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Blues say they've commissioned bronze statue to honor MacInnis

11/16/2007

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues honored 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 pregame 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 Nova Scotia, 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.

MacInnis said he followed Federko's advice before going to
Toronto, to relax and enjoy the experience. Federko, who was
inducted in 2002 and holds franchise records for games played,
assists and points, is a Blues broadcaster.

"He felt he got a little too worked up and all of a sudden he's
back in St. Louis and he's not sure exactly what happened,"
MacInnis said. "It wasn't overwhelming and we had plenty of time
to spend with family and friends."