happens. You dream of winning the Stanley Cup. You dream of a lot of things. You dream of making it into the NHL, first of all. And once you do it, once you are there and you put up numbers, then I guess you dream that it can happen. Certainly, this is more than a dream come true. It's just so hard to put it in perspective. FOXSports.com: Who did you call to tell the news after you heard it? BF: I called my wife first and told her about it. She was as excited as I was. I called my dad, my folks, and then I called a really good friend of mine. Those were the three. They didn't really want anyone to know until the press conference came out. I was taping a show when I got the word. I had to finish the show after I got the news. I had to do some interviews with a golf pro and a golf superintendent. And I couldn't tell anyone! So it was kind of hard to keep my concentration on what I was trying to do. But it worked out pretty well. FOXSports.com: It's a pretty impressive class to be going in the Hall of Fame with. BF: Well, absolutely. No matter what class you go in with, just to go in ¿ you look at the people who are there, and you look at the players you worshiped and adored when you were a kid and they're in there. You played with a lot of great players, and the great ones are there. To say you're a part of the Hall of Fame is, I guess, the greatest honor you can have as a professional athlete. It's mind-boggling. It's so hard to believe that you're going to be in the same Hall of Fame as Bobby Orr and Jean Beliveau and I can go on and on ¿ Wayne Gretzky and ¿ it goes on and on. FOXSports.com: What do you think about going in the Hall with players like Rod Langway and Clark Gillies? BF: I'm really happy for Rod. Rod played kind of the same type of game I played. Not a lot of recognition, because of the fact that Washington's not a big media center. He was a defensive defenseman, and a lot of times they don't get any recognition at all. He certainly deserves it. He did it all as a defenseman, but because he wasn't offensive-minded, he didn't get the recognition. Clark Gillies was a great factor on that line with Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy who didn't get a lot of credit. He was the big power forward on the line who opened things up and kind of got overlooked because Trottier and Bossy were so great. But Gillies was a big part of that. He scored goals, he was a physical factor on that line and he was a great leader on that team. They're both the kind of players that I guess I would consider myself. You played hard and did what you could for your team, but a lot of times you didn't get the kind of recognition you were hoping that you would get. FOXSports.com: And also, you go in with a coach like Roger Neilson, too. BF: That's great for Roger. He's one of those guys that was such a leader in his field. He did things in coaching that nobody else did. Everybody respects Roger and the way he's battled so much. Going from expansion teams to being an assistant coach to going to Philly and getting fired. Now with the cancer, this is everybody's choice. Roger's done so much for the game, coaching juniors and helping out kids coaching and with his hockey schools. He's really the people's choice, as well as the players' choice.
Tagged: Islanders, Penguins, Blues, Capitals

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