Nashville Predators play-by-plan man Pete Weber (who has a long history with the Buffalo Sabres) submitted a letter to the Buffalo News on the passing of acclaimed hockey writer Jim Kelley on Tuesday. In it, he makes an outstanding suggestion:
He had a difficult act to follow in Dick Johnston (who preceded him as a winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Elmer Ferguson Award), but Jim raised the bar even higher. I will never forget the class he demonstrated during the playoffs of 1997, when he suddenly became a part of the story, simply for doing his job. How he maintained a sense of calm through that storm continues to amaze me tothis day. Jim simply dug in and stayed on the story.
I am hoping his legacy can be honored some day by the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as well. Perhaps that body can honor the best in hockey journalism in this country with a "Jim Kelley Award."
I can't think of a more fitting tribute to a man whose life and work has drawn praise from all around the hockey world over the last two days. Please pass this along to your friends and let's help raise the call for a Jim Kelley Award.