Hockey Hall Of Fame
Fiorentino picked for Binghamton Hall - March 7, 2003
BY SCOTT LAUBER
Press & Sun-Bulletin
BINGHAMTON -- Roger Neel makes his living by talking, but upon learning he'll be inducted into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame next week, Neel was speechless.
"For one of the few times in my life, I don't know what to say," said Neel, play-by-play voice of the Broome Dusters and Binghamton Whalers from 1978-86. "It's so nice just to be remembered at all, and to be in a class with so many great people, it's more than I could hope for."
Neel and Peter Fiorentino, a defenseman with the Binghamton Rangers and BC Icemen, make up the Hall of Fame's Class of 2003. A banner bearing their names will be raised to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena's roof next Friday night before the Binghamton Senators face the Saint John Flames.
They were elected by a selection committee made up of veteran off-ice officials Win Warner and Ken Sahre and longtime season-ticket holders Hans Petersen, Gwen Terpak and Betty Waffle, and they'll bring the 6-year-old Hall of Fame's membership to 17.
"I took a moment to reflect on my career after I heard about this, and it's just a great honor to be part of the true greats that are associated with Binghamton hockey," Fiorentino said.
Fiorentino, 34, made his mark with a physical style that netted a Binghamton AHL-record 1,581 penalty minutes. He also played in 386 AHL games, more than anyone in Binghamton history, and appeared in 35 games for the inaugural Icemen in 1997-98.
Neel, 50, won the James H. Ellery Award in 1985 as an outstanding member of the AHL media. He didn't miss a game in eight seasons, calling 640 regular-season games.
"I've always thought Roger Neel should've been in there for a long time because he's been very much involved with sports in our community for so long," Senators executive vice president Tom Mitchell said. "Peter is also very deserving because of how long he played for the Rangers and then the Icemen."