John K. Samson is best known as the frontman for Winnipeg Folk Band The Weakerthans. He is also a tremendous Canadian, which in turn means he is a hockey obsessive.
Samson is also a pretty cool guy. This past Winter he garnered support to petition the NHL to admit Flyer Legend Reggie Leach into the Hall of Fame. The effort was the subject of the above short documentary called We, The Undersigned by Tim Thompson.
From the YouTube description:
Winnipeg songwriter John K. Samson has been steadily gathering support to get the great First Nations NHL star from Riverton, Manitoba, Reggie “The Riverton Rifle” Leach into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
His song, www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifl
e/, written in the form of an online petition, has collected thousands of signatures from people around the world.
On Saturday, February 23rd, 2013, Samson and a choir of his comrades climbed the steps of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto to perform the song for the last time.
They sang and marched en masse into the Hall, and as the final refrain reverberated Samson delivered a bona-fide submission putting forth Reggie Joseph Leach as a candidate eligible for election into honoured membership in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
We, The Undersigned, a short film by Tim Thompson, documents the extraordinary day.
We are in an era where sports Hall of Fames are turning into parodies of themselves. Every year we hear about a different ‘all-time great’ who won’t be admitted to his or her respective hall of fame due to character flaws. Leach’s bid offers the NHL a chance to reverse that trend.
Samson makes a solid argument that Leach’s spot in the Hockey Hall is well-deserved. Not only are his numbers impressive (666 career points, a Conn Smythe Tropy, and a Stanley Cup), but Leach is an inspirational figure in the First Nations Community in Canada.
Samson and The Weakerthans weave hockey into their music all the time and recorded a spoken-word song called Elegy for Gump Worsley.