Players Eligible for Hockey Hall of Fame Induction

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This is most of the NHL players who have some kind of case for inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame. If you don’t see your pet candidate here, please comment and I will do something about that. (I will either add him or reply that it is a ridiculous idea.)

Things to keep in mind:

  1. No women. Sorry. I hope to get there eventually but I am, as of now, no expert.
  2. Only WHA stars who actually played well in the NHL have been considered.
  3. European hockey players who deserve to be in the Hall (because it is the “Hockey” HOF) but who never had much chance to play in the NHL have generally been omitted because, again, I am no expert.

Without further ado, here is the list. Enjoy.

No-Doubters Borderline: Probably Borderline: Probably Not Don’t belong
Dave Kerr Tom Anderson Tom Barrasso Tony Amonte
Tim Kerr Dave Andreychuk Brian Bellows Dave Babych
Eric Lindros Neal Broten Ralph Backstrom
Sergei Makarov Rod Brind’Amour Lorne Chabot Peter Bondra
Rick Martin Guy Carbonneau Vincent Damphousse Mike Bullard
Ken Nilsson Real Cloutier Kris Draper Sean Burke
J.C. Tremblay Roger Crozier Brian Engblom Randy Carlyle
Sergei Zubov Eric Desjardins Danny Gare Ken Daneyko
Andre Dupont Butch Goring Keith Carney
Theo Fleury Dirk Graham Pavol Demitra
Derian Hatcher Vic Hadfield Kevin Dineen
Anders Hedberg Bill Hajt Steve Duchesne
Ron Hextall Terry Harper Ray Ferraro
Craig Janney Ken Hodge Martin Gelinas
Curtis Joseph Bobby Holik Bill Guerin
Paul Kariya Kevin Hatcher
Olaf Kolzig Doug Jarvis Paul Henderson
Pierre Larouche Andre Lacroix Rick Kehoe
Claude Lemieux Steve Larmer John LeClair
Ken Linseman Reggie Leach Trevor Linden
Brad McCrimmon Rick MacLeish Kevin Lowe
Alex Mogilny Jamie Macoun Craig Ludwig
Markus Naslund Pete Mahovlich John MacLean
Brian Propp Pit Martin Dave Manson
Craig Ramsay Dennis Maruk Bob Nevin
Jeremy Roenick Peter McNab Scott Mellanby
Bobby Smith Rick Middleton Kirk Muller
Marc Tardif Doug Mohns Owen Nolan
Keith Tkachuk Teppo Numminen John Ogrodnick
Pierre Turgeon Michael Peca Murray Oliver
Rogie Vachon Pete Peeters Wilf Paiement
Mike Vernon Mike Ramsey Dean Prentice
Mathieu Schneider Jean Pronovost
Jim Schoenfeld Luke Richardson
Charlie Simmer Stephane Richer
Dallas Smith Gary Roberts
Don Sweeney Mike Rogers
Gary Suter Al Rollins
Petr Svoboda Ray Sheppard
Daryl Sydor Kevin Stevens
J.G. Talbot Brent Sutter
Dave Taylor Steve Thomas
Rick Tocchet Rick Vaive
Garry Unger Pat Verbeek
Glen Wesley
Doug Wilson

Greg Adams

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 14 quality
  • 355G, 388A for 743P, -48 in 1056 games
  • 82-game average of 28G, 30A for 57P, -4
  • 3-year-peak (’90-’93): 82-game average of 34G, 38A for 72P, +15
  • Playoffs: 20G, 22A for 42P, +8 in 81 games
  • Adjusted: 331G, 364A for 695P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 26G, 28A for 54P
  • Traded twice in his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 35 goals twice, 30 goals four times, 25 goals five times, 20 goals nine times
  • Tallied 40 assists twice
  • Scored 70 points twice, 50 points five times
  • 1 All Star Game

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one Runner Up (’94 Canucks)
  • Role player on one World Championship Bronze Medalist (’86 Canada)

Obviously he doesn’t belong. He gets killed when you adjust for era.

 

Tony Amonte, RW

Career:

  • 14 years, 13 quality
  • 416G, 484A for 900P, +96 in 1174 games.
  • 82 game average of 29G, 34A for 63P.
  • 3-year-peak (’97-’00): 82 game average: 37G, 40A for 77P, +7
  • Playoffs: 22G, 33A for 55P, +16 in 99 games.
  • Adjusted: 443G, 510A for 953P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 31G, 37A for 67P
  • Traded once in his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward (’00)
  • Scored 40 goals three times, scored 35 goals five times, scored 30 goals eight times, scored 25 goals nine times, scored 20 goals eleven times;
  • Top 5 in Goals twice
  • Top 10 in GPG twice
  • Tallied 40 assists three times;
  • Scored 80 points once, 70 points five times, 60 points nine times, 50 points eleven times;
  • Top 10 in Points once
  • 1st All Rookie
  • 5 All Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one Final Four (’95 Hawks), Top 9 forward on one Final Four (’04 Flyers);
  • Top 9? forward on one World Cup Champion (’96 USA)

I think it’s pretty obvious that Amonte doesn’t belong in the HoF. He is helped by an era adjustment, though.

 

Tom Anderson, D/LW:

Career:

  • 8 years, all quality (depending on whether he was playing D of LW)
  • 62G, 127A for 189P in 319 games.
  • 82 game average of 16G, 33A for 48P.
  • 3 year peak (’37-’40): an 82 game average of 17G, 40A for 56P
  • Playoffs: 2G, 7A for 9P in 16 games
  • Adjusted: 97G, 226A for 323P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 25G, 58P for 83P
  • Traded twice at the beginning of his career

Accomplishments:

  • Hart (’42)
  • Top 10 player (’40, ’42)
  • Top 5 in Assists once, Top 10 thrice
  • Top 10 in Points twice
  • 1st team All-Star once

Great Teams:

None.

It’s absolutely impossible to know how good a defenceman was this long ago. We have very little info to go by:
no minutes, no +/-, etc. In addition, Anderson never won a championship. On the other hand, he did win the Hart once over a decade before the Norris existed (though it was during the War…). All I can say about him is that he is someone they might want to look at, if only because when he retired he was 5th all-time in PPG among defencemen and 1st in APG in that same category. If the NHL had a veteran’s committee, I suspect they would put Anderson in the Hall.

 

Dave Andreychuk, LW:

Career:

  • 23 years, 17 quality
  • 640G (13th all-time, only 600+ goal scorer not in Hall), 698A for 1338P (27th all-time) in 1639 games (5th all-time); +38.
  • 82-game average season of 32G, 35A for 67P.
  • 3 year peak (1991-’94): 82-game average of 49G, 47A for 96P
  • 274 PP goals which is most all-time.
  • 43G, 54A for 97P in 162 Playoff games; -1.
  • Adjusted: 605G, 645A for 1250P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 30G, 32A for 63P
  • Traded twice in his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’94)
  • 50 goals twice, 40 goals four times, 35 goals seven times, 30 goals nine times, one of only nineteen players to score 25 goals thirteen times (the others are all either in the Hall of Fame or not eligible yet), one of only four players to score 20 goals nineteen times (Howe, Francis, Shanahan);
  • Top 5 in Goals once, Top 10 twice;
  • Top 10 in GPG once;
  • 50 assists twice, 40 assists eight times;
  • 90 points three times, 80 points six times, 70 points eight times, 60 points eleven times, 50 points thirteen times;
  • Top 10 in Points twice;
  • All-Star twice.

Great Teams:

  • Captain of one Champion (’04 Lightning), top 3 forward on one final four (’93 Leafs), top 6 forward on another (’94 Leafs);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Championship Bronze medalist;
  • Top 3? forward on one WJC Bronze medalist

Andreychuk was never a dominant player. He was the greatest garbage goal scorer of all time, which probably tells
you everything you need to know. Admitting him would seem to set a very low standard. Yet he also scored 600 goals and he is the only eligible player to score that many who is not in the Hall already. So the question is, do you keep the 600 goal standard or do you adhere to some other, as yet undefined standard? Because even if Andreychuk is denied
admittance because he was never dominant, that should be made explicit somewhere. I’m sick and tired of this vague Hall of Fame-ness concept that floats around in hockey, where everyone pretends to be able to tell the difference between very good and great as if it was something we all agreed upon some time in the past (but never spoke about). Personally, I think it should be 600 goals or the top 25 goal scorers all-time when the player retires. I prefer the latter because you never know how many games will be played in a single season in 2050.
Frankly I am against Andreychuk getting in except for the fact that he deserves to be in since Ciccarrelli and others are in there who don’t belong. So it would be unfair to keep him out.

 

Jason Arnott

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 15 quality
  • 417G, 521A for 938P, +81 in 1244 games
  • 82-game average: 28G, 34A for 62P, +5
  • 3-year peak (’93-’96): 82-game average of 33G, 40A for 73P
  • Playoffs: 32G, 41A for 73P, +5 in 122 games
  • Adjusted: 456G, 562A for 1018P
  • Adjusted 82-game averages: 30G, 37A for 67P
  • Traded twice in his prime and twice at the end of his career

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 30 goals thrice, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals twelve times (and one of only 28 players to score at least 15 goals in seventeen seasons);
  • Tallied 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 70 points twice, 60 points thrice, 50 points eleven times;
  • 1st All Rookie
  • 2 All Star Teams

Great Teams:

  • Best Forward on one Runner Up (’01 Devils), Top 3 forward on one Champion (’00 Devils);
  • Top 6? forward one one World Champion (’94 Canada).

Arnott has an extraordinarily consistent career – his peak, at the beginning of his career, is barely better than his early ’30s – but he was never more than a Top 6 forward in terms of scoring. We can always ask the chicken or egg question about Arnott’s years on the Devils: would he have scored more on a less defensively oriented team? But even that wouldn’t have upped his career numbers enough.

 

Dave Babych, D:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 16 quality
  • 142G, 581A for 723P, -223 in 1195 games.
  • 82 game average of 10G, 40A for 50P, -15.
  • 3 year peak (’85-’88): 82 game average of 13G, 46A for 59P, -16
  • Playoffs: 21G, 41A for 62P, -6 114 games.
  • 118G, 493A for 611P
  • Adjusted 82-gave average: 8G, 34A for 42P
  • Traded twice in his prime and twice later, left unprotected in expansion draft in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 15 goals twice;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists five times;
  • Top 10 in Assists once;
  • Scored 70 points once, 60 points four times, 50 points six times;
  • 2 All-Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on one runner up (’94 Nucks)

 

Babych technically qualifies for HOF consideration based on his assist and games played totals but he is one of the worst candidates on this list.

Ralph Backstrom, C:

Career:

  • 20 years, 16 years quality
  • NHL: 278G, 361A for 639P, -13 in 1032 games.
  • NHL 82 game average of: 22G, 29A for 51P.
  • 3 year peak (’70-’73): 82 game average: 26G, 31A for 57P
  • NHL Playoffs: 27G, 32A for 59P in 116 games.
  • WHA: 100G, 153A for 245P, -18 in 304 games.
  • WHA 82 game average of 27G, 41A for 68P, -5.
  • WHA Playoffs: 10G, 18A for 28P in 38 games.
  • Adjusted NHL totals: 288G, 380A for 668P
  • Adjusted NHL 82-game average: 23G, 30A for 53P
  • Traded once in his prime, thrice more late in his career and left unprotected in multiple expansion drafts.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’62)
  • Calder, Deneau (WHA Lady Byng)
  • Scored 25 goals in the NHL three times, 20 goals seven times;
  • Top 10 in Goals in the NHL twice;
  • Scored 35 goals in the WHA once, 30 goals twice;
  • Top 10 in Assists in the NHL once;
  • Tallied 50 assists in the WHA once, 40 assists twice;
  • Top 10 in Assists in the WHA once;
  • Scored 60 points in the NHL once, 50 points four times;
  • Top 10 in Points in the NHL twice;
  • Scored 80 points in the WHA twice;
  • 6 NHL All Star Games.

Great teams:

  • Best player on one WHA runner up (’74 Cougars), Top 6 forward on four champions (’59, ’65, ’66, ’69 Habs), Top 6 forward on two runners up (’67 Habs, ’73 Hawks), Top 6 forward on one WHA runner up (’76 Whale),
    Top 9 forward on two champions (’60, ’68 Habs).

You may wonder why I added Backstrom to this list. Well, every year somebody somewhere – likely an old, English Habs fan – demands that Backstrom be inducted. I think this kind of persistent agitation is the kind of thing that got Duff admitted. Well, I just wanted to lay out the case. It is one-dimensional: ‘Backstrom won six Cups (and almost won two more, almost won two Avcos) and therefore he should be inducted.’ However, Backstrom played much of his career in a six team league and for the most storied franchise in NHL history and that is just luck. Moreover, he was never a star on any of those championship teams; he was a secondary scorer or more often a role player. The Hall of Fame is not for players like that. He does not belong. Ever.

 

Tom Barrasso, G:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 13 seasons as #1
  • 369 (15th)-277 (19th)-86 (31st), .892 (68th),
    3.24. 38 shutouts (36th). 17th in minutes played.
  • Playoffs: 61-54, .902,
    3.01. 6 shutouts.
  • Traded once in his prime and two other times

Accomplishments:

  • Vezina, Jennings, Calder,
  • Top 5 Goalie by GPS six times, Top 10 seven times
  • Led the league in minutes once, Top 10 six times
  • Over 40 wins once, 30 wins twice, 25 wins nine times (6th all-time)
  • Led the league in wins once, Top 5 four times, Top 10 nine times
  • Top 5 in Shots Against thrice, Top 10 six times
  • Led the league in Saves once, Top 5 thrice, Top 10 six times
  • Top 5 in Save Percentage four times, Top 10 six times
  • Led the league in GAA once, Top 5 four times
  • Led the league in Goals Saved Above Average once, Top 5 thrice, Top 10 six times
  • Led the league in Shut Outs once, Top 5 five times, Top 10 seven times
  • 1st Team All Star once, 2nd Team twice, All Rookie
  • 1 All Star Game

Great Teams:

  • Starting goalie on two champions (’91, ’92 Pens)

I used to think Barrasso had zero case but he’s got a pretty good one. He was, for a part of his career, one of the best goalies in the league. Of course, he had lots of bad years too. The question is, which is more important, his few great years or his years or not so great?

 

Brian Bellows, LW

Career:

  • 16 years, 13 quality.
  • 485G, 537A for 1022P, -125 in 1188 games.
  • 82-game average of 34G, 37A for 71P.
  • 3 year peak (’89-’92): 41G, 44A for 85P, -12
  • Playoffs: 51G, 71A for 122P, -21 in 143 games.
  • Adjusted: 423G, 466A for 889P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 29G, 32A for 61P
  • Traded once in his prime and twice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’90)
  • Scored 55 goals once, scored 40 goals four times, scored 35 goals six times, scored 30 goals nine times, scored 25 goals eleven times, scored 20 goals thirteen times;
  • Top 5 in Goals once;
  • Tallied 40 assists seven times;
  • Scored 90 points once, scored 80 points four times, scored 70 points eight times, scored 60 points ten times, scored 50 points twelve times;
  • 2nd Team All-Star (’90)
  • 3 All Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Best player on one runner up (’91 Stars), Best or second best player on one final four (’84 Stars), Top 3 or 6 forward on one champion (’93 Habs), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’98 Caps);
  • Top 9? forward on one World Cup champion (’84 Canada);
  • Best player on one World Championship runner up (’89 Canada).

Bellows is an interesting case. His regular season numbers do not impress, especially when we take into account what decade he played in. But he was a consistent playoff performer when he did actually make the playoffs – despite that ugly minus – and so we must wonder if he is a candidate based on his teams’ unlikely playoff success. I say no, but it’s worth discussion.

Peter Bondra, RW:

Career:

  • 16 Seasons, 14 quality
  • 503G (39th all-time), 389A for 892 points in 1081 games, +5.
  • 82-game average of 38G, 30A for 68P.
  • 3 year peak (’95-’98): 82-game average of 56G, 32A for 88P
  • 30G, 26A for 56P in 80 playoff games, +5.
  • Adjusted: 549G (29th all time), 398A for 947P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 42G, 30A for 72P

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Richards;
  • Top 10 Player once (’98), Top 10 forward twice (’97, ’98)
  • Top 10 player once (’98), Top 10 forward twice (’97)
  • 50 goals twice, 45 goals four times, 35 goals six times, 30 goals nine times, 25 goals eleven times, 20 goals fourteen times;
  • Led the league in Goals twice, Top 5 four times, Top 10 six times;
  • 40 assists once;
  • 80 points three times, 70 points six times, 50 points nine times.
  • 5 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one runner up (’98 Caps);
  • Top 3 forward on one World Champion (’02 Slovakia), Top 6? forward on one World Championship Bronze medalist (’03 Slovakia).

Bondra’s peak was pretty good given the era but on the whole he was not a particularly great player and far too one-dimensional to merit much consideration. I think the case people bring against Bure is really the case that should be brought against Bondra. He just didn’t impact games enough, despite his scoring. He was never barely a top player despite leading the league in goals twice.

 

Rod Brind’Amour, C/LW

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 452G, 732A for 1184P, -39 in 1484 games.
  • 82 game average: 25G, 40A for 66P, -2.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 82 game average of: 35G, 52A for 87P, -7
  • Playoffs: 51G, 60A for 111P, +7 in 159 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Selkes (’06, ’07);
  • Scored 35 goals three times, scored 30 goals five times, scored 25 goals nine times, scored 20 goals twelves times;
  • Tallied 60 assists twice, 50 assists four times, 40 assists six times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 80 points four times, 70 points eight times, 60 points nine times, 50 points fourteen times.

Great Teams:

  • Captain and Best forward on one Champion (’06 Canes) and best forward on
    one runner up (’02 Canes), Top 3 forward on one runner up (’97 Flyers)
    and one final four (’95 Flyers), Top 9 forward on one final four (’09
    Canes);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’94 Canada)
Brind’Amour is one award shy of the “Three Awards and You’re In” criterion but whether or not his Selkes were deserved is of course a matter of contention. (I don’t necessarily mean Brind’Amour’s Selkes are in doubt so much as I mean all Selkes are in doubt as the voters have demonstrated they do not always pay attention to defense. I am still working out a method for evaluating past Selke awards. Stay tuned.) Brind’Amour was remarkably consistent over the years, putting up point-per-game seasons as young as 22 and as old as 36. The fact that he became one of the best defensive forwards in the league in addition to this says something about his dedication. But until I decide that he deserved three Selkes I don’t know that I can support his candidacy. Though a great all-around player in his later years, he was never offensively dominant when he was younger.

Neal Broten, C:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 12 quality
  • 289G, 634A for 923P, +18 in 1099 games.
  • 82 game average of 21G, 48A for 69P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’81-’84): 36G, 60A for 95P, +19
  • Playoffs: 35G, 63A for 98P, +1 in 135 games.
  • Traded twice and waived once, all after his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 35 goals once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals four times, 20 goals five times;
  • Tallied 70 assists once, 60 assists four times, 50 assists five times, 40 assists six times;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points four times, 70 points five times, 60 points six times, 50 points ten times.
  • 2 All-Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’95 Devils), Top 6 forward on one
    runner up (’91 Stars) and one final four (’84 Stars), Top 9 forward on
    one runner up (’81 Stars); Top 3? forward on one Olympic Gold medalist
    (’80 USA)

Broten is an interesting case: his best individual seasons are a little spread out and it appears that he actually became a better all-around player as time progressed (which should be expected of great players): he played a minor role on his first ever playoff team as a call-up and quickly became the offensive star on a bad team – when he wasn’t hampered by injuries – but never played a huge role on a playoff team until he was deadline-dealt to the Devils – straight-up for Corey Millen! – at the tail end of his career. I find this interesting and perhaps indicative in an improvement in other aspects of his game not quantifiable by a league that didn’t track ice-time. Incidentally, Broten was the first player to ever win an NCAA championship, an Olympic Gold and a Stanley Cup, so that’s something.

Mike Bullard, C:

Career:

  • 12 seasons, 10 quality
  • 329G, 345A for 674P, -103 in 727 games.
  • 82 game average of 37G, 39A for 76P, -13.
  • 3 year peak (’85-’88): 82 game average of 43G, 48A for 90P, +5.
  • Playoffs: 11G, 18A for 29P in 40 games.
  • Traded four times in his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward once (’88)
  • Scored 50 goals once, 45 goals twice, 40 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals six times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points thrice, 60 points eight times.
  • 1 All-Star Game

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one final four (’89 Flyers);
  • Role player on one World Championship third place (’86 Canada)
Bullard doesn’t belong, but I figured some Flames fan somewhere believes he does, and so I laid out the case.

Sean Burke, G:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 11 as a #1, 4 as a 1A, 3 as a backup.
  • 324W (22nd all-time), 341L (6th all-time), 110 other (16th all-time), 38 shutouts in 820 games played (12th all-time).
  • 2.96 GAA, 3.02 Adjusted GAA.
  • .902 save %age. 6th all-time in shots against and saves.
  • 141.9 GPS (14th all-time).
  • 3 year peak (’99-’02): 82 game average of 26W, 21L, 7 other, 4 shutouts, 2.32 GAA, .919 save %age
  • Playoffs: 12W, 23L, 1 SO in 38 games; 3.32 GGA, .888 save %age.
  • Traded many times.

Accomplishments:

  • Most valuable goalie? once (’01), Top 5 four times (’95, ’96, ’02), Top 10 five times (’89)
  • 30 wins once, 25 wins thrice, 20 wins seven times;
  • Top 5 in shots against four times, Top 10 six times; Top 5 in saves four times, Top 10 six times;
  • Led league in GPS once, Top 5 four times, Top 10 five times.
  • 3 All-Star Games .

Great Teams:

  • Starter on one final four (’88 Devils);
  • Starter on one Olympic
    Runner Up (’92 Canada);
  • Third String on one World Cup Champion (’91
    Canada);
  • Starter on two World Champions (’97 Canada, ’03 Canada),
  • Starter on one WJC runner up (’86 Canada).

Burke is on this list almost strictly because of his longevity. He never distinguished himself but that is at least in part because he was always on bad teams. Now obviously there have been great goalies on bad teams before and I don’t think Burke was ever quite there, though he was important on some weak teams, which should have been worse had he not been there. The other issue is his pretty impressive international play, where he distinguished himself more than once. But we must remember that Canada is always the favourite and that Burke was often not the first choice.

Guy Carbonneau, C:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 10 quality (by points per game, not suitable for his style of play)
  • 260G, 403A for 663P in 1318 games, +186.
  • 82-game average of 16G, 25A for 41P.
  • 3 year peak: 23G, 34A for 57P in 82-games
  • 38G, 55A for 93P in 231 playoff
    games, +8.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 3 Selkes;
  • Top 10 three times (if we take the Selke winner as being among the Top 10 players in the league only)
  • 20 goals five times;
  • 50 points five times.

Great Teams:

  • Captain of one champion (’93 Habs), Top 6 forward on one champion (’86 Habs), role player one one champion (’99 Stars)

Carbonneau is the only eligible player to
have won three individual awards and not be in the Hall of Fame. That is
probably the only thing we can argue on. His offensive numbers are
obviously paltry. The fact that he won three cups over nearly 15 years is
absolutely impressive, but he was a role player on two – albeit a very
important role player. So we have to go by the Selkes. If those Selkes
were deserved – and that takes a lot of effort and research to discover
and frankly I just don’t have the time – then I think it is clear that
Carbonneau belongs. That is because the standard has already been set.
If it were a different standard, maybe there would be an argument to the
contrary. But since he is the only three-time individual award winner
to not be in the Hall, and he was, for a time, the acknowledged best
defensive forward in the league, I believe there is little to quibble
with about his eligibility.
When I write my hockey book, I will take a deeper
look at Carbonneau’s awards and see if I can figure out whether he
deserved 1, 2 or 5 Selkes and then maybe I can give you a better
opinion. As it stands, he should be in.

Randy Carlyle, D:

Career:

  • 17 years, 15 quality
  • 148G, 499A for 647P in 1055 games, -135.
  • 82 game average 11G, 39A for 50P.
  • 3 year peak (’80-’83): 17G, 66A for 83P, -19
  • Playoffs: 9G, 24A for 33P in 69
    games, -11.

Accomplishments:

  • Norris.
  • 60 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • 80 points once, 70 points twice, 50 points five times.
  • 1st team all-star once

Great teams:

  • None

Carlyle’s glaring career minus begs the
question “Riley, why are you even considering him?” Well, Carlyle won a
Norris, and if Mark Howe can get in without winning one, well… But it
turns out that Carlyle’s Norris is one of the most flagrantly bad awards in NHL history. Carlyle’s line that season: 16G, 67A for 83P,
-16. So he was on the ice for at least 99 goals that year (actually a
whopping 167). He was on one of the worst defensive teams in the league
and though that obviously affects his +/-, this is a chicken and the egg
argument: Did Pittsburgh’s badness make Carlyle’s minus worse, or did
Carlyle’s lack of sound play as the #1 D help make Pittsburgh bad?
Either way, why give him the Norris. There were 170 (one-hundred and
seventy!!!) defencemen with a better +/- in 1981. Not having ATOI, we
have no real way of telling how many of these 170 players played a
significant amount of time on their respective teams, but still!!! And
among the highest scoring D that year? Carlyle won simply because he
had the most points. But check out the lines of the next four:

  • Denis Potvin: 20G, 56A for 76P, +38
  • Larry Murphy: 16G, 60A for 76P. +17
  • John Van Boxmeer: 18G, 51A for 69A, -2.
  • Ron Greschner: 27G, 41A for 68P, 0

I know +/- is flawed but that’s a travesty. So I
guess I included Carlyle to demonstrate that just because someone won
an award doesn’t mean they deserved it.
Even after Karlsson’s recent joke of a Norris, Carlyle’s
Norris is still one of the outright worst awards in NHL history. It’s
mindblowingly bad.

Keith Carney, D:

Career:

  • 16 years, 14 quality
  • 45G, 183A for 228P, +164 in 1018 games.
  • 82 game average of 3G, 15A for 18P.
  • 3 year peak (95-97): an 82 game average of 4G, 16A for 20P, +18
  • Playoffs: 3G, 19A for 22P in 91
    games, +4.
  • Traded 3 times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 defensive D twice

Great teams:

  • Best defenseman on one runner up (’03 Ducks).

If Carney has any case, it’s his claim to being the
most important defenseman on the ’03 Ducks. But we all know why they got
that far, and it’s because of their goalie. So really, Carney has no
case.

Wayne Cashman, LW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 277G, 516A for 793P, +281* in 1027,
  • 82 game average: 22G, 41A for 63P.
  • 3-year peak (’72-’75): 28G, 49A for 77P, +26.
  • Adjusted: 243G, 465A for 708P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 19G, 37A for 57P.
  • Playoffs: 31G, 57A for 88P in 145 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10? forward (’74), Top 15? forward (’71).
  • Scored 30 goals once, 25 goals five times, 20 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 50 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • Scored 80 points once times, 70 points thrice, 60 points seven times, 50 points nine times;
  • Top 5 in +/- once; Top 10 in +/- twice.
  • 1 2nd Team All Star, 1 All Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’79 Bruins), Top 6 forward on one Champion (’70 Bruins) and two runners up (’74, ’78 Bruins), Top 9 forward on one Chamipon (’72 Bruins), one runner up (’77 Bruins) and one final four (’76 Bruins), Role player on one final four (’69 Bruins);
  • Injured? on one Summit Series Champion (’72 Canada).

Cashman was very lucky to be drafted by the Bruins.

Lorne Chabot, G:

Career:

  • 11 years, 10 as #1
  • 201W, 147L, 62T, 71 shutouts (11th all-time);
  • 2.03 GAA (4th all-time), Save percentage unknown. Playoffs: 13W, 17L,
    1.54 GAA

Accomplishments:

  • 1st team all-star once
  • Vezina (back when the Vezina was Jennings);
  • Top 5 goalie four times (’27, ’33, ’34, ’35)
  • Top 5 in wins eight times, top 10 in wins ten times;

Great Teams:

  • Starting
    goalie and possibly best player on one champion (’32 Leafs), best
    goalie on one champion (’28 Rangers), best player on one runner up (’33
    Leafs)

Chabot was a star goalie in a low scoring
era (his adjusted GAA is only 42nd all-time). He won the Vezina when it was
still the equivalent of the modern Jennings, so we don’t know if he was
adjudged the best goalie in any season. It’s a tough call.

Wendel Clark, LW/D:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 10 quality.
  • 330G, 234A for 564P, -129 in 793 games.
  • 82 game average: 34G, 25A for 58P, -13.
  • 3-year peak (’93-’96): 41G, 36A for 77P, +1.
  • Adjusted: 315G, 228A for 543P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 33G, 24A for 56P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward once (’94).
  • Scored 45 goals onc, 35 goals twice, 30 goals six times;
  • Scored 70 points once, scored 60 points twice, scored 50 points thrice.
  • All-Rookie, 2 All Star Games (second probably ceremonial).

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on two final fours (’93, ’94 Leafs).

Asking “Does Wendel Clark belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame” is how I determine whether or not Leafs fans of a certain age are sane about hockey. If the answer is “Yes” the person is clearly insane and the conversation should be terminated. Clark was an effective goal scorer when healthy but he never scored very much, somehow managed to have a mediocre year in 1992-93 (I mean, seriously, who does that?) and generally failed to make a big impact on the game, despite what Leafs fans will tell you.

Real Cloutier, RW:

Career:

  • 6 years, 5 quality in the NHL, 5 years, all quality, in the WHA
  • NHL: 146G, 198A for 344P in 317 games, +15.
  • NHL 82 game average: 38G, 51A for 89P.
  • NHL 3 year peak (79-82): 82 game average of 44G, 57A for 101P
  • NHL Playoffs: 7G, 5A for
    12P in 25 games, -2.
  • WHA: 283G, 283A for 566P in 369 games, +133.
  • WHA 82 game average: 63G, 63A for 125P. Cloutier is 2nd in GPG, and
    “2nd” in PPG (see Hedberg).
  • WHA 3 year peak (76-79): 82 game average of 71G, 74A for 145P
  • WHA Playoffs: 33G, 30A for 63P in 48 games, +4.
  • Nordiques traded a draft pick (Denis Savard of all people) to retain his rights when they merged with the NHL; traded once at the end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Bill Hunter (WHA Art Ross) twice
  • Top 15 in the NHL twice (’80, ’82)
  • Top 5 in the WHA four times (’76, ’77, ’78, ’79)
  • 40 goals in the NHL once, 35 goals twice, 25 goals three times, 20 goals four
    times;
  • 75
    goals in the WHA once, 65 goals twice, 60 goals three times, 55 goals four times,
    25 goals five times;
  • Tallied 60 assists in the NHL once, 40 assists twice;
  • 70 assists in the WHA twice, 50 assists four times;
  • Scored 90 points in NHL once, 80 points
    twice, 60 points four times.
  • 140 points in the WHA
    once, 120 points three times, 110 points four times, 50 points five
    times.
  • 1 NHL All-star appearance.
  • 1st WHA All-Star team once, 2nd team three times

Great teams:

  • Top
    3 forward on one WHA champion (’77 Nords), top 9 forward (looks like he
    got hurt) on one WHA runner up (’75 Nords), top 6 forward on one final
    four (’82 Nords)

Cloutier was a dominant regular season
player in the WHA. When healthy, he was one of the top 5 offensive
players in that league. This obviously raises the big question: was the
WHA a minor league? We know the games featured a lot more scoring. But
that alone doesn’t really condemn the league outright. What is perhaps
more obviously problematic is the fact that many NHLers experienced
heretofore unparalleled success when they moved to the WHA (many at the
ends of their careers – Gordie Howe won the MVP in his mid 40s) and most
of the WHA players who moved to the NHL saw their PPGs plummet (usually
halved). This suggests that the WHA really was inferior to the NHL, as
the Hall of Fame certainly seems to believe. But I don’t think we should automatically rule them all out.
Cloutier, unlike many of his compatriots, did not see his PPG halved by
the change of league. Rather he went from being a dominant player in one
league to a point-per-game player (admittedly in the 1980s) in the NHL.
And he did this at the latter stages of his brief career, when he was
plagued by injuries (which helps partly explain his lack of playoff
performances). I’m not saying we should admit all point-per-game players
from the ’80s, but when a player was this dominant in another league,
maybe he’s worth looking at.
Maybe.

Roger Crozier, G:

Career:

  • 14 years, 9 as the #1 goalie
  • 206W, 197L, 70T, 30 shutouts;
  • 3.04 GAA, save percentage unknown.
  • Playoffs: 14W, 16L, 2.75 GAA.
  • Traded once in his prime and two other times.

Accomplishments:

  • Conn Smythe,
  • Calder,
  • Best goalie (if there had been a proper Vezina) once (’65), top 5 goalie once (’66), top 10 goalie twice (’70, ’73).
  • Top 5 in wins three times,
  • Top 5 in GAA twice,
  • Led league in shutouts twice.
  • 1 1st team all-star

Great teams:

  • Best player on one runner up (’66 Wings).

Crozier was, briefly, the best goalie in
the league. When he won the Calder he easily could have won the Vezina,
were it not then the Jennings. And then shortly thereafter he won the
Conn Smythe for the losing side. But beyond that there’s not much to
recommend him. That there’s a joke.

Vincent Damphousse, C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, all quality.
  • 432G, 773A for 1205P, +9 in 1378 games.
  • 82 game average: 25G, 46A for 71P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 82 game average of 39G, 53A for 91P, +5
  • Playoffs: 41G, 63A for 104P, -6 in 140 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40 goals once, 35 goals four times, 25 goals seven times, 29 goals eleven times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists five times, 40 assists nine times;
  • Scored 90 points four times, 80 points six times, 70 points eight times, 60 points ten times, 50 points twelve times.
  • 3 All-Star games.

Great Teams:

  • Best skater one one champion (’93 Habs), Top 3 forward on two final
    fours (’92 Oil, ’04 Sharks);
  • Top 9? forward on one World Cup runner up
    (’96 Canada).

I think Damphousse will continue to come up in dicussion because of his point total – not that 1200 points is much any more – and because of his general consistency through both a really high scoring era and a really low scoring era. Unlike some stars, Damphousse never completely declined – he knew when to stop – never scoring less than .5 PPG in a season. Also, another interesting thing is that even though his best three years were from ’91-’92 to ’93-94, they actually don’t represent his two best seasons – offensively speaking – which were in ’89-’90 and ’95-’96. I don’t think he has much of a case, but I think he’s right on that next level of very good players who just weren’t quite good enough.

Ken Daneyko, D:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 18 quality
  • 36G, 142A for 178P, +80 in 1283 games.
  • 82 game average of 2G, 9A for 11P, +5.
  • 3 year peak (’96-’99): 1G, 7A for 8P, +23
  • Playoffs: 5G, 17A for 22P, +11 in 175 games.
  • 20th all-time in PIM.

Accomplishments:

  • Bill Masterson,
  • Top 5 D once (’97).

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on one final four (’88 Devils), Top 6 D on two champions (’95, ’00 Devils), one runner up (’01 Devils) and one final four (’94 Devils), Reserve D on one champion (’03 Devils);
  • Top 4? D on one World Championship runner up (’89 Canada) and one third place (’86 Canada).

Daneyko’s playoff success stems entirely from his luck of getting drafted by Jersey. But what’s crazy is that his best years came at the same time as he required help for a substance abuse problem. Nuts.

Pavol Demitra, LW

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality
  • 304G (5th Slovak all-time), 464A (3rd Slovak all-time) for 768P (3rd all-time Slovak) in 847 games, +124 (2nd Slovak all-time).
  • 82 game average of 30G, 45A for 75P.
  • 3-year peak (’98-’01): an 82 game average of: 35G, 51A for 87P, +25.
  • Playoffs: 23G, 36A for 59P in 94 games, +3.

Accomplishments:

  • 1 Lady Byng,
  • Top 10 forward thrice (’99, ’02, ’03).
  • Scored 35 goals three times, 25 goals six times, 20 goals ten times;
  • 50 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • 90 points once, 80 points twice, 70 points four times, 60 points six times, 50 points ten times.
  • 3 All-Star games

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one final 4 (’01 Blues);
  • Led 2010 Olympics in
    scoring but team finished in 4th;
  • Top 3? forward on one World Champion
    Bronze (’03 Slovak);
  • Top 6? forward on one WJC Bronze (’93
    Czechoslovakia)

Demitra had a pretty decent NHL career (which might have been better had he and Ottawa got along). He also dominated most other leagues he played in (above a point-per-game player in the AHL, the IHL, the KHL and the Slovakian league, as well as in the Olympics). And I think he has to be reckoned as among the best Slovak players of all-time. But he does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Eric Desjardins, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality
  • 136G, 439A for 575P, +198 in 1143.
  • 82 game average of 10G, 31A for 41P, +14.
  • 3 year peak (’98-’01): 82 game average of 16G, 40A for 56P, +13
  • Playoffs: 23G, 57A for 80P, +16 in 168 games.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D thrice (’92, ’00, ’03)
  • Scored 15 goals twice;
  • Tallied 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 50 points twice.
  • 2 2nd All-Star teams, 3 All-Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Top D on one champion (’93 Habs) and two final fours (’95, ’00 Flyers),
    Top 2 D on one runner up (’97 Flyers), Top 4 D – when healthy – on one
    runner up (’89 Habs);
  • Top 4? D on one World Cup champion (’91 Canada)
    and one runner up (’96 Canada);
  • Top 4 D on one World Junior Championship
    (’88 Canada)

Desjardins never won a Norris and by my calculations he never quite deserved one. But his resume is still pretty spectacular compared to a lot of the other D on this list. Unlike so many of them, he was actually the best defenseman on some pretty good teams. I am actually kind of surprised he had so much playoff success because, when I watched him at the tail end of his career, I can’t say that I remember being blown away. (Keep in mind, I was just learning the sport.) I think we have to give him an emphatic “Borderline.”

Kevin Dineen, RW:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 355G, 405A for 760P, -23 in 1188 games.
  • 82 game average of 25G, 28A for 52P, -2.
  • 3 year peak (’84-’87): 82 game average of 42G, 38A for 80P, +7
  • Playoffs: 23G, 18A for 41P, +6 in 59 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime; left unprotected once after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 45 goals once, scored 40 goals twice; scored 35 goals thrice, scored 30 goals five times, scored 25 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 40 assists twice; scored 80 points,
  • Scored 70 points twice, scored 60 points six times, scored 50 points seven times.
  • 2 All-Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Role player on one World Cup champion (’87 Canada);
  • Top 6? forward on two World Championship runners up (’84, ’89 Canada).

Dineen sort of flamed out after a few decent years. His last PPG season was at 26, only 6 years into his career. It’s safe to say if he had maintained those early numbers through the season when everyone scored, 1993 – when Dineen somehow managed to only scored at a 0.76 PPG rate – he might have had a more memorable career.

Kris Draper, C:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, at least 15 quality (judging by DPS…)
  • 161G, 203A for 364P, +72 in 1157 games.
  • 82 game average of 11G, 15A for 25P, +5.
  • 3 year peak (’01-’04): 19G, 18A for 38P, +21
  • Playoffs: 24G, 22A for 46P, +15 in 222 games.
  • Traded at the very start of his career

Accomplishments:

  • Selke (’04)
  • Scored 20 goals once

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one champion (’02 Wings) and two final fours (’96, ’07
    Wings), Top 9 forward on two champions (’97, ’08 Wings) and one runner
    up (’95 Wings), Top 12 forward on one champion (’98 Wings);
  • Role player on one World Cup champion (’04 Canada);
  • Top 9? forward on one
    World Champion (’03 Canada) and one runner up (’05 Canada);
  • Top 9?
    forward on one WJC Champion (’91 Canada).

 

Until I figure out how to properly evaluate past Selkies, I cannot definitively say whether Draper deserved the one he won, or if he deserved none, or three for that matter. And it remains a chicken-or-egg question whether Draper made the Wings just that much better given they appeared in 5 finals in his career or whether he was just along for the ride. What further complicates matters is that we don’t know his ice time for a whole whack of these playoff runs so his value is a guess. I can’t argue for his inclusion without more information, but based on that – impressive – resume, I don’t think he belongs.

Steve Duchesne, D:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 13 quality
  • 227G, 525A for 752P, +88 in 1113 games.
  • 82 game average: 16G, 39A for 56A, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’92-’95): 23G, 50A for 73P, +22
  • Playoffs: 16G, 61A for 77P, -14 in 121 games.
  • Traded multiple times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 D once (’95)
  • Scored 25 goals once, 20 goals four times, 15 goals seven times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists five times;
  • Scored 80 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points four times, 50 points seven times.
  • All-Rookie, 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 D on one champion (’02 Wings);
  • Top 4? D on one World Champion (’94 Canada) and one runner up (’96 Canada).

The only thing Duchesne has going for him is his peak as an offensive D however that occurred in a very high scoring era – his best year was 1993, of course – and so we can pretty much discount that and him.

Andre Dupont, D:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 14 quality
  • 59G, 185A for 244P, +299 in 800 games.
  • 82 game average of 6G, 19A for 25P, +31.
  • 3 year peak (’73-’76): 82 game average of 8G, 24A for 33P, +41, 6DPS
  • Playoffs: 14G, 18A for 32P in 140 games.
  • Traded once in his prime, once before and once after

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 D twice (’74, ’75).
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2? D on two champions (’74, ’75 Flyers), Top 4? D on two runners up
    (’76, ’80 Flyers) and five final fours (’72 Blues, ’73, ’77, ’78 Flyers,
    ’82 Nords)

Without ice-time and without watching a ton of film, I can’t really say how valuable Dupont truly was to his playoff teams, but he was certainly lucky to get traded to Flyers. Whether or not he helped turn them into a team that made the final three years in a row and four times in seven years is a difficult question. But still, gotta love those guys whose +/- is higher than their point totals.

Ron Ellis, RW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 332G, 308A for 640P, +67* in 1034 games.
  • 82 game average: 26G, 25A for 51P.
  • 3-year peak (’72-’75): 28G, 30A for 58P, +6.
  • Adjusted: 318G, 300A for 618P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 25G, 24A for 49P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward twice (’65, ’70).
  • Scored 35 goals once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals five times, 20 goals eleven times;
  • Scored 60 points once, 50 points five times.
  • 4 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’65 Leafs), Top 6 forward on one final four (’78 Leafs), Role player (by points) on one champion (’67 Leafs) and one final four (’66 Leafs);
  • Role player on one Summit Series Champion (’72 Canada).

I can pretty much guarantee there are old Leafs fans out there who think Ellis was great, but honestly he was never a very significant player.

Brian Engblom, D:

Career:

  • 10 years, 8 quality
  • 29G, 177A for 206P in 659G, +157.
  • 82 game average of 3G, 22A for 25P.
  • 3 year peak (79-82): 82 game average of 4G, 27A for 30P, +54
  • Playoffs: 3G, 9A for 12P in 48 games.
  • 1 2nd team All-Star.
  • Traded four times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Maybe the best stay-at-home-D in the league two years in a row.
  • Led league in +/- once, 2nd best +/- once

Great teams:

  • Top 4 D? on one Champion (’79 Habs), Top 6? D on two champions (’77, ’78 Habs)

Well this is a toughy. If there was a
separate award for defensive D of the year, he probably should have won
it twice. But since Norris voters are obsessed with points, Carlyle won
in ’81 (when Engblom was one of any number of better candidates,
depending on minutes played, of which I have no info), and Wilson won in
’82. I can’t know how much Engblom was playing without watching tape but we have to assume that he played a
lot. His +/- is particularly off the charts for a guy who never scored.
It does appear to be a bit of an anomaly but how exactly do we figure
that out? And who was more important to those Habs? Robinson? Langway?
Engblom? History tells us the former two but I have no sure idea. His
years for weaker teams are far less impressive. And then he had a career
ending neck injury. I have no idea.
This may be impossible to figure out without
ice-time. If we new Engblom was playing as much or more than Langway, we
might be on to something. But we can’t. So I guess we have to leave
this guy out.

Ray Ferraro, C:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 408G, 490A for 898P, -104 in 1258 games.
  • 82 game average: 26G, 32A for 58P, -7.
  • 3 year peak (’85-’88): 82 game average of 28G, 40A for 68P, +2
  • Playoffs: 21G, 22A for 43P, -7 in 68 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40 goals twice, 30 goals three times, scored 25 goals eight times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 40 assists three times;
  • Scored 80 points once, 70 points three times, 60 points four times, 50 points eight times.
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Best player on one final four (’93 Isles);
  • Top 6? forward on two World Championship runners up (’89, ’96 Canada)

 

Ferraro obviously doesn’t belong. Just here for completeness sake. But it’s interesting; he was a really consistent player: his best years were in ’86, ’92, ’89, ’01 and ’95, which doesn’t really allow us to do the “3 year peak” thing properly at all. (It actually makes him look worse, however you spin it.)

Theo Fleury, RW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, all quality
  • 455G, 633A for 1088P in 1084 games played, +145.
  • 82-game average of 34G, 48A for 82P.
  • 3 year peak (’92-’95): 41G, 53A for 94P over 82 games.
  • 34G, 45A for 79P in 77
    playoff games, +2.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 three times (’91, ’95, ’99); Top 15 (’98)
  • Scored 50 goals once, 45 goals
    twice, 40 goals four times, 30 goals eight times, 25 goals eleven
    times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • 60 assists once, 50 assists five times, 40
    assists nine times;
  • 100 points twice, 90 points four times, 80 points
    five times, 70 points eight times, 60 points twelve times, 50 points
    thirteen times.
  • 7 All Star Games, 1 2nd Team

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four
    (’99 Avs), top
    9 forward on one champion (’89 Flames);
  • Role player on one Olympic Gold (’02);
  • Top 9? forward on one Canada Cup
    champion (’91);
  • Top 3 forward on one World Cup runner up (’96) and one WC runner up (’91);
  • Best forward on one WJC (’88).

I think Fleury has the numbers to go in,
if you ignore the whole drug use / anger thing. I don’t think he was
quite as good as someone people (Flames fans) remember him, but he was
clearly an important and occasionally elite player. That’s good enough
for me.

Danny Gare, RW:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 11 quality
  • 354G, 331A for 685P, +161 in 827 games.
  • 82 game average of 35G, 33A for 68P, +16.
  • 3 year peak (’78-’81): 82 game average of 48G, 42A for 89P, +29
  • Playoffs: 25G, 21A for 46P in 64 games.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player once (’80), Top 10 forward twice (’78).
  • Led the league in goals once; scored 55 goals once, 50 goals twice, 45 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scored 80 points twice, 70 points four times; 60 points seven times; 50 points eight times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star; 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’75 Sabres) and one final four (’80
    Sabres);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Cup runner up (’81 Canada), mostly
    hurt on one champion (’76 Canada)

Gare never played a full season in his entire career which means that his totals aren’t so impressive. And he was never a truly dominant player and when he led the league in goals it was because he was playing with Perreault and Martin, a HOFer and a deserving HOFer. (It is also worth noting that he tied for that lead.)

Martin Gelinas, LW:

Career:

  • 18 years, 11 quality.
  • 309G, 351A for 660P in 1273 games, +52.
  • 82 game average of 20G, 23A for 43P.
  • 3 year peak (95-98): 82 game average of 30G, 29G for 59P, +3
  • Playoffs: 23G, 33A for 56P in 147
    games, +8.
  • Traded once in his prime, claimed off waivers in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 35 goals once, 30 goals twice, 20 goals five times;
  • 60 points once.

Great teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one runner up (’04
    Flames), top 9 forward on two runners up (’94 Nucks, ’02 Canes), top 9
    forward on two final fours (’91, ’92 Oilers), Role player on one champion (’90 Oilers).

Maybe you’re saying, ‘why even consider Gelinas?’ The
reason is simple: how much do we value playoff success? (or rather: How
do we value playoff success?). Though he only won one cup, Gelinas has,
like Wesley, had a remarkable amount of playoff success during his
career. He is also known for big goals (remember ’04? He was “the
Eliminator”). But if you look at it with any kind of objectivity, his
presence on so many good teams probably boils down to luck more than
anything else, and his “big game” reputation is pretty false. He is way
down on the list of game-winning goals in the playoffs. And though he
had a similar career to Larionov, Larionov played his best years for the
USSR, so there’s no real comparison. Really I only included him to make
a point: we have to be very careful with playoff stats. Someone like
Gelinas frankly never played enough minutes to be even remotely causal in the
overall, long-term success of all the above teams.

Robert “Butch” Goring, C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 375G, 513A for 888P in 1107 games, -20.
  • 82 game average of 28G, 38A for 66P.
  • 3 year peak (76-79): an 82 game average of 35G, 49A for 84P.
  • Playoffs: 38G, 50A for 88P in 134
    games.
  • Traded once in his prime, waived near the end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Conn Smythe.
  • An elite penalty killer for at least 9 seasons.
  • Scored 35 goals twice, 30
    goals four times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals eleven times;
  • 50
    assists three times, 40 assists four times;
  • 80 points twice, 70 points
    five times, 60 points eight times, 50 points ten times.
  • 1 All-Star.

Great teams:

  • Best
    player??? on one champion (’81 Isles), top 6 forward on one champion
    (’80 Isles), top 9 forward on two champions (’82, ’83 Isles), top 9
    forward on one runner up (’84 Isles).

We’re going to have to assume that Goring
played a hell of a two way game during the ’81 playoffs as he finished
4th (you heard me) in team scoring and had 20 points to Bossy’s 35. But
let’s assume that. Even assuming that the hockey writers didn’t
collectively lose their minds that season, putting Goring in the Hall
for his playoff success seems to me a little like putting Anderson in
the Hall for his. Yes, Anderson had way more regular season points, but
he played his best years in a higher scoring era. Anderson lucked out in
being drafted by possibly the third most dominant team ever and Goring
lucked into getting traded to the second. I also hate the idea of
rewarding any defensive forward for being a minus. Good oversight on the
Hall’s part, I think.
I think Goring’s Conn Smythe will come under review
for my book. He really doesn’t appear to deserve the Hall based on his
lack of importance to a ridiculous team. But I may change my mind (also,
if I knew how much he played, I might change my mind).

Phil Goyette, C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 207G, 467A for 674P, +4* in 941.
  • 82 games: 18G, 41A for 59P.
  • 3-year peak (’68-’71): 23G, 53A for 76P, -1.
  • Adjusted: 219G, 502A for 721P.
  • 82 game average: 19G, 44A for 63P.
  • Playoffs: 17G, 29A for 46P in 94 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime, and once after, and left unprotected in expansion draft after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Lady Byng,
  • Top 10 forward (’64, ’70), Top 15? forward (’65, ’67).
  • Scored 25 goals twice, 20 goals four times;
  • Top 10 in goals once,
  • Top 10 in GPG once;
  • Tallied 40 assists five times;
  • Top 5 in assists twice, Top 10 in assists six times;
  • Top 5 in APG four times, Top 10 in APG six times;
  • Scored 70 points once, 60 points five times
  • Top 5 in points once, Top 10 in points thrice,
  • Top 5 in PPG once, Top 10 in PPG four times.
  • 4 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’70 Blues) and two final fours (’61, ’62 Habs), Top 6 forward on one Champion (’58 Habs) and one final four (’67 Rangers), Top 9 forward (by points) on three Champions (’57, ’59, ’60 Habs), and one runner up (’72 Rangers).

Because of the era he played in, Goyette appears to have been a star when he wasn’t/ And he really was never a major player on all those Cups he won.

Dirk Graham, RW:

Career:

  • 12 seasons, 8 quality.
  • 219G, 270A for 489P in 772 games, +2.
  • That’s an
    82 game average of 23G, 29A for 52P.
  • 3 year peak (87-90): an 82 game average of 29G, 38A for 66P.
  • Playoffs: 17G, 27A for 44P in 90
    games, +10.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Selke,
  • Elite penalty killer for at least 5 seasons.
  • 30 goals once, 25 goals twice,
    20 goals seven times;
  • 40 assists once;
  • 70 points once, 50 points
    four times.

Great teams:

  • Top
    6 forward and captain of one runner up (’92 Hawks), top 9 forward and
    captain of one final four (’95 Hawks), top 9 forward on one final four
    (’89 Hawks), role player on one Canada Cup champion (’91)

Selkes are tough. I don’t always agree
with the ones since I’ve been paying attention and I must say that the farther one goes in the
past, the less evidence we have to judge. A cursory look at the ’91
season suggests tons of players could have won but who knows without
watching loads of tape. Let’s assume he deserved it. That is certainly suggested by
his inclusion on the 1991 Canada Cup team. Pratically everyone else on
that team was an all-star (except Corson). I think Graham’s credentials
rest on two things: his Selke win and the possibility that he deserved
others (and I don’t think he did) and the fact that he was the first
black captain in the NHL. One of the things Halls of Fame are supposed
to do is honour firsts. I think this first, combined with the fact that
he almost won a cup and the fact that he won an individual awards makes
him a reasonable candidate for induction for a primarily non-play
reason.
I have no problem with a more intelligent HOF,
where players are honoured for things in addition to play. Graham could
easily fit into that category.

Bill Guerin, RW

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 429G, 427A for 856P, +51 in 1263 games.
  • 82 game average of 28G, 28A for 56P, +3.
  • 3 year peak (’00-’03): 82 game average of 38G, 34A for 72P, +4
  • Playoffs: 39G, 35A for 74P, -7 in 140 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and twice later.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 goal scorer once (’02).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals thrice, 30 goals five times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals 13 times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scored 80 points once, 60 points four times, 50 points seven times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star, 4 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’09 Pens), Top 6 forward on one champion
    (’95 Devils), Top 9 forward on one final four (’94 Devils);
  • Top 9?
    forward one one Olympic runner up (’02 USA);
  • Top 9? forward on one World
    Cup champion (’96 USA).

I have only covered Guerin because somebody somewhere probably thinks he belongs when his resume clearly shows the opposite. Until he met Crosby, he was a notorious playoff choker in addition to being never being a dominant regular season player. He does not belong. (He belongs in the US Hockey HOF though.)

Vic Hadfield, LW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 323G, 389A for 712P in 1002 games.
  • 82 game average of 26G, 32P for 58P.
  • 3 year peak (’71-’74): 39G, 44A for 83P, +29.
  • Playoffs: 27G, 21A for 48P in 73 games.
  • Traded once in his prime, left unprotected at beginning of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player (’72)
  • Scored 50 goals once, 30 goals thrice, 25 goals six times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 100 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points five times, 50 points seven times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star; 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best skater on one final four (’71 Rangers), Top 3 forward on one runner
    up (’72 Rangers), Top 9 forward on two final fours (’67, ’73 Rangers),
    Top 12? forward on one final four (’62 Rangers);
  • Infamously quit on
    Summer Series Champ after 2 games.

 

Hadfield was, for a brief time, a very good player. But he had one great year and a bit, essentially. At other times he was very good, but for the most part the rest of his career does not impress. And let’s look at the top scorers on his team when he was on fire (in 1972): the Top 5 scorers were Hall of Famer Jean Ratelle, Hadfield, Hall of Famers Rod Gilbert and Brad Park, and Walt Tkaczuk. I am tempted to think that if I was on the ice regularly with Ratelle at centre, Gilbert on the other wing, and Park as one of my D, I would probably have a pretty good offensive season too, even though I can’t skate. And all that this season netted Hadfield was a 2nd All-Star Team nod.

Bill Hajt, D:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 42G, 202A for 244P in 854 games, +321 (23rd
    all-time).
  • That’s an 82 game average of 4G, 20A for 24P.
  • 3 year peak (74-77): an 82 game average of 5G, 23A for 28P, +42
  • Playoffs: 2G,
    16A for 18P in 80 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D (’80), Top 10 D five times (’77, ’78, ’81, ’84).

Great teams:

  • Not
    having ATOI or +/- info for the playoffs, it’s impossible to tell by
    stats alone if he was more than just a top 4 D on one runner up (’75
    Sabres) and a top 4 D on one final four (’80 Sabres)

Impossible to properly assess a guy like
this without watching him. I put him on the list primarily because of
the ridiculous +/-. But that could have been luck: playing on a strong
team for his whole career. Who knows?
Without ice time, (and without watching every
Sabres game of the late ’70s) it is impossible to know how important he
was. But unfortunately I have so little faith in the HOF for actually
putting in a guy who was under-appreciated. Mark Howe is pretty much the
first time they got it right in that regard. So I really don’t know
what to do. Wait for my book I guess.

Terry Harper, D:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 35G, 221A for 256P in 1066 games.
  • 82 game average of 2G, 17A for 20P.
  • 3 year peak (’72-’75): 82 game average of 2G, 16A for 18P, +24
  • Playoffs: 4G, 13A for 17P in 112 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Best defensive D (’64).
  • Top 5 D thrice (’64, ’66, ’75), Top 10 D five times (’70, ’71).
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best D? on one final four (’63 Habs), Top 2? D on one champion (’66
    Habs), Top 4? D on one champion (’71 Habs) and one runner up (’67 Habs),
    Top 6? D on three champions (’65, ’68, ’69 Habs) and one final four
    (’64 Habs)

Without ice-time it is impossible to know what kind of role Harper played on those Habs teams so it’s chicken-or-egg time: did Harper make the Habs that much better or did he luck out by signing with them?

Derian Hatcher, D:

Career:

  • 17 years, 16 quality.
  • 80G, 251A for 331P in 1045 games, +74.
  • 82 game average of 7G, 20A for 27P.
  • 3 year peak (00-03): an 82 game average of 5G, 22A for 27P, +18
  • Playoffs: 7G, 26A for 33P in 133
    games, -2.

Accomplishments:

  • Best defensive D once (’03), Top 5 D twice (’99), Top 10 D four times (’01, ’02).
  • 1 2nd team All-Star, 1 All-Star game appearance.

Great teams:

  • Top
    2 D on one champion (’99 stars), Top 2 D on one runner up (’00 Stars),
    Top 2? D on one final four (’98 Stars), Top 4 D on one final four (’08
    Flyers);
  • Top 4? D on World Cup champion.

I think Derian’s career was better than his brother’s
(see below) but I still don’t see enough stuff. He might have been
considered one of the best shutdown guys in the league for a time, but
he wasn’t the top D on his team (Zubov was). He likely belongs in the US
hockey Hall of Fame (he has been inducted) but that’s it.

Kevin Hatcher, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 227G, 450A for 677P in 1157 games, -27.
  • 82 game average of 16G, 32A for 48P.
  • 3 year peak (’90-’93): an 82 game average of 25G, 45P for 70P, +1.
  • Playoffs: 22G, 37A for 59P in 118
    games, -8.
  • Traded 3 times, once or twice during his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • One of top goal scoring defensemen in the league for much of his career (5th in goals among D during that span) .
  • Scored 34 goals once, 20 goals twice,
    15 goals seven times;
  • 50 assists once, 40 assists three times;
  • 70 points
    twice, 50 points five times.
  • 5 All-Star game appearances

Great teams:

  • Top 4? D on World Cup champion (’96 USA).

It’s funny. I feel like Kevin Hatcher would have at
least one 1st or 2nd team all-star if he played now (if he actually
managed to score 35 goals now). Some people eat that shit up, especially
now, after so many years of low-scoring games. One of the most glaring
problems with Hatcher (aside from, you know, no playoff success) is his
brutal numbers when he was successful offensively: 34 goals and 79
points in ’93 (my grandma could have scored 79 points in ’93) but a -7.
Yuck. Without ever really seeing him play, I can say that he was pretty
brutal defensively. Or everyone else around him was. But you don’t score
34 goals as a D without taking some chances. I’m not sure he belongs
even in the US HOF, but he’s there.

Anders Hedberg, RW:

Career:

  • 7 seasons, 6 quality in the NHL; 4 seasons, all quality in the WHA.
  • NHL: 172G, 225A for 397P in 465 games, +50.
  • NHL 82-game average of 30G, 39A for 69P.
  • NHL 3 year peak (78-81): an 82 game average of 33G, 42A for 75P.
  • NHL Playoffs: 22G, 24A for
    46P in 58 games.
  • WHA: 236G, 222A for 458P in 286 games, +206.
  • WHA 82-game average of 68G, 64A for 131P.
  • WHA 3 year peak (75-78): an 82 game average of 69G, 65A for 134P
  • Hedberg is 1st all-time in WHA GPG and
    would be 1st all-time in PPG only he didn’t score 500 points, the
    requirement to be included on that list.
  • WHA Playoffs: 35G, 28A for 63P in
    42 games, +27.
  • Never traded, but signed with NHL partway through WHA contract.

Accomplishments:

  • Lou Kaplan
    (WHA rookie of the year),
  • Top 5 three times (’75, ’77, ’78), Top 10 once (’76),
  • Scored 30 goals in the NHL four times,
    25 goals five times, 20 goals six times;
  • Scored 70 goals in the WHA once, 60 goals twice, 50 goals
    every year he was in the league;
  • Tallied 40 assists in the NHL twice;
  • Tallied 60 assists in the WHA once, 50 assists three
    times, 40 assists every year he was in the league,
  • Scored 70 points
    in the NHL three times, 60 points four times, 50 points six times;
  • Scored 130 points in the WHa once, 120
    points twice, 100 points every year he was in the league.
  • NHL: 1 All-Star (ceremonial?)
  • WHA: 3 1st teams, 1 2nd team

Great teams:

  • Best forward or best player WHA champion (’77 Jets), top 3 forward on one WHA champion (’76 Jets);
  • Top 6 forward on one runner up (’79 Rangers), top 3 forward on one final four (’81 Rangers).

Hedberg was even more dominant in the WHA
than Cloutier, however he soon bolted to the NHL where, like so many of
his contemporaries, his PPG halved. However, though Hedberg’s numbers
went down, he was still an important player, and by the time his Rangers
made it to a conference final in the early ’80s, he was probably the
team’s most important forward. Again, like Cloutier’s, his career was
ended by injuries. It’s another tough call.
I tend to think he should be in there.

Paul Henderson, RW:

Career:

  • 13 NHL seasons, 9 quality, 5 WHA seasons, 4 quality.
  • NHL: 236G, 241A for 477P in 707 games.
  • NHL 82 game average of 27G, 28A for 55P.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’71-’74): 36G, 31A for 66P, +1
  • NHL Playoffs: 11G, 14A for 25P in 56 games.
  • WHA: 140G, 143A for 283P, -9 in 360 games.
  • WHA 82 game average of 32G, 33A for 65P, -3
  • WHA 3 year peak (’74-’77): 33G, 36A for 69P, -4
  • WHA Playoffs: 1G, 1A for 2P, -4 in 5 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 35 goals in the NHL once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals thrice, 20 goals seven times;
  • Scored 35 goals in the WHA once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals thrice, 20 goals five times;
  • Scored 60 points in the NHL once, 50 points four times;
  • Scored 60 points in the WHA twice, 50 points four times.
  • 2 NHL All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 9 forward on two Runners Up (’64, ’66 Wings) and one Final Four (’65
    Wings);
  • Top 3 forward on one Summit Series Champ (’72);
  • Role player on one Summit Series runner up (’74).
Let’s get one thing straight: Paul Henderson does not belong on this list. But I put him here anyway because there are still people out there who think he belongs in the Hall of Fame. (The linked-to argument is a semantic one: Paul Henderson is famous and it is a Hall of “Fame”. I’m pretty sure by that logic Tie Domi belongs in the HOF.) So let’s lay out the case anyway:
  • For 8 games in 1972, Paul Henderson was a hero to Canadians; he came second on the National Team in scoring and scored some famous goals. But he was also playing with Espo – and / or Clarke, honestly don’t know because I wasn’t alive – and not only is 8 games a terrible sample size but his centreman – whoever it was – represented the absolute best centreman he had in his career – his winger would have represented same – and, amazingly enough, Henderson managed to greatly outperform his career PPG in that situation: 10 points in 8 games.
  • When called to repeat magic in 1974 he mustered 3 points in 8 games.
  • For the rest of his career Henderson was a .67PPG player in the NHL and only a .79PPG player in the WHA.
  • Henderson was a role player on the only good teams he was ever on. He was only ever even remotely close to being the best player on his own team once, in 1972 – and even then he was still 20 points off the team lead – on a team that finished fourth in their division.
  • He did not experience the crazy PPG upsurge that actual NHL stars experienced when they went over to the WHA. Even in a higher scoring league, he remained essentially a second-to-third line player.
  • Unless somebody has evidence of great defensive ability all we have to go on is the offense, that was never great.
I agree that Paul Henderson’s big goal should be commemorated but the man who scored it was not a great player. This ridiculous debate needs to end. It is embarrassing.

Ron Hextall, G:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 9 or 10 as the #1 starter.
  • 296W, 214L, 69T, 23 SO;
  • 2.97 GAA;
  • .895 SV%;
  • Playoffs: 47W, 43L, 3.04, .897
  • Traded three times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Vezina,
  • Conn Smythe,
  • Top 5 goalie twice (’88, ’96), Top 10 goalie three times (’89, ’94, ’98).
  • 35 wins once, 30 wins five times (tied 17th), 25
    wins seven times (tied 14th);
  • Led league in GAA once, top 5 GAA three
    times;
  • Led league in SV% once, top 5 in SV% twice, top 10 in SV% three
    times.
  • 1 All-Star game appearance, 1 1st Team, 1 All-Rookie.

Great teams:

  • Best
    player on one runner up (’87 Flyers), backup on one runner up (’97
    Flyers), starter on two final fours (’89 Flyers, ’95 Flyers).

Like Barrasso, Hextall did very well for a
couple years in the ’80s, when it was particularly hard to be a goalie. Neither was
particularly consistent but it was the ’80s after all. The one edge
Hextall has on Barrasso (besides the Conn Smythe) is that he originated
the now very popular puck-handling goalie style. I think this is
definitely something that should be taken into consideration, over and
above his temper, and his pedestrian regular season numbers. Somebody
had to be the first. The first should probably be honoured.
I think Hextall should get in for the same reason Graham should get in. He was a pioneer.

Ken Hodge, RW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 328G, 472A for 800P in 881 games.
  • 82 game average of 30G, 44A for 75P.
  • 3 year peak (’71-’74): 82 game average of 39G, 54A for 93P, +36
  • Playoffs: 34G, 47A for 81P in 92 games.
  • Traded once before his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 player once (’71), Top 10 thrice ( ’69, ’74)
  • Scored 50 goals once, 45 goals twice, 40 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists seven times;
  • Scored 100 points twice, 90 points thrice, 80 points four times, 60 points seven times, 50 points ten times.
  • 2 1st All-Stars, 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’72 Bruins), one runner
    up (’74 Bruins), two final fours (’69, ’76 Bruins); Top 6 forward on one
    champion (’70 Bruins); Top 12 forward on two final fours (’66, ’67
    Hawks).

 

Hodge’s numbers are reasonably impressive as is his peak and I am sure there are a ton of Bruins fans out there who think he belongs but we need to remember a few things: a) Hodge really only had four good-to-great seasons in his 14 year career, all of those between 1968 and 1974; b) Hodge was a role player until he was traded to the Bruins; c) Hodge’s best years came playing with the greatest hockey player of all time and one of the great centres of the era on a team that would be considered one of the greatest of all-time had they won more Cups. None of those facts argues well for Hodge, a player who really lucked out when he was traded to the Bruins.

Bobby Holik, C:

Career:

  • 18 years, at least 12 quality
  • 326G (9th all-time among Czechs and Slovaks),
    421A (14th for same) for 747P (8th for same) in 1214 games (4th), +115
    (9th).
  • 82 game average of 21G, 26A for 47P.
  • 3 year peak (96-99): an 82 game average of 27G, 38A for 65P, +21
  • Playoffs: 20G, 39A
    for 59P in 141 games, +1.
  • Traded once before his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • One of the top defensive forwards in the league for most of his time in New Jersey.
  • 25 goals four times, 20
    goals nine times;
  • 60 points three times, 50 points six times.
  • 2 All-Star game appearances

Great teams:

  • Top
    3 forward on one champion (’00 Devils), top 9 forward on one champion
    (’95 Devils), top 6 forward on one runner up (’01 Devils), top 9 forward
    on one final four (’94 Devils);
  • Top 3 or Top 6 forward on two World
    Junior Bronze medalists.

Holik never won a Selke. In fact, he never finished higher than 5th in Selke voting. It is endlessly
debatable whether he should have or not. Especially given that he played
half his career before ATOI was tracked and before most other stats
we’d use to judge Selkes were tracked. So it’s a really tough call. And
there’s luck: he got traded to the Devils who just happened to be
reinventing hockey. Yes, he was a part of that. But beyond 2000, he
wasn’t the biggest part of that. So I think he’s one of these borderline
cases that I have to put off until my book. I may have to reconsider if
I can find info that supports his deserving a Selke or two.

Phil Housley, D/C:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 338G, 894A (19th all-time, 1st American, 5th D)
    for 1232P (37th all-time, 2nd American, 4th D) in 1495 games (13th
    all-time, 2nd American, 4th D), -53.
  • 82-game average of 19G,
    49A for 68P.
  • 3 year peak (90-93): 17G, 69A for 96P over 82 games, -11
  • 13G, 43A in 85 playoff games, -19.

Accomplishments:

  • One of nine D to score 30 goals in a season, one of six D to score 25
    goals three times, one of six D to score 20 goals seven times;
  • 70
    assists once, 60 assists three times, 50 assists six times, 40 assists
    thirteen times;
  • One of eight D to score 90 points in a season, one of
    eight D to score 80 points three times, one of eight D to score 70
    points six times, one of four D to score 60 points twelve times, one of
    six D to score 50 points fourteen times.
  • 7 All Star Games, 1 2nd Team, 1 All-Rookie

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on one runner up (’98 Caps);
  • Top 4? D on one Olympic runner up (’02 USA).

A number of people were miffed when Howe
was inducted instead of Housley, as I guess these people would prefer a
different American D in the Hall. But my question is, do these people actually watch hockey? Yes, I saw Housley at the tail end of his career, when he was no doubt a shadow of his former self, but oh my science was he terrible.
Certainly he was a versatile player, but maybe he should have played
his whole career at centre instead. His purely offensive style sort of
worked in the ’80s I guess, but seriously, this is a guy who has scored
the 37th most points of any NHLer ever and yet he is somehow still -53.
Over his career, opponents scored over 1500 goals against his teams
while he was on the ice. That is well over 1 per game, just while he was
on the ice
. Fortunately his teams scored a lot, much of the time. But
frankly I just don’t see how anyone should be rewarding an offensive
defenceman who was minus all the time. I don’t care what his points are.
He was a damned defenceman.
Housley and Howe aren’t even on the same planet.
Housley is definitely one of the top 5 or 10 guys whose stats are
horribly skewed by the ’80s. In another era, there wouldn’t even be a
discussion. However, many of those guys (cough Dino cough) are in the
Hall already. So in fairness, it does seem like he belongs, even though
he does not merit it, as far as I’m concerned.

Dennis Hull, LW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 303G, 351A for 654P, +22* in 959 games.
  • 82 game average of 26G, 30A for 56P.
  • 3-year peak (’71-’74): 82 game average of 35G, 46A for 81P, +26.
  • Adjusted: 287G, 335A for 622P.
  • Adjusetd 82 game average: 25G, 27A for 53P.
  • Traded once near the end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward (’71).
  • Scored 40 goals once, 35 goals twice, 30 goals four times, 25 goals seven times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once;
  • Scored 90 points once, 60 points six times, 50 points seven times.
  • 5 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best player on one funner up (’73 Hawks), Top 3 forward on two final fours (’70, ’74 Hawks), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’71 Hawks) and one final four (’72 Hawks), Top 9 forward (by points) on one final four (’68 Hawks), Role player (by points) on one runner up (’65 Hawks) and two final fours (’66, ’67 Hawks);
  • Role player on one Summit Series Champion (’72 Canada).

Hull had a fascinating career. Never a regular season a star – though a borderline star during one fateful season – Hull had a strong playoff run during and after he peaked offensively in the regular season. Of course his playoff success is skwed by playing for one of the Original Six teams while they weren’t shitty, but it’s still fascinating to me that he could turn into a playoff star after he had theoretically peaked. (The closest he came to being a regular season star was in ’71, but then in ’73 he led the playoffs in assists.) Anyway, there’s no way he belongs.

Dale Hunter, C:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 323G, 697A for 1020P, +98 in 1407 games.
  • 82 game average of 19G, 41A for 60P, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’83-’86): 82 game average of 25G, 52A for 77P, +22
  • Playoffs: 42G, 76A for 118P, -9 in 186 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 25 goals twice, scored 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 50 assists five times, 40 assists eight times;
  • Scored 70 points six times, 60 points nine times, 50 points eleven times.
  • 1 All-Star Game

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’90 Caps), Top 6 forward on two final fours (’82, ’85 Nords), Top 9 forward on one runner up (’98 Caps) and one final four (’99 Avs).

Without watching a ton of tape of Hunter and without access to time-on-ice it’s impossible to know how effective Hunter was as a checking forward and he obviously won’t get in on his offense.

Craig Janney, C:

Career:

  • 11 seasons, 9 quality
  • 188G, 563A for 751P in 760 games; -13.
  • 82-game average of 20G, 61A for 81P.
  • Janney is 15th all-time (1st
    American) in APG.
  • 3 year peak (91-94): 21G, 80A for 101P over 82 games
  • 24G, 86A for 110P in 120 playoff games, -12.
  • Traded five times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward when healthy four times (’91, ’92, ’93, ’94)
  • 20 goals four times;
  • 80 assists once, 60 assists five times, 40 assists
    seven times;
  • 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points five times, 60
    points seven times, 50 points 9 times

Great Teams:

  • Best forward on one final four (’91 Bruins), Top 3 forward on two runners up (’88, ’90 Bruins).

Janney was the American Adam Oates only he
got hurt all the time. It boggles my mind that the Hall goes crazy over
goals but pretty much likes to ignore assists (unless, of course,
you’re a defenceman). Yes, many NHL players have been quite good at
scoring on their own. But countless others have relied on one-timers and
tap-ins to score many if not most of their goals. Bret Hull is in the
Hall but the two guys who allowed him to be himself most were not, until recently.
Janney, like Oates, was the centre for Hull and Neely during some of
their most productive seasons. With Janney, Neely scored 37, 55, and 51
goals. With Janney, Hull scored something less than half of 73, 54 (with
Shanahan also scoring 51), and 57 (again with Shanahan scoring 52). The
temptation with Neely is to say he would have done it anyway. But we
watched Hull play and we know that Hull needed a setup man. Oates was
better at it, it seems, but Janney did a pretty good job himself. I
really don’t think we should neglect someone just because they got hurt.
Incidentally, the only eligible player above Janney on the career APG
top 15 list not in the Hall? Nilsson (see below).
That being said, Janney is still very, very
borderline as there are far more deserving players. And Janney played in
the highest scoring era ever. He is definitely deserving of the US HHOF
but I don’t know about the main event.

Doug Jarvis, C:

Career:

  • 13 years, 11 quality (depending on your definition).
  • 139G, 264A for 403P in 964 games, +121.
  • 82 game average of 11G, 22A for 33P.
  • 3 year peak (75-78): an 82 game average of 11G, 28A for 39P, +20.
  • Playoffs: 14G, 27A for 41P in 105
    games, -5*.
  • Traded once in his prime, and again afterwards.

Accomplishments:

  • Selke,
  • Possibly one of the premiere defensive forwards during an offense-dominated era.
  • Scored 20 goals once.

Great teams:

  • Top 9 forward on three champs (’76, ’77, ’78 Habs), 4th liner on one champ (’79 Habs).

Oh the chicken or the egg: were the late ’70s Habs the
greatest team of all time because they had defensive specialists like
Gainey and Jarvis in addition to their offensive forwards or are
slightly above average defensive players eulogized because they happened
to play for the late ’70s Habs? I mean, it was a new thing, the
defensive forward. If they were the only ones doing it, they didn’t
have to be that good.
As to Jarvis’ Selke, well who the hell
knows. Jarvis won the Selke that year because he was, presumably, the
best defensive forward on the best defensive team (the Caps the year of
one of Langway’s Norrises). That seems totally reasonable in absence of
ATOI, shot differentials, takeaways, giveaways, hits and everything
else. But I’m just not sure Jarvis played that much. I can’t know
without watching games so I have to just say it’s one for the book.
Oh but Jarvis broke Unger’s consecutive games record. So there’s that.

Curtis Joseph:

Career:

  • 20 years, 12 as the #1, 4 as #1A.
  • 454W (4th), 352L (2nd), 96 other (20th), 51
    shutouts (22nd);
  • 2.79 GAA;
  • .96 SV%;
  • 7th all-time in Goalie Point Shares.
  • 3 year peak (98-01): an 82 game average of 66 starts, 35W, 24L, 7 others, 4 shutouts, 2.49 GAA, .913 save percentage.
  • Playoffs: 63W, 66L, 2.42 GAA, .917 SV%.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 goalie five times (’92, ’93, ’94, ’00, ’01), Top 10 goalie another 3 times (’97, ’98, ’99).
  • Top 5 in wins five times, top 10 in wins ten times, 35 wins 3 times, 30
    wins seven times, 25 wins eleven times;
  • Led the league in goals against
    once, top 10 ten times;
  • Top 5 in GAA once, top 10 in GAA twice;
  • Led
    league in shots against twice, top 3 in shots against seven times (only
    player in history);
  • Led league in saves three times, top 5 in saves
    eight times;
  • Led league in save percentage once, top 10 in save
    percentage five times.
  • 2 All-Star Game appearances.

Great teams:

  • Best player on one final four (’02 Leafs), starting
    goalie on one other final four (’99 Leafs);
  • Backup goalie on one
    Olympic Champion (’02);
  • Starting goalie on one World Cup runner up (’96) and
    one World Championship runner up (’96).

The big things against Cujo getting in are a) the
losses, b) the GAA and c) the save percentage. But to those of us who
watched him on the Blues, Oilers and Leafs, this seems ridiculous as he
often was the only reason a team would advance in the playoffs (and make
the playoffs to begin with). This is borne out by the fact that he
finished top 3 in shots-against seven times, the only goalie since shot
totals were recorded to do this. What this means is that he was on not
only bad but some of the worst defensive teams in the league for almost
half his career (over half his career as a #1 goaltender), and frankly I
think that has to count for something. Grant Fuhr is in the HOF because
he was not terrible for the Oilers, but Cujo rarely if ever had the
offense in front of him that Fuhr did. Even adjusting for their eras,
Cujo’s numbers are still way better. I think Cujo unfortunately only looked
into ever playing for a great defensive team near the end of his
career, when he was no longer good enough to even be a regular starter
(he did play forever, relative to many goalies save people like Brodeur,
Burke, Hasek) and I think this stuff matters. Fuhr is in the HOF
because of who drafted him. We should put people in the HOF who deserve
it and I honestly believe – hopefully in spite of
my bias – that Cujo was one of the best goalies in the league for about a
decade, but just never got the award recognition because he was playing
at the same time as Brodeur, Hasek and Roy.

Paul Kariya, LW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 402G, 587A for 989 P, +31 in 989 games.
  • 82 game average of 34G, 46A for 82P, +3.
  • 3 year peak (’96-’99): 82 game average of 52G, 60A for 111P, +31.
  • Playoffs: 16G, 23A for 39P, -7 in 46 games.

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Lady Byngs;
  • Top 5 forward once (’97), Top 10 forward four times (’96, ’99, ’00).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 40 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals seven times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists six times, 40 assists eight times;
  • Scored 100 points twice, 90 points thrice, 80 points six times, 70 points seven times, 60 points nine times, 50 points ten times;
  • Top 5 in GPG twice, Top 5 in APG once, Top 5 in PPG twice.
  • 4 1st All-Stars, 2 2nds, 7 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best skater? on one runner up (’03 Ducks);
  • Top 3? forward on one
    Olympic runner up (’94 Canada), Top 6? forward on one Olympic champion
    (’02 Canada);
  • Best skater? on one World Champion (’94 Canada) and one
    World Championship runner up (’96 Canada);
  • Top 3? forward on
    one WJC champion (’93 Canada).

So the issue with Kariya is, at least in part, the issue with all injured players: would he have been even more dominant had he not had health problems? Our completely theoretical 82-game-average of his peak says so (he missed much of the middle season with a concussion). We should note when Kariya played – his adjusted numbers add nearly 100 points more to his career – and that he was regularly the best player on mediocre teams (something we can accredit to luck). As I have said before, I do not think we can hold lack of playoff success in a 30-team league against a player. The only “bad” seasons Kariya ever had were when he was hurt. Frankly, I see no reason not to include him.

Rick Kehoe, RW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 371G, 396A for 767P, – 79 in 906 games.
  • 82 game average of 34G, 36A for 70P, -7.
  • 3 year peak (’80-’83): 82 game average of 42G, 44A for 87P, -29.
  • Playoffs: 4G, 17A for 21P in 39 games.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Lady Byng;
  • Scored 55 goals once, scored 30 goals six times, scored 25 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 80 points twice, 70 points four times, 60 points seven times, 50 points nine times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • None

Though plus / minus doesn’t actually tell us much it is at least tempting to assume Kehoe was a terrible defensive player. (It is more accurate that he played for a terrible defensive team at a time when the league was all about offense.) Kehoe peaked when the league peaked, having his two best seasons nearing the tail end of his career when scoring exploded after the merger with the WHA. That’s enough for me to discount his two decent seasons.

Dave Kerr, G:

Career:

  • 11 seasons, 10 as a #1.
  • 203W, 148L, 75T, 51SO (21st all-time);
  • 2.15 GAA (6th all-time);
  • Save percentage unknown.
  • Playoffs: 18W, 19L, 1.74 GAA.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Vezina (when it was the Jennings),
  • Best goalie once (’40), top 5 goalie seven times (’35, ’36, ’37, ’38, ’39, ’41).
  • Top 5 in wins eight times, top 10 in
    wins ten times;
  • Led league in GAA once, top 5 in GAA six times, top 10
    in GAA ten times;
  • Led league in shutouts twice, top 5 in shutouts eight
    times, top 10 in shutouts ten times.
  • 1 1st Team All-Star, 1 2nd.

Great teams:

  • Best player on one champion (’40 Rangers), far and away best player on one runner up (’37 Rangers).

Funnily enough, Kerr is ranked by the
hockey-reference player rater as slightly better than Charlie Hodge, who
I didn’t even bother to put in this list because he didn’t strike me as
good enough. But I am sort of surprised at how good this guy was
(relative to the league) and how I’ve never heard of him. Had the Vezina
existed in its current form, he should have won it in ’40, along with
the Conn Smythe. He probably should have won it in ’37 too, despite not
winning the Cup. That’s three individual awards he should have won, had
they existed, which is the magic number for Hall admittance. QED.

Tim Kerr, RW:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 7 quality.
  • 370G, 304A for 674P in 655 games, +74.
  • Kerr is
    10th all-time in GPG and 43rd all-time in PPG.
  • 82 game average
    of 46G, 38A for 84P.
  • 3 year peak (84-87): 62G, 39A for 101P over 82 games (of course, he never played a full season).
  • 40G, 31A for 71P in 81 playoff games, +2.
  • Traded twice at the end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 once (’87), Top 15 twice (’84, ’86)
  • One of fifteen players to score 55 goals twice, one of fourteen players
    to score 50 goals four times, one of nineteen players to score 45 goals
    five times, 20 goals eight times;
  • 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 90 points three
    times, 80 points four times, 50 points five times.
  • 3 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best forward on two runners up (’85, ’87 Flyers) when healthy, best forward on one final four (’89 Flyers)

Kerr managed to play seventy games four
times in his 13 year career. He was constantly plagued by injuries.
Unlike many people, I don’t think we should penalize injured players.
When a guy is scoring a goal in three out of every four games (as Kerr was
during his peak) – even when it’s the ’80s – I think we need to
recognize that, regardless of whether he gets to any “milestones.” We
favour milestones out of tradition, because back in the day, that was
the only way we could measure “greatness.” Well, fortunately, we pay
attention to other things now, and we shouldn’t look down on a guy who only managed
to score 370 goals in less than 700 games. Everyone eligible on the GPG
top 10 list above Kerr is in the Hall. I think Kerr isn’t in the Hall because of a couple of
Hall biases from the good ole days: a bias against oft-injured players
(except #4 of course) and a bias against those who haven’t won Cups
(which made sense when there were six teams, but now doesn’t really make
a whole whack of sense). Kerr belongs in the Hall .

Olaf Kolzig, G:

Career:

  • 20 years, 10 as #1.
  • 303W (25th), 297L (14th), 87 other, 35
    shut-outs;
  • 2.71 GAA;
  • .906 save percentage.
  • 3 year peak (’97-’00): 82 game average of 67 starts, 33W, 23L, 11 others, 4 shutouts, 2.27 GAA, .912 save percentage.
  • Playoffs: 20W, 24L, 6 shutouts, 2.14 GAA, .927 save percentage.
  • Traded at the very end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Vezina,
  • Top 5 goalie four times (’98, ’00, ’01, ’03), top 10 goalie another two times (’04, ’06).
  • 40 wins once, 35 wins twice, 30 wins five times, 25 wins seven
    times;
  • Top 5 in wins three times, top 10 in wins 5 times;
  • Led league in
    shots against twice, top 3 six times, top 10 seven times;
  • Led the league
    in saves once, top 10 seven times;
  • Top 5 in save percentage twice, top
    10 in save percentage once;
  • Top 10 in GAA twice;
  • Top 10 in shutouts
    three times;
  • Led league in minutes once, top 10 in minutes seven times.
  • 2 All-star appearances.

Great teams:

  • Starting goalie on one runner up (’98 Caps).

I think Kolzig may have a better case than Cujo. He
was a goalie on what was often a very mediocre (and occasionally
terrible) Caps team. He was one of the best goalies in the league for a
decade. But there is some part of me that believes Cujo was better and
it must be bias. I don’t know why else. Certainly Kolzig has the numbers
on him.

Andre Lacroix, C:

Career:

  • 6 NHL seasons, 5 quality; 7 WHA seasons, all quality.
  • NHL: 79G, 119A for 198P, -29 in 325 games.
  • NHL 82 game average of 20G, 30A for 50P, -7.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’67-’70): 26G, 37A for 63P, -9
  • NHL Playoffs: 2G, 5A for 7P in 16 games.
  • WHA: 251G (4th all-time), 547A (1st) for 798P (1st), +22 in 551 games (1st).
  • WHA 82 game average of 38G, 81A for 119P, +3.
  • WHA 3 year peak (’72-’75): 43G, 91A for 134P.
  • WHA Playoffs: 14G, 29A for 43P, -11 in 48 games.
  • Traded once in NHL, traded twice in his WHA prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Hunters (WHA Art Ross),
  • Scored 20 goals in the NHL thrice;
  • Scored 50 goals in the WHA once, 40 goals twice, 35 goals thrice, 30 goals six times, at least 25 goals every season he was in the league;
  • Tallied 100 assists in the WHA once, 80 assists thrice, 70 assists six times, at least 50 assists every season;
  • Scored 50 points in the NHL twice;
  • Scored 145 points in the WHA once, 120 points twice, 110 points six times, 80 points every season.
  • 3 WHA 1st Team All-Stars.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on two WHA final fours (’75 Mariners, ’79 Whale), injured on one final four (’72 Hawks).

 

Lacroix is perhaps the poster boy for why the Hockey Hall of Fame has taken and must take WHA numbers with a huge grain of salt. A .6 PPG player in the NHL when he arguably would have been in his prime, Lacroix absolutely dominated the WHA during the regular season but then failed to make much headway in the playoffs. (In fairness to Lacroix, he played on some pretty mediocre WHA teams.) As you know, I am strongly of the opinion that star NHLers who were even better in the WHA should have their WHA success taken into account: players who do not make the NHL games requirement for HOF eligibility because they spent half a decade or so in another league that was maybe not as good as the NHL but was still better than any minor league shouldn’t be ignored because of poor judgement or luck; at the time, nobody could have promised us the WHA would go belly-up so quickly. (As an aside, the basketball HOF does pay attention to ABA numbers.) But Lacroix is not one of these players. His NHL career is pretty unspectacular and those numbers – combined with what looks to be repeated playoff choke-jobs – cast huge doubt over his ridiculous six 100+ point seasons.

Robert Lang, C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 seasons.
  • 261G, 442A for 703P, +55 in 989 games.
  • 82-game average: 21G, 37A for 58P, +5.
  • 3-year peak (’02-’06): 28G, 51A for 78P, +12.
  • Adjusted: 288G, 474A for 762P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 24G, 39A for 63P.
  • Traded once during his best season, waived twice before his prime, and traded once after.

 

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’04).
  • Scored 30 goals twice, 20 goals seven times;
  • Tallied 40 assists five times;
  • Top 10 in assists and top 5 in assists per game once;
  • Score 80 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points five times, 50 points eight times;
  • Top 10 in points and top 5 in PPG once.
  • 1 All Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one final four (’01 Pens), Top 9 forward on one final four (’07 Wings);
  • Best skater? on one Olympic Bronze Medalist (’92 Czechoslovakia), Top 6? forward on one Olympic Champion (’98 Czechs) and one Bronze Medalists (’06 Czechs);
  • Top 3? forward on one World Champion (’96 Czechs), Top 9? forward on one World Champion Bronze Medalist (’92 Czechoslovakia), Role player? on one World Champion Bronze Medalist (’97 Czechs).

Lang was incredibly inconsistent – he had a brief, strong peak and was just all over the place – from dominant to invisible – when it counted for his country.

Steve Larmer, RW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 441G, 571A for 1012P in 1006 games, +204.
  • 82 game average of 36G, 47A for 83P.
  • 3 year peak (88-91): an 82 game average of 41G, 55A for 95P.
  • Playoffs: 56G, 75A for 131P in
    140 games, +21.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder,
  • Top 10 player (’91)
  • 45 goals once, 40 goals
    five times, 35 goals seven times, 30 goals nine times, 25 goals eleven
    times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • 50 assists three times, 40 assists ten
    times;
  • 100 points once, 90 points three times, 80 points seven times, 70
    points eleven times, 60 points twelve times.
  • 2 All-Star Games, 1 All-Rookie.

Great teams:

  • Top
    6 forward on one Champion (’94 Rangers), top 3 forward on one runner up
    (’92 Hawks), best forward on one final four (’90 Hawks), top 3 forward
    on three runners up (’83, ’85, ’89 Hawks);
  • Top 3 forward on Canada Cup
    Champion (’91).

Larmer never dominated. But he was in the
playoffs all the time (his whole career in fact) and went far many
times. This could merely be luck, it’s really impossible to know. But a
safe guess is that he had something to do with it, since he was usualy
one of the best offensive players on these teams. For me, Larmer hasn’t
met any longevity milestones nor did he play (in the ’80s) at any
obscenely high level. So I say no.

Pierre Larouche, C:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 10 quality.
  • 395G, 427A for 822P, -25 in 812 games.
  • 82 game average of 40G, 43A for 83P, -3.
  • 3 year peak (’75-’78): 41G, 51A for 92P, +5.
  • Playoffs: 20G, 34A for 54P, -11 in 64 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward once (’76), Top 10 forward twice (’80).
  • Scored 50 goals twice, scored 45 goals thrice, scored 30 goals five times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals eleven times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 110 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points thrice, 70 points four times, 60 points nine times, 50 points ten times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best skater? on one final four (’86 Rangers); hurt on two champions (’78, ’79 Habs).

Larouche is a tough one because he missed something like 300 games over the course of his 14 year career – nearly 4 seasons worth – but when he was healthy he still managed to contribute: his two best seasons based on PPG occurred 5 years apart and in between he never made it to 70 games in a single season, which suggests he was probably playing hurt. We can’t really assess his playoff performances either, because he only made it into a few games on the two Cup-winning teams he was part of. But then he was the best player on a decent playoff team at the tail end of his career, when he was pretty much done so what does that tell us? Borderline.

Reggie Leach, RW:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 8 quality.
  • 381G, 285A for 666P, +123 in 934 games.
  • 82 game average of 34G, 25A for 58P, +11.
  • 3 year peak (’74-’77): 48G, 27A for 74P, +22.
  • Playoffs: 47G, 22A for 69P in 94 games.
  • Traded twice before his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward once (’76); Playoff MVP (’76).
  • Led league in goals scored once, scored 60 goals once, 50 goals twice, 45 goals thrice, 30 goals six times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 70 points four times, 50 points six times.
  • Leach is tied with Kurri for the most goals scored in a single playoff (and for that playoff he has the 4th highest GPG of the top 100 single-playoff-goal-leaders at 1.19 GPG, the highest of the post-expansion era).
  • 1 2nd All-Star, 2 All-Star Games .

Great Teams:

  • Best player? on one runner up (’76 Flyers); Best skater? on one
    champion (’75 Flyers); Top 6 forward on one runner up (’80 Flyers) and
    one final four (’77 Flyers); Top 9 forward on one final four (’78
    Flyers);
  • Top 9? forward on one World Cup (’76 Canada).
I am one of those guys who likes to look at players whose careers suffered from off-ice issues and / or injuries and say “why are we judging their hockey careers based on luck?” On the other hand, I am also one of those guys who is interested in what UPS tells me is “logistics” during their endless, repetitive March Madness ads: what happens before the “score.” So one part of me thinks that Leach should be re-evaulated given his personal life: we should be very impressed by what he was able to accomplish, becoming, very briefly, one of the best pure scorers the sport had ever seen :.76 GPG in the ’75-’76 regular season and then an incredible 1.19 GPG that playoff – the latter the best since Richard in ’44. But on the other hand he was not much of a player until he met Bobby Clarke: witness Leach’s GPG with the Bruins and the Golden Seals, .24, compared to his GPG with Clarke et al., .5 or twice as many goals per game. Although many of us would like to attribute Leach’s 80 goals in 96 games in 1975-76 solely to Leach, it has a lot to do with the team around him: Clarke, Barber, Bridgman, etc.

John LeClair, LW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 10 quality.
  • 406G, 413A for 819P in 967 games, +204.
  • 82-game average of 34G, 35A for 69P.
  • 3 year peak (95-98): 51G, 43A for 94P over 82 games.
  • 42G, 47A for 89P in 154 playoff
    games, +18.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • +/- award;
  • Top 5 player (’98), Top 10 player thrice (’97, ’99), Top 10 forward six times (’95, ’96, ’00).
  • 50 goals three times, 40
    goals five times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals nine times;
  • 40 assists
    three times;
  • 90 points three times, 80 points four times, 70 points five
    times, 50 points nine times.
  • 5 All-Stars, 2 1st teams, 3 2nd teams.

Great Teams:

  • Top
    9 forward on one Champion (’93 Habs), top 3 forward on one runner up
    (’97 Flyers) and one final four (’00 Flyers), Top 6 forward on one final
    four (’95 Flyers), top 9 forward on one final four (’04 Flyers).

LeClair was good for quite some time, in a
low scoring era, but he was never really great. His best years came
playing with Lindros. Though we should weigh his numbers a little
higher because of the era he played in, he still doesn’t really have
either the longevity or rate standards which we usually look at. On the other hand, he was among the best forwards in the league for a fairly long stretch.

Claude Lemieux, RW:

Career:

  • 20 years, at least 15 quality (depending on definition, as always).
  • 379G, 407A for 786P in 1215G, +13.
  • 82
    game average of 25G, 27A for 53P.
  • Playoffs: 80G, 78A for 158P in 234
    games, +42.
  • Traded four times in his prime, plus one other time.

Accomplishments:

  • Conn Smythe (’95),
  • Three year peak (90-93): an 82 game average of 36G, 34A for 70P, +4.
  • 40 goals once, 35 goals
    twice, 30 goals five times, 25 goals nine times, 20 goals ten times;
  • 50
    assists once;
  • 80 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points four times, 50
    points eight times.

Great teams:

  • Possibly
    the best player on one Champ (’95 Devils), but that’s an award for the
    book, Top 3 forward on two champs (’86 Habs, ’00 Devils), Top 9 forward
    on one champ (’96 Avs), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’99 Avs), 4th
    liner? on one runner up (’89 Habs), Top 3 forward on two final fours
    (’94 Devils, ’97 Avs), Top 6 forward on one final four (’87 Habs);
  • Role
    player on Canada Cup champion (’87) and one World Cup runner up (’96)
  • Top 6 forward on World Junior
    Gold.

Definitely one of the toughest questions ever
because, whether you like him or not, Lemieux was the Big Shot Bob of
the NHL for nearly 20 years. Teams with him did well and good teams
sought him out to compliment their better players. At that point it
becomes impossible to know whether he made those teams just that much
tougher so they won, or whether he won 4 Cups and appeared in more
conference finals than practically anyone else his age (that would be
10, that’s every other year of his career…) out of sheer luck. One of the shocking
things about his ridiculous playoff career is the way he was utilized:
whatever way was necessary. His Conn Smythe is super debatable (especially
given the lack of ice-time info) but what isn’t debatable is the huge
amount of success teams employing him had. And to penalize a guy for
being dirty when it was widely acceptable that that was how you won (if
being dirty is really a crime, why is Bobby Clarke in the HOF?) seems
like the worst kind of hindsight. I hate to say it, but I think he
belongs. Definitely he belongs more than Glenn Anderson (who is in for
similar, playoff-based arguments).

Trevor Linden, C

Career:

  • 19 Seasons, 14 quality.
  • 375G, 492A for 867P, -64 in 1382 games.
  • 82 game average of 22G, 30A for 52P, -4.
  • 3 year peak (’90-’93): 33G, 40A for 73P, -1.
  • Playoffs: 34G, 65A for 99P, +7 in 124 games.
  • Traded four times at the end of his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • King Clancy;
  • Scored 30 goals six times, scored 20 goals seven times;
  • Tallied 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 80 points once, scored 70 points four times, scored 60 points for five times, scored 50 points seven times.
  • All-Rookie, 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’94 Nucks);
  • Top 9? forward on one World
    Cup runner up (’96 Canada);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Championship
    runner up (’91 Canada);
  • Top 3? forward on one WJC champion (’88 Canada)

Linden never quite lived up to his potential and though he was a strong and consistent player for some time, once he declined offensively he fell off a cliff.

Eric Lindros, C:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 10 quality.
  • 372G, 493A for 865P in 760 games, +215.
  • 82-game average of 40G, 53A for 93P.
  • 3 year peak (94-97): 52G, 49A for 101P over 82-games (of course he didn’t play full seasons).
  • Lindros is 18th all-time in PPG.
    24G, 33A for 57P in 53 playoff games, +8.
  • Demanded trade before he even played. Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Hart and Ted Lindsay (’95),
  • Best forward (’95), Top 10 player twice (’96), Top 5 forward thrice (’99), Top 10 forward six times (’94, ’99, ’02).
  • 45 goals once, 40 goals four times, 35 goals five times,
    30 goals seven times, 25 goals nine times;
  • 60 assists once, 50 assists
    three times, 40 assists six times;
  • 110 points once, 90 points three
    times, 70 points eight times, 50 points ten times.
  • 6 All-Star Games, one 1st Team, one 2nd team, All-Rookie .

Great Teams:

  • Best
    forward on one runner up (97 Flyers), best player on one final four (95
    Flyers), hurt during other Flyers playoff runs at the time.

The problem with Lindros is the
ridiculous hype (that will no doubt harm Tavares as well, if he
ever gets it together). The additional problem is his attitude. He
demanded trades so he got the team he wanted, both in junior and in pro.
And he boycotted his pro team until he got the trade. It resulted in
perhaps the most ridiculous trade in hockey – if not North American pro
sports – history, wherein Lindros was traded for a future Hall of Famer
(and better player – though equally oft injured – than Lindros), 4
additional players, most of whom were pretty decent, a first rounder,
futures (which turned into another player and another first
rounder) and cash! It is actually amazing that Philadelphia wasn’t
terrible after this and a lot of it can be attributed, at least at
first, to Lindros. Imagine if Philly had made this deal for Daigle?! Instant worst trade in history (and it pretty much is anyway). But he
still didn’t live up to the hype. The hype said he would be a physical
Gretzky or a more physical Lemieux. Now, the hype isn’t necessarily his
fault, but the way he dealt with it (or rather, the way his family dealt
with it) is. And that wasn’t particularly nice for the Soo Greyhounds,
or the Nordiques and their fans.
But let’s try to put that aside for a
moment. One of the main reasons Lindros supposedly didn’t live up his
potential were the concussions. At the time, this was his fault (he was
the villain after all). We blamed him for skating with his head down.
Can anyone imagine that happening in our current environment? Of course
not. Do we punish Lindros for being injured in a misunderstood way,
before the rest of the world could understand the problem? We shouldn’t.
In the years from ’93, when he entered the league until the end of the ‘
02 season, his last point per game season, he had the 5th best GPG in
the league, behind three Hall of Famers (Lemieux, Neely and Bure), and one future Hall of Famer (Jagr), and Lindros
actually played twice as many games as Lemieux and over three times as
many as Neely over that span. Over that same span, in terms of PPG he is
3rd behind only Lemieux and Jagr, and again he played well over double
the games Lemieux played. So when he was healthy, he was one of the 5 or
so best offensive players in the league for nearly a decade. So, why
exactly doesn’t he belong?

Ken Linseman, C:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 13 quality.
  • NHL: 256G, 551A for 807P, +224 in 860 games.
  • NHL 82 game average of 25G, 52A for 77P, +21.
  • 3 year peak (’83-’86): 82 game average of 26G, 62A for 87P, +26.
  • NHL Playoffs: 43G, 77A for 120P in 113 games.
  • WHA: 38G, 38A for 76P, +6 in 71 games.
  • WHA Playoffs: 2G,2A for 4P in 5G, +1.
  • Traded thrice in his prime and twice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 35 goals in the NHL once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals five times, 20 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 60 assists in the NHL once, 50 assists thrice, 40 assists eight times;
  • Scored 90 points in the NHL once, 80 points twice, 70 points eight times, 60 points nine times,
  • Scored 35 goals and 70 points in only one WHA season.

Great Teams:

  • Best player? on one runner up (’80 Flyers), Best forward or best skater
    on one runner up (’88 Bruins), Top 6 forward on one champion (’84 Oil)
    and one runner up (’83 Oil);
  • Top 12? forward on one World Cup runner up
    (’81 Canada).
Linseman is, like so many players with similar resumes, tough to judge. His stats make him look like he was probably a great two way player, but he played on the Flyers, Oilers and Bruins in the ’80s and my grandmother would have had an incredible +/- playing with those teams. Without time on ice and other info, we can’t know how valuable he was during the regular season as his offense was never elite. But the real issue is the same as it is for Brian Propp (see below): Linseman was a dominant playoff performer and when he wasn’t on the absolutely stacked Oilers he was the star of his team, leading teams 8 years apart to within games of the Cup. In fact, Linseman is one of the few players on this list to have a better playoff PPG than his regular season PPG. Linseman is 50th all time in playoff points while being 213th in games played; i.e. he is 21st overall in playoff PPG for those who have played at least 50 playoff games. (Adjusting that qualifier to 25 games, he is still 22nd overall.) So by the Anderson test, Linseman belongs. Of course, I don’t think Anderson belongs in the Hall: playoff success is impressive but making the playoffs has a lot to do with luck. So this is a real hard one for me.

Kevin Lowe, D:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 16 or less quality.
  • 84G, 347A for 431P in 1254 games, +252.
  • 82 game average of 6G, 23A for 28P.
  • 3 year peak (’81-’84): 82 game average of 7G, 37A for 43P, +42
  • Playoffs: 10G, 48A for 58P, +38.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 D (’82).
  • 7 All-Star Games.

Great teams:

  • Top 4 D? on 6 champions (’85, ’85, ’87, ’88, ’90 Oilers, ’94 Rangers).

Does anyone believe that his insane +/- is
unrelated to his playing for the highest scoring team in league history?
It is so tied to it that without other information (ATOI for example)
how can someone like me figure out by stats alone if he was any good?
All-star games? That’s a toughy, when players I know were pretty great
weren’t selected many times, especially in the ’80s (it must be noted
that the presence of a defensive defenceman at ’80s all-star games is
pretty amazing). I don’t have enough info, but based on the little I
have, I have to say the only reason he would ever be considered is
because of what teams he played for. And that is just luck.
Oh and Lowe is doing everything he can as an executive to not make it in that way either.

Craig Ludwig, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, all quality.
  • 38G, 184A for 222P, +79 in 1256 games.
  • 82 game average of 2G, 12A for 15P, +5.
  • 3 year peak (’87-’90): 3G, 14A for 17P, +27.
  • Playoffs: 4G, 25A for 29P, +31 in 177 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D twice (’89, ’98), Top 10 thrice (’90).

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on two final fours (’84, ’87 Habs), Top 6 D on two champions
    (’86 Habs, ’99 Stars), one runner up (’89 Habs) and one final four (’98
    Stars)

I can’t be quite sure of Ludwig’s role on those ’80s teams – due to a lack of ATOI – so he might have had more of a role and if he did maybe he deserves consideration.

John MacLean, RW:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 413G, 429A for 842P, +42 in 1194 games.
  • 82 game average of 29G, 30A for 58P, +3.
  • 3 year peak (’88-’91): 82 game average of 45G, 41A for 85P, +18.
  • Playoffs: 35G, 48A for 83P, +3 in 104 games.
  • Traded twice after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 45 goals once, 40 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals eleven times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scored 80 points once, 70 points four times, 60 points five times, 50 points eight times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’95 Devils) and two Final Fours (’88, ’94
    Devils);
  • Top 3 forward on one World Championship runner up (’89 Canada).

MacLean is one of those innumerable 400-goal scorers who just never was elite.

Rick MacLeish, LW/C

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 349G, 410A for 759P, +152 in 846 games.
  • 82 game average of 34G, 40A for 74P, +15.
  • 3 year peak (’72-’75): 82 game average of 42G, 47A for 89P, +23.
  • Playoffs: 54G, 53A for 107P in 114 games.
  • Traded once prior to his prime and thrice after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player (’73), Top 5 forward twice (’77).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 45 goals twice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals seven times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists four times;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 70 points six times, 60 points seven times, 50 points eight times.
  • 3 All-Star Games .

Great Teams:

  • Best skater (?) on two champions (’74, ’75 Flyers) and one final four
    (’78 Flyers), best forward on one final four (’77 Flyers), Top 6 forward
    on one runner up (’80 Flyers) and one final four (’73 Flyers).
How much you believe MacLeish belongs in the Hall completely depends on how much you believe Clarke was the reason MacLeish was a dominant post-season player. Though only twice a dominant regular season player – MacLeish had two great years and that’s pretty much it – he was regularly the best offensive player on one of the best hockey teams of his era in the playoffs. And the question someone like me – who was born after MacLeish’s prime – has to ask is “How much of that was due to Bobby Clarke?” I can’t answer that without watching tape, unfortunately. But if MacLeish was offensively dominant while Clarke was less-so and Clarke was somehow failing to live up to his 2-way rep – an idea I think highly suspect – then I think we have to talk seriously about MacLeish’s place in the HOF. But since I can’t make an argument to that effect, I say he doesn’t belong.

Jamie Macoun, D:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 76G, 282A for 358P, +172 in 1128 games.
  • 82 game average of 6G, 21A for 26P, +13.
  • 3 year peak ( ’86-’90): 8G, 28A for 37P, +38.
  • Playoffs: 10G, 22A for 42P, +23 in 159 games.
  • Traded once in his prime, once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D once (’90), Top 10 D thrice (’87, ’89).
  • Top 5 in +/- once, top 10 thrice.
  • All-Rookie.

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on two champions (’89 Flames, ’98 Wings) and one runner up (’86
    Flames); Top 6 D on two final fours (’93, ’94 Leafs);
  • Top 4? D on two
    World Championship runners up (’85, ’91 Canada).

Macoun’s peak – interrupted by a car accident – is pretty impressive for a denfensive D though at least some of the plus / minus is attributable to his playing for the Flames. It’s interesting to see that his assists fell off a lot after his car accident so he might have been more of a force later in his career had that never happened. Still, we are talking about a depth guy.

Pete Mahovlich, LW/C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 10 quality.
  • 288G, 485A for 773P in 884 games, +234.
  • 82-game average of 27G, 45A for 72P.
  • 3 year peak (73-76): 36G, 65A for 101P over 82 games.
  • 30G, 42A for 72P in 88 playoff
    games.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’75).
  • 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times,
    25 goals six times, 20 goals seven times;
  • 80 assists once (which is sort
    of the single season record for a LW, except Mahovlich was really playing C),
    70 assists twice, 50 assists three times, 40 assists five times;
  • 110
    points once, 100 points twice, 70 points three times, 60 points eight
    times, 50 points ten times.
  • 2 All-Stars.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on two champions (’71, ’76 Habs) and one final four (’75 Habs), Top 6 forward on two champions (’73, ’77 Habs).

Mahovlich put up his best years playing
between Lafleur and Shutt on a line that was called the Doughnut Line
because none of these guys were real centres. So he doesn’t really hold
the single-season records for left wing because he was forced into centre
when he played with them. And there’s a huge dropoff in his production
when he wasn’t playing with Lafleur. I mean, look at his career
82-game-average and his peak playing between them. Huge difference.
Personally, I think such an obvious discrepancy makes a pretty good case
for non-inclusion.

Sergei Makarov, RW:

Career:

  • 7 seasons, 6 quality
  • 134G, 250A for 384P in 424 games, +67 (all played
    after age 30).
  • 82 game average of 26G, 48A for 75P.
  • 3 year NHL peak (’89-’90): 82 game average of 27G, 58A for 85P, +22.
  • Playoffs:
    12G, 11A for 23P in 34 games, +1.
  • Traded once.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder.
  • Scored
    30 goals twice, twenty goals four times;
  • 60 assists once, 40 assists
    three times;
  • 80 points once, seventy points three times, 60 points four
    times, 50 points five times.
  • Makarov won the Russian
    league MVP three times, led the league in points nine times, and goals
    three times, prior to joining the NHL at age 31.
  • All-Rookie.

Great teams:

  • It’s too difficult
    to figure out where he was a top 3 or top 6 forward on all his great
    international teams, but I know for a fact he was the MVP of one of the
    WJC Gold Medal winning teams

Basically, if Larionov is in for his
international career, then Makarov should be too. They played on an
“amateur” team when they were clearly pro players, but then why would we expect a dictatorship to play by our rules? Makarov has pretty
impeccable international credentials regardless of how well he played in
the NHL. (And he wasn’t bad for a guy in his 30s, being in the top 50
career PPG for players over 31 and his 3 year peak is the 20th best in NHL history for someone of his age who was healthy enough to play 200 games.) So really, the precedent has been set
and I don’t have a problem with that precedent. I think it’s pretty
obvious that he was among the best handful of players in the world to
not play in the NHL when he was in his prime, and that means he belongs. If the HOF is about hockey, rather than the NHL, Makarov belongs.

Dave Manson, D:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 102G, 288A for 390P, -6 in 1103 games.
  • 82 game average of 7G, 21A for 29P, 0.
  • 3 year peak (’89-’92): 82 game average of 13G, 27A for 40P, +13.
  • Playoffs: 7G, 24A for 31P, +10 in 112 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and four times after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D once (’91)
  • Scored 15 goals thrice; scored 50 points once
  • 2 All-Star Games

Great Teams:

  • Top D on one final four (’92 Oil),
    Top 2 D on one final four (’89 Hawks), Top 4 D on one final four (’90
    Hawks), Top 6 D on one runner up (’00)

Manson was briefly one of the best defensive D in the league but that was very briefly.

Hubert “Pit” Martin, C:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 324G, 485A for 809P, +127* in 1101 games.
  • 82 game average of 24G, 36A for 60P, +9.
  • 3 year peak (’71-’74): 82 game average of 30G, 55A for 85P, +35.
  • Playoffs: 27G, 31A for 58P in 100 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Masterton;
  • Scored 30 goals thrice, 25 goals four times, 20 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists three times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 70 points four times, 60 points six times, 50 points eight times.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’73 Hawks) and one final four (’68
    Hawks), Top 6 forward on two final fours (’70, ’72 Hawks), Top 9 forward
    on one runner up (’71 Hawks), Top 12 forward on two runners up (’64, ’65
    Wings)

Well Martin was extraordinarily unlucky. That’s what strikes me about this career. But also note how one year – 1971 – when he was at the height of his powers in the regular season he totally under-performed offensively in the playoffs and his team didn’t win.

Rick Martin, RW:

Career:

  • 11 seasons, 9 quality.
  • 384G, 316A for 700P in 684 games; +15.
  • 82-game average of 46G, 38A for 84P.
  • Martin is 11th in GPG and
    45th in PPG.
  • 3 year peak (’73-’76): 56G, 42A for 98P over 82 games.
  • 24G, 29A for 53P in 63 playoff games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward twice (’74, ’75), Top 10 thrice (’72).
  • 50 goals twice, 45 goals four times, 40 goals five times, 35 goals
    seven times, 30 goals eight times, 25 goals nine times;
  • 40 assists once;
  • 90 points once, 80 points three times, 70 points six times, 60 points
    eight times, 50 points nine times.
  • 7 All Star Games, 2 1st Teams, 2 2nd Teams

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’75 Sabres) and one final four (’80 Sabres).

I doubt that Martin was ever dominant.
Frankly, most people would say he was always the second best forward on
his team. But his GPG is pretty outstanding: when you adjust it for
games played, knocking out two old-timers, he is 9th all-time. Like so
many others with great per-game stats, he was hampered by injuries. And like many others, the Hall
has chosen to ignore him (now throughout his lifetime, as he has died) because of his injuries and the lack of a cup. But he was the
best pure goal scorer before Mike Bossy (at least if we are to go by
GPG, without adjusting for eras) and that has to be worth something.
Maybe his numbers would have come down to earth if he had played more
but there is no way of knowing. His numbers are what they are. How can
the Hall be comfortable with having 2 of the top 15 career GPG
players on the outside looking in? It boggles the mind.
The reason they are comfortable with the exclusions is because they don’t care about GPG unless it’s 50 in 50. That is retarded.

Dennis Maruk, C:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 356G, 522A for 878P in 888 games, -75.
  • 82-game average of 34G, 48A for 82P.
  • 3 year peak (’80-’83): 48G, 59A for 108P over 82-games.
  • 14G, 22A for 36P in 34 playoff
    games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player (’82).
  • 60 goals once, 50 goals twice, 35 goals
    three times, 30 goals six times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals eight
    times;
  • 70 assists once (Capitals single season record), 50 assists four times, 40 assists seven times;
  • 130 points once (most points by a Capital), 90 points three times, 80
    points four times, 70 points six times, 60 points nine times, 50 points
    ten times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one final four (’84 Stars).

Maruk had one ridiculous season, where he
set the Capitals records for assists and points in a
season. And he did it with very little help (a young Mike Gartner and a
very young Bob Carpenter). And Maruk is among the career leaders for
the illustrious Barons/Golden Seals franchise (1st in goals and I
believe 2nd in both points and assists). On the other hand, Maruk’s one
great year was not similar to other years (he was fully .5 PPG better in
his best season compared to his second best) and he was merely a top 6 forward
on the one playoff team he played on that mattered. The playoff thing
can be excused by playing for the Barons and the ’70s North Stars, but
what can excuse that horrible minus? (Probably the same thing.) In his best year, he still managed
somehow to be a minus 4 (on the ice for over 100 goals that season). His
career PPG might be notable if he didn’t play part of his career in the
’80s. Those “top” things are based solely on offensive numbers, but if I
had the time to take into account other factors its hard to imagine he
really was a top player even in his best year.
Maruk’s year must be some kind of weird serendipitous thing and that’s all. I can’t figure it out.

Brad McCrimmon, D:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 16? quality.
  • 81G, 322A for 403P in 1222 games, +444 (10th
    all-time).
  • 82 game average of 6G, 21A for 27P.
  • 3 year peak (’83-’87): an 82 game average of 11G, 40A for 51P, +60.
  • Playoffs: 11G,
    18A for 29P in 116 games, +23.
  • Traded three times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Best defensive D (’86), Top 5 thrice (’87, ’89), Top 10 D six times (’85, ’88, ’92).
  • Led league in +/- once, top 5 +/- six times.
  • 1 All-Star Game, 1 2nd Team.

Great teams:

  • Top 2? D on one runner up (’87
    Flyers), Top 2? D on one runner up when he was healthy (’85 Flyers), Top
    4? D on one Champion (’89 Flames).

As usual it’s impossible to tell. Of
course his +/- is inflated because he played on good teams in the ’80s,
but he had at least something to do with that (remember the ’80s Flyers
had a ridiculous +/- partly because they were the best or one of the
best defensive teams at a time when nobody played defence). Without ATOI
it’s really tough to know what kind of role he played. If he was the
stay at home guy for Howe and MacInnis, it’s a bigger deal than if he
was the stay at home guy for Crossman or Suter. It’s hard to know.
I still don’t know, though now that he’s dead I am
more inclined to see him in there. +/- is so sketchy that it is pretty
hard to argue someone should be in the HOF for having a
top-25-when-he-retires + without seeing something like +/- shares. Sad to say I think I have to say “no” until the book.

Peter McNab, C:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 363G, 450A for 813P, +130 in 954 games.
  • 82 game average of 31G, 39A for 70P, +11.
  • 3 year peak (’76-’79): 82 game average of 40G, 46A for 86P, +31.
  • Playoffs: 40G, 40A for 82P in 107 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals six times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • 80 points four times, 70 points seven times; 50 points eight times.
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Best forward on one runner up (’78 Bruins), Top 6 forward on two final
    fours (’79, ’83 Bruins), Top 9 forward on two runners up (’75 Sabres,
    ’77 Bruins).

Without seeing ice-time and knowing much about McNab’s defensive abilities (or lack thereof) it’s kind of impossible to decide if he was a more valuable player than his numbers suggest.

Scott Mellanby, RW:

Career:

  • 22 seasons, 14 quality (by PPG).
  • 364G, 476A for 840P, -36 in 1431 games (23rd all-time).
  • 82 game average of 21G, 27A for 46P.
  • 3 year peak (’93-’96): 82 game average of 29G, 30A for 59P, -5.
  • Playoffs: 24G, 29A for 53P, -17 in 136 games.
  • Traded once and left unprotected in an expansion draft once in his prime; traded once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 30 goals twice, scored 25 goals four times, scored 20 goals seven times;
  • Scored 70 points once, 60 points twice, 50 points seven times.
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one runner up (’96 Panthers), Top 9 forward on one
    runner up (’87 Flyers) and two final fours (’89 Flyers, ’01 Blues), Top
    12 forward on one final four (’92 Oilers);
  • Top 6 forward on one WJC
    runner up (’86 Canada).
Mellanby’s inclusion on this list is the perfect illustration of the issue of favouring longevity at a time when improvements in healthcare and nutrition have created a world in which athletes can potentially play professionally for so much longer than they could in the “Original Six” era. And it also illustrates the problem with my theory of “Top 25 at retirement in a major statistical category should be automatic HOFers” as applied to longevity statistics such as games, goals, assists, points and, science-forbid, PIMs: Mellanby was 17th all-time in games played at his retirement. But unless we discover and prove that Mellanby was an elite defensive forward who just went unrecognized by Selkie voters there is absolutely no case for his inclusion. And this suggests to me that all longevity statistics – not in the least games played – are flawed grounds for arguing in favour of inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Rick Middleton, RW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, all quality.
  • 448G, 540A for 988P, +180 in 1005 games.
  • 82 game average of 37G, 44A for 80P, +15.
  • 3 year peak (’81-’84): 82 game average of 51G, 52A for 103P, +23.
  • Playoffs: 45G, 55A for 100P in 114 games.
  • Traded once before his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Lady Byng;
  • Top 10 forward thrice (’81, ’82, ’84).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 45 goals twice, 40 goals four times;
  • Tallied 50 assists three times, 40 assists seven times;
  • scored 100 points twice, 90 points five points, 80 points six times, 70 points seven times, 60 points nine times, 50 points ten times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star, 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best player? on one final four (’83 Bruins), Top 3 forward on one final
    four (’79 Bruins), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’77 Bruins), Top 9
    forward on two runners up (’78, ’88 Bruins);
  • Top 6? forward on one World
    Cup champion (’84 Canada), Top 9? forward on one World Cup runner up
    (’81 Canada).

Middleton is one of those guys whose numbers look impressive until you remember when he played. He peaked when the league did; in his best year he was one of twelve players to scored 100 points. And it’s interesting to note that he had a lesser role on the more successful Bruins teams during his tenure and a more major role on the somewhat less successful teams. Those things combined – in addition to the fact a number of forwards with higher PPGs than him are not in the Hall – suggest that he doesn’t belong.

Alex Mogilny, RW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 473G, 559A for 1032P in 990
    games; +81.
  • 82 game average of 39G, 46A for 85P.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 56G, 56A for 112P over 82-games.
  • 39G, 47A for 86P in 124
    playoff games, -2.
  • Traded multiple times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 1 Richard (tie),
  • 1 Lady Byng,
  • Top 5 player (’93), Top 5 forward thrice (’96, ’01).
  • One of six players to score 75 goals, 55 goals twice, 40 goals three
    times, 35 goals four times, 30 goals eight times, 20 goals ten times;
  • 50
    assists twice, 40 assists seven times;
  • 120 points once, 100 points
    twice, 80 points four times, 70 points seven times, 60 points eight
    times, 50 points nine times.
  • 4 All-Star Games, 2 2nd teams.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’02 Leafs), Top 6 on one champion (’00 Devils) and one runner up
    (’01 Devils);
  • Top 6 or 9
    forward on one Olympic Gold (’88);
  • No idea what role he played on one
    World Championship Gold (’89);
  • Top 6? forward on one WJC Champion (’89),
    best forward on one WJC runner up (’88).

So the big thing with Mogilny is
consistency – or lack thereof. He had phenomenal years and then not so
phenomenal years. I remember a Leafs game – a game 7 no less – which he
won single-handedly with a hat trick (I believe the final score was 3-1,
so he really did win it single-handedly) in a series in which he had been
invisible for the other 6 games. Much of this can actually be
attributed to injury as his PPG didn’t vary so wildly as might be
supposed: ridiculously high in the early ’90s, and then pretty steady
from the late ’90s to the end of his career. It all depends on how many
games he played. But it’s still impossible to shake the experience of
watching him float in losses. He rarely seemed to show up in big games
(though he did occasionally) and he never seemed to recapture the
brilliance of a few seasons he had in the early ’90s (though this has
much to do with changes in the league as a whole), though he did appear to change
his style of play rather dramatically later on (becoming more of a setup
guy to mine eyes, though his APG numbers fail to confirm this). He also
has the distinction of being one of the earliest victims of the
post-lockout salary system, where he was waived into the minors because
of his huge, stupid contract. (But is that his fault?)
A real toughy. At his best, he was not quite as
good as Bure, but he wasn’t always at his best. I have to say he is a
definite Russian HHOF guy, but I can’t quite convince myself that he
belongs in an overall HHOF.

Doug Mohns, D/LW

Career:

  • 22 seasons, 18-20 quality depending on what role he was playing.
  • 248G, 462A for 710A, +10 in 1390 games.
  • 82 game average of 15G, 27A for 42P, +1.
  • 3 year peak:
    • As LW (’65-’68): 30G, 39AS for 68P;
    • As D? (’69-’72): 8G, 27A for 34P.
  • Playoffs: 14G, 36A for 50P in 94 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and once at the end, left unprotected in expansion draft.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 (’67); Top 10 D (if he was playing D: ’70, ’72).
  • As D: scored 20 goals once, scored 15 goals twice;
  • As LW: Scored 25 goals once, 20 goals three times;
  • Scored 60 points once, scored 50 points twice.
  • 7 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward? on one runner up (’54 Bruins), Top 6 forward on one
    runners up (’57 Bruins, ’65 Hawks) and two final fours (’66, ’68 Hawks),
    Top 9 forward on one runner up (’58 Bruins); Top 2 D? on one final four
    (’67 Hawks), Top 4 D on three final fours (’59 Bruins, ’70 Hawks, ’71
    Stars); Top 6 D on one final four (’55 Bruins).

 

Without watching tape – or doing more internet research than I am willing to do – it is pretty much impossible to determine when Mohns was a D and when he was a forward. Hockey-reference’s records don’t exactly jibe with his numbers. I am just guessing above. What is impressive is his versatility; he appeared to switch back and forth depending on requirements of the team. But his playoff resume is inflated because he played much of his career in a 6-team league. So it looks like he had way more success than he did. (A few of those “final four” appearances were first round sweeps.) It’s super hard to evaluate a player like this after all these years. I have no idea.

Kirk Muller, C:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 357G, 602A, for 959P in 1349 games, -146.
  • 82-game average of 21G, 36A for 57P.
  • 3 year peak (’87-’90): 23G, 53A for 76P over 82 games.
  • 33G, 36A for 69P in 127 playoff
    games, -18.
  • Traded three times in his prime and twice after; left unprotected after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 35 goals three times, 30 goals five
    times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals nine times;
  • 50 assists five times,
    40 assists eight times;
  • 90 points twice, 80 points three times, 70
    points seven times, 60 points eight times, 50 points ten times.
  • 6 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top
    3 forward on one champion (’93 Habs), fourth liner on one runner up
    (’00 Stars), top 6 forward on one final four (’88 Devils).

For a supposedly great defensive player,
Muller has an awfully ugly minus. He was never really the star of any
team. In his first great offensive year, he managed to have a terrible
playoff despite his team’s relative success. In his other great
offensive year he won the Cup, but he was playing for the Roy overtime
victory streak team…I just don’t buy the argument that he was an elite
two-way forward.
And I especially don’t buy that he was somehow
remotely near Gilmour’s level. But anyway, I’m sure someone could make a
case to convince me Muller is better than his -146, but I still can’t
buy that he was ever an elite player.

Glen Murray, RW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 9 quality.
  • 337G, 314A for 651P, +14 in 1009 games.
  • 82 game average: 27G, 25A for 53P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’01-’04): 40G, 36A for 75P, +19.
  • Ajusted: 369G, 335A for 704P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 30G, 27A for 57P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’02, ’03).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, 30 goals thrice, 25 goals six times, 20 goals seven times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scoerd 90 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points five times, 50 points six times.
  • 2 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward (by points) on one final four (’92 Bruins), Top 9 foward (by points) on one final four (’96 Pens);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’04 Canada).

Murray was, very briefly, a star in the league. And I think that can be attributed wholly to Joe Thornton, as for most of the rest of his career, Murray didn’t not score very often.

Markus Naslund, LW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 395G, 474P in 896 games, +6 in 1117 games.
  • 82 game average of 29G, 34A for 64P, 0.
  • 3 year peak (’01-’04): 42G, 53A for 95P.
  • Playoffs 14G, 22A for 36P, -7 in 52 games.
  • Traded once early on.

Accomplishments:

  • Lindsay;
  • Best forward (’03), Top 5 forward thrice (’02, ’04).
  • Scored 45 goals, scored 40 goals thrice, scored 35 goals five times, scored 30 goals six times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 50 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points thrice, scored 70 points five times, scored 60 points eight times, scored 50 points ten times.
  • 3 1st All-Stars, 5 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3? forward on one World Championship runner up (’97 Sweden) and two
    third places (’99, ’02 Sweden);
  • Top 3? forward on two WJC runners up
    (’92, ’93 Sweden).

Though his career doesn’t look so great overall and he never had success in the playoffs Naslund was, for a time, probably the best winger in the league, if not the best player. We can excuse the lack of playoff success because the Canucks never had a good enough goalie. He had some other bad luck: he missed out on Sweden’s best international team ever otherwise he would have some international success to trumpet. Also, over the five years he played in Sweden he was a PPG player, whether he was a teen or in his late 30s. I think if we are going to put the best players in the league in the Hall of Fame, Naslund has a decent case for inclusion based on the half decade at the beginning of this century when he was among the very best players in the world and one season when he was likely the best.

Bob Nevin, RW:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 307G, 419A for 726P, +85 in 1128 games.
  • 82 game average of 22G, 30A for 52P, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’65-’68): 82 game average of 30G, 34A for 64P
  • Playoffs: 16G, 18P for 34P in 84 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime, left unprotected after his prime

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward once (’66)
  • Scored 30 goals twice, 25 goals four times, 20 goals nine times; tallied 40 assists twice; Scored 70 points once, 60 poiints twice, 50 points seven times.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’67 Rangers), Top 6 forward on one
    final four (’71 Rangers); Top 9 forward on two champions (’62, ’63
    Leafs) and one final four (’61 Leafs).

Not a chance in hell.

Bernie Nicholls, C:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 475G, 734A for 1209P in 1128 games; -38.
  • 82-game average of 35G, 53A for 88P.
  • 3 year peak (’87-’90): 51G, 72A for 123P over 82-games.
  • 42G, 72A for 114P in 118 playoff games, -4.
  • Traded thrice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 player (’89), Top 10 forward (’90).
  • One of eight players to score 70 goals, 45 goals twice, 40 goals three
    times, 35 goals five times, 30 goals seven times, 25 goals nine times,
    20 goals eleven times;
  • 80 assists once, 70 assists twice, 60 assists
    three times, 50 assists five times, 40 assists ten times; one of five
    players to score 150 points, 110 points twice, 100 points three times,
    90 points five times,
  • 80 points six times, 70 points eight times, 60
    points ten times, 50 points twelve times.
  • 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on three final fours (’92 Oilers, ’94 Devils, ’95 Hawks).

I don’t for a second believe that
Nicholls is a Hall of Famer. (I mean look when his peak occurred: when
Gretzky showed up; and if you break it down further: when he was traded
to the Rangers his production dropped dramatically. Coincidence?) But
there is a significant portion of the population who keeps bringing him
up as a candidate (if you are stupid like me and listen to sports radio
in Canada you get exposed to them on a daily basis). They may screw up
his stats (someone said once that he was next in PPG after Lemieux,
which was hilarious…I cried) but they still insist that he and his 70
goal, 150 point season belong in the Hall. Like Maruk, he had one
great year, but also like Maruk he managed to be a minus player (over
his career, not in his best season) despite being more than a point per
game scorer (Maruk was slightly less efficient, so not quite like
Maruk). This happens because of the ridiculous scoring in the ’80s.
Nicholls was never a star (even during his best year someone else on his team was better, unlike Maruk’s best year) and he never participated in a
successful playoff run, despite being on some decent teams (though he
had the misfortune of being traded before some successful runs).
Nicholls never participated at the international level, which may
indicate what Hockey Canada thought of him (if Nicholls was really so
good, why did he never make a Canadian national team?). Can someone give
me a good reason why this guy belongs in the Hall without fudging his
stats? No, they can’t.
Nicholls’ absolutely incredible year sticks in one
generation’s mind like…oh I don’t know. But it’s there and it won’t go
away. And that’s frustrating because if you look at his non-Gretzky
years, they aren’t very exciting. Moreover, his second best season came
playing with Dionne before he was done (Nicholls has 100 points, Dionne
126). So seriously, even when Nicholls was supposedly great, he wasn’t
even the best forward on his team. This is such a silly argument.

Kent Nilsson, C:

Career:

  • 9 NHL seasons, 7 quality; 2 WHA seasons, both quality.
  • 264G, 422A for 686P in 553 games, -20.
  • 82-game average of 39G, 62A for 101P. Nilsson is 10th all-time in APG
    and 11th all-time in PPG.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’80-’83): 82 game average of 50G, 67A for 117P.
  • 11G, 41A for 52P in 59 playoff games, +11.
  • WHA: 81G, 133A for 214P in 158 games, +28.
  • 107 points 82 games.
  • 5G, 19A for 24 points in 19 WHA playoff games, +1.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • NHL: Top 10 player (’81).
  • WHA: Top 5 or 10 once (’79), top 10 another time (’78).
  • Lou Kaplan (WHA Calder),
  • 45 goals in the NHL twice, 40 goals three times, 35 goals four times, 30
    goals five times, 25 goals six times;
  • 40 goals in the WHA once, 35 goals both seasons;
  • 80 assists in the NHL once (Flames single season record), 60
    assists twice, 50 assists four times, 40 assists seven times;
  • 60 assists in the WHA both seasons.
  • 130 points
    in the NHL once (Flames single season record), 100 points twice, 90 points four times, 80 points
    five times, 60 points seven times, 50 points eight times.
  • 100 points in the WHA both seasons.
  • 2 NHL All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top
    6 forward on one Champion (’87 Oilers), top 6 forward final four (’81
    Flames);
  • Top 6 forward on two WHA Champions (’78, ’79 Jets);
  • No idea of
    his importance on many international teams.

Nilsson was a star in the WHA but by no
means dominant, but unlike virtually all WHA players, he was actually
better – at least at his peak – in the NHL. I think that has to count
for something. He then chose to play his declining years in Europe,
briefly attempting a comeback years later (which can’t have helped his
legacy). This wasn’t necessarily because he couldn’t play in the NHL, as
he won the SEL’s MVP a couple years after leaving the NHL. It seems that once
he won his cup he just up and left. Nilsson didn’t play enough NHL games
for most people, I’m sure. (He actually didn’t play what is
considered the requirement: 700, just like Tim Kerr and Rick Martin.) As a result, it’s
tough to judge whether his gaudy regular season APG and PPG are for
real. If we accept them, it’s hard to argue against his inclusion
(except for that nasty minus, which seems to be entirely attributable to
one bad season – 80 points in 67 games but -24) but if they aren’t for
real then what do we do? Is he just yet another regular season star of
the ’80s who doesn’t belong? If he was a consistently minus player I
might make a different case, but I am going to say that those numbers
represent his prime, and so they are genuine. Put it this
way, regardless of the league he played in, he was over a point a game
player. That has to count for something.I still think Nilsson was a HOF player. But he
confuses the HOF because he played in too many leagues. He was clearly
better than most if not all WHA players who moved on to the NHL (save
Mark Howe, of course) but he also clearly wanted to play in his home
country, perhaps because of injury issues (beats me). His 9 NHL years
compare favourably with Frank Mahovlich’s best 9 years…and Shanny’s.
But I think he should be in the HOF for his whole career, not just his NHL career.

Owen Nolan, RW:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 422G, 463A for 885P, -40 in 1200 games.
  • 82 game average of 29G, 32A for 61P, -3.
  • 3 year peak (’99-’02): 35G, 42A for 77P, +2.
  • Playoffs: 21G, 19A for 40P, -14 in 65 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward once (’00), Top 10 forward twice (’95).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals thrice, 30 goals six times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 80 points once, scored 70 points thrice, scored 60 points six times, scored 50 points seven times.
  • 5 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 9? forward on one Olympic champion (’02 Canada);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’97 Canada).

I think Nolan has to be looked at as a bit of a bust. Look at who was drafted in his spot in the three years before and after him: Turgeon, Modano, Mats, Lindros, Hamrlik and Daigle. Four of those guys were franchise players. Yes, Nolan had a much better career than Daigle. (It is a bit of a debate of who had the better career between Nolan and Hamrlik though, without looking at the numbers, I am willing to say Nolan.) But when you draft a guy #1 you want a franchise guy. Nolan was not that.

Teppo Numminen, D:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 18 quality.
  • 117G, 250A for 637P in 1372 games (most by a Finn, 3rd most by a European – Hamrlik just passed him), +56.
  • 82 game average of 7G, 31A for 38P.
  • 3 year peak (’97-’00): an 82 game av10G, 35A for 45P, +16.
  • Playoffs: 9G, 14A for 23P
    in 82 games, +2.
  • Traded once at the end of his prime .

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D (’92), Top 10 twice (’98).
  • Top 10 in +/- once.
  • 3 All-star appearances.

Great teams:

  • Top
    4 D on one final four (’07 Sabres), #5 D on one final four (’06
    Sabres);
  • Top 2 or 4 D on two Olympic runners up and one bronze;
  • Top 2 or
    4 D on 1 World Cup runner up and one bronze;
  • Top 2 or 4 D on one World
    Junior Bronze.

The question of Numminen is really two questions: how
much do we value longevity and how much do we value national stars?
Numminen is undoubtedly the greatest Finnish defenseman of all-time. The
only other guy who comes close is Timonen (who may well usurp him in
that category by the time his career wraps up). Numinen was also, at the
time of his retirement, the leader in games played amongst all European
players (he was since passed by Lidstrom, Hamrlik and Teemu). So this brings up two
questions? Does Numminen, despite his averageness, belong in the HOF
because, at the time of his retirement, he was the all-time leader
amongst non-North Americans in games played? Does he belong in the HOF
because there has never been a better Finnish D? They are important
questions because the Hall traditionally values (I would say
over-values) longevity and perhaps undervalues cultural difference. So
let’s put forward a suggestion or two: longevity milestones have their
own section AND countries have their own section. In this way Numminen
would be inducted in the longevity section, then replaced by Lidstrom,
and in the Finnish section as part of the all-time Finnish team of
Kurri, Selanne, Sandstrom or Koivu, and Timonen.

John Ogrodnick, LW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12 years.
  • 402G, 425A for 827P, -51 in 928 games.
  • 82 game of average 35G, 38A for 73P, -5.
  • 3 year peak (’82-’85): 82 game average of 51G, 48A for 99P, +17.
  • Playoffs: 18G, 8A for 26P, -16 in 41 games.
  • Traded twice in the same year in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward once (’85).
  • Scored 55 goals once, 40 goals four times, 35 goals six, 30 goals seven times, 28 goals eight times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 50 assists, 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 100 points once, 80 points twice, 70 points six times, 60 points seven times, 50 points ten times.
  • One 1st All-Star, 5 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • None

Ogrodnick had a reasonably impressive peak but that peak was literrally it. Even though he played in the highest scoring era ever he somehow only managed to be above 1PPG for 3 seasons, on bad teams.

Murray Oliver, C:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 17 quality.
  • Career: 272G, 454A for 728P, -18* in 1127 games.
  • 82 game average of 20G, 33A for 53P, -1.
  • 3 year peak (’61-’64): 82 game average of 25G, 45A for 71P
  • Playoffs: 9G, 16A for 25P in 35 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward once (’64).
  • Scored 25 goals once, scored 20 goals five tones;
  • Tallied 40 assists thrice;
  • Scored 60 points thrice, 50 points five times.
  • 5 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’71 Stars); Top 12? forward one one final four (’60 Wings).

Oliver was not much more than a secondary offensive player in his career.

Wilf Paiement, RW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 356G, 458A for 814P, -140 in 946 games.
  • 82 game average of 31G, 40A for 71P, -12.
  • 3 year peak (’79-’82): 82 game average of 34G, 53A for 87P, -12.
  • Playoffs: 18G, 17A for 35P in 69 games.
  • Traded thrice in his prime, once after; waived near end of career.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’77).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals thrice, 30 goals five times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 50 assists twice, 40 assists five times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 80 points thrice, 70 points six times, 60 points eight times, 50 points nine times.
  • 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on two final fours (’82 Nords, ’86 Rangers), Top 9 forward
    on one final four (’85 Nords);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Championship
    third place (’78 Canada).
Paiement was a remarkably consistent player but his numbers are inflated by his era and he was never dominant. (His best year came in a year when many players had their best years: his career best 97 points in ’81 was tied for 13th in the league that season.)

James Patrick, D:

Career:

  • 21 seasons, 19 quality.
  • 149G, 490A for 649P, 104+ in 1280 games.
  • 82 game average: 10G, 31A for 41P, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’89-’92): 14G, 54A for 68P, +12.
  • Adjusted: 134G, 445A for 579P.
  • Adjusted 82 games: 9G, 29A for 37P.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 defensive D (’92).
  • Scored 15 goals once;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • Scored 70 points once, 60 points twice, 50 points five times;
  • Top 5 +/- once.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D (by points) on one final four (’86 Rangers), Depth D on one runner up (’99 Sabres);
  • Depth? D on one Canada Cup Champion (’87 Canada);
  • Top 4? D on one World Champion runner up (’89 Canada), Depth? D on one World Champion Bronze Medalist (’83 Canada);
  • Top 4? D on one WJC Bronze Medalist (’83 Canada);
  • Top 2? D on one NCAA Champion (’82 North Dakota).

Patrick had pretty poor luck in the NHL – getting traded from the Rangers on the trade deadline day prior to their Cup win – but he was regularly relied upon for Canada at the international level. It’s clear he was never a central player on these teams but he certainly deserves more attention than he has gotten.

Michael Peca, C:

Career:

  • 13 years, 10 quality (depending on your definition).
  • 176G, 289A for 465P in 864 games, +66.
  • 82 game average of 16G, 27A for 43P.
  • 3 year peak (’96-’99): an 82 game average of 24G, 30A for 54P, +15
  • Playoffs: 15G, 19A for 34P in 97
    games.
  • Traded once at the beginning of his prime and once at the end.

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Selkes (’97, ’02),
  • Scored 25 goals twice, scored 20 goals four times;
  • 60 points once, 50 points twice.

Great teams:

  • Best
    forward on one runner up (’99 Sabres), Top 6 forward on one runner up
    (’06 Oil), Top 6 forward on one final four (’98 Sabres);
  • Role player on
    one Olympic Champ (’02);
  • Top 6 or Top 9 forward on one World Junior
    Champ (’94).

Peca doesn’t have that third Selke which eliminates
him in the eyes of the Hall, but of course the Selkes are
extraordinarily difficult awards so that is one for the book. So the
next question is, did he deserve another? Or rather, how many Selkes did
he deserve? 3? 0? 2? Leave it for the book. In the meantime, he doesn’t
belong.

Pete Peeters, G:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 7 as the starter, 4 others as a 1A.
  • 246W, 155L, 51T,
  • 3.08 GAA,
  • .882 save percentage
    (once they started counting).
  • Peeters is 8th all-time in adjusted GAA.
  • Playoffs: 35W, 35L, 3.31 GAA, .885 save percentage (again, once they
    started counting).
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Vezina (’83),
  • Top 5 goalie twice (’80, ’88, though looks like he was a 1A in ’88), Top 10 goalie three times (’81, ’82, ’84).
  • Led league in wins
    once, top 5 three times, top 10 5 times;
  • Top 5 in save percentage twice
    (once they started counting);
  • Led league in GAA twice, top 5 seven
    times, top 10 nine times.
  • 4 All-star Games, One 1st team.

Great teams:

  • Starting
    goalie (who appears to have lost his job) on one runner up (’80
    Flyers), starting goalie on one final four (’83 Bruins);
  • Starting goalie
    on one Canada Cup Champion (’84).

This is another toughy. He was a great
goalie for a few years. He was the starting goalie on one of the best
teams ever (that Canada Cup team). And his numbers have held up over
time, if any stock is to be put in “adjusted stats.” On the other hand,
his career sort of fell off a cliff after about ten years. I guess it
all depends whether you put stock in that adjusted stuff. I’d say a tentative “no” until further investigation.


Dean Prentice, LW:

Career:

  • 22 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 391G, 469A for 860P, -33 in 1378 games.
  • 82 game average of 23G, 28A for 51P.
  • 3 year peak (’59-’62): 82 game average of 31G, 41A for 72P.
  • Playoffs: 13G, 17A for 30P in 54 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime, once after; left unprotected in expansion draft at end of prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’60).
  • Scored 30 goals once, 25 goals three times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Scored 60 points twice, 50 points six times.
  • One 2nd Team All-Star, Four All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’66 Wings) and two final fours (’62
    Rangers, ’70 Pens), Top 6 forward on one final four (’58 Rangers), Top 9
    forward on two final fours (’56, ’57 Rangers).

There is absolute no reason why Prentice would belong in the Hall.

Jean Pronovost, RW:

Career:

  • 14 yeas, 13 quality.
  • 391G, 383A for 774P, +49 in 998 games.
  • 82 game average of 32G, 31A for 64P, +4.
  • 3 year peak (’73-’76): 82 game average of 47G, 40A for 87P, +13.
  • Playoffs: 11G, 9A for 30P in 35 games.
  • Traded once prior to his prime and twice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward once (’76).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 40 goals four times, 30 goals six times, 25 goals, seven times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once;
  • Scored 100 points once, 70 points thrice, 60 points six times, 50 points eight times.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’70 Pens);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Championship third place (’78 Canada).

Certainly Pronovost’s lack of playoff success can be attributed to his luck – he was on the ’70s Penguins and then the ’70s Flames – but he really only ever had one year where he distinguished himself as among the best in the league and he scored nearly .4PPG more in that season than any other. Incidentally, he was the second best forward on that team and it seems like it was because he was playing with Larouche that he scored so much. Doesn’t belong.

Brian Propp, LW;

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 425G, 579A for 1004P in 1016 games, +310 (25th
    all-time).
  • 82 game average of 34G, 47P for 81P.
  • 3 year peak (84-87): an 82 game average of 47G, 60A for 106P.
  • Playoffs: 64G,
    84A for 148P (most all-time LW), +18.
  • Traded at the end of his contract.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40
    goals four times, 35 goals five times, 30 goals eight times, 25 goals
    eleven times;
  • 50 assists three times, 40 assists ten times;
  • 90 points
    four times, 80 points five times, 70 points nine times, 60 points eleven
    times.
  • 5 All-Stars .

Great teams:

  • Best
    forward on two runners up (’85, ’87 Flyers), top three forward on one
    runner up (’91 Stars), top 6 forward on one runner up (’90 Bruins), top 9
    forward on one runner up (’80 Flyers), top 3 forward on one final four
    (’89 Flyers);
  • Role player? on one Canada Cup Champion (’87);
  • No idea
    what role on World Championship runner up (’83), or Spengler (’92) runner up,
    though given that he was an NHL player on the latter his role may have
    been big.

First of all, there are way too many ’80s
Flyers on this list. For Propp, never a dominant regular season player,
it all depends on how much weight you put on the playoffs. If you are
like the people who put Anderson in the Hall, Propp probably belongs.
Though he never won a Cup, he almost did five times. Five times. In the ’80s and ’90s. And four of those times he was very important to his team. He was also
selected to be on one of the best teams ever (’87 Canada Cup). His
playoff record looks nice until you think about it in terms of PPG, or
in terms of how two thirds of the league made the playoffs in the ’80s. I
think that if we adhere to the Anderson precedent, then Propp belongs,
but if we think it’s stupid (and I do) then he doesn’t.
PS Propp has to be the unluckiest NHL player to nearly 150 playoff games.

Brian Rafalski, D:

Career:

  • 11 seasons, all quality.
  • 79G, 436A for 515P, +178 in 833 games.
  • 82-game average: 7G, 43A for 51P, +17; 22:56 ATOI.
  • 3-year peak (’05-’08): 10G, 46A for 55P, +16; 25:10 ATOI.
  • Adjusted: 85G, 461A for 546P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 8G, 45A for 54P.
  • Playoffs: 29G, 71A for 100P, +42 in 165 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? offensive player (’11);
  • Top 5 defensive D (’01, ’07, ’08, ’10), Top 10 defensive D (’03, ’06.
  • Tallied 40 assists seven times;
  • Scored 50 points four times, 40 points nine times;
  • Top 5 in +/- once, Top 10 twice.
  • All Rookie; 2 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best player or best D on one final four (’06 Devils), Top 2 D on two Champions (’03 Devils, ’08 Wings) and two final fours (’07 Devils, ’10 Wings), Top 4 D on one Champion (’00 Devils), two runners up (’01 Devils, ’09 Wings) and one final four (’11 Wings);
  • Best player? on one Olympic runner up (’10 USA), Top 4? D on one Olympic runner up (’02 USA);
  • Top 4? D on one WJC Bronze Medalist (’92 USA).

Rafalski is a real toughy. He didn’t play very long, so his numbers look great for their era. He also played for the two best franchises in the sport, so again his numbers look great. But he was only ever the most essential D on one of those good playoff teams. On the other hand, he dominated at the 2010 Olympics (though us Canadians don’t really remember that).
This is what I said when he retired:

“I think at first glance Rafalski’s career doesn’t look remotely hall
of fame worthy. I mean, should we really reward someone just because he
played for the two best organizations of his era? But on a closer look
there seems to be more to acknowledge. He got better offensively in
the playoffs but much more importantly, of his five finals appearances
in eleven seasons, he was the best D after hall of famers or sure fire
hall of famers in four out of the five (behind Niedermayer in ’03, and
Lidstrom in ’08, behind Niedermayer and Stevens in ’00 and ’01; it was
only on the ’09 Wings when he wasn’t that highly valued).
“Rafalski
was practically the best offensive defenseman of his era, even though
his numbers don’t remotely resemble those of players past. His 436
assists are the second most by a D since he came into the league, behind
only Lidstrom. And his 515 points are third most behind Lidstrom and
Gonchar (who has had his struggles playing defense). Over that span his
numbers are better than Kaberle, Pronger, Niedermayer, Blake, Timmonen,
Boyle, McCabe, Visnovksy, and Chara (and many others), all of whom
played around about as many games. Don’t mistake me. I’m not trying to
say he’s better than all of those players, but if we are putting D into
categories, then he was the best offensive defenseman of his era
(putting Lidstrom, Pronger, Niedermayer and Chara, among others, in an
altogether different category).
“Over that same span, he has the
second most assists of any American born player, and the 8th most points
(far and away above the next D).
“All this is to say that Rafalski
was pretty good, at least relatively speaking for an American offensive
defenseman in a not very offensive era. I don’t think this clearly
makes his case for the hall. He is borderline. There are some people
in the Hall who shouldn’t be there but since they are, players like
Rafalski have a bit more of a case. I wouldn’t be at all upset if he
got in but I doubt he will.”

In light of Blake getting in, I really have to struggle. I think that Blake was probably better at his best, but Rafalski was more consistent (which maybe has everything to do with how long Rafalski played).
Regardless of whether or not he belongs – and I would argue he belongs in this version of the Hall but probably not quite in a proper Hall that hasn’t admitted so many joke cases- he has to be considered one of the best undrafted players since the draft was introduced.

Rob Ramage, D:

Career:

  • 15 NHL seasons, 13 quality; 1 WHA season, quality.
  • NHL 139G, 425A for 564P, -171 in 1044 games.
  • 82-game average: 11G, 34A for 44P, -13.
  • 3-year peak (’88-’91): 7G, 28A for 35P, +9.
  • Playoffs: 8G, 42A for 50P, +4* in 84 games.
  • WHA: 12G, 36A for 48P, +10.
  • Traded thrice in his prime, and twice after; left unprotected in the expansion draft twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 defensive D (’86).
  • Scored 20 goals once, 15 goals thrice;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • Scored 60 points thrice, 50 ponits four times, 40 assists eight times.
  • 4 NHL All Star Games, 1 WHA 1st All Star.

Great Teams:

  • #1 D (by points) on one final four (’86 Blues), Top 2 D (by points) on one Championship (’89 Flames), injured on one Champion (’93 Habs);
  • Top 2? D on one World Championship Bronze Medalist (’78 Canada);
  • Top 4? D on one WJC Bronze Medalist (’78 Canada).

Ramage’s minus is ulgy but he did play for some terrible teams. We more have to wonder what role he did play on his few successful playoff teams, as Time On Ice is not available, and there’s no way to tell how central he was (or wasn’t). Without minutes, he’s absolutely out.

Craig Ramsay, LW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12? quality (tough to judge without ATOI).
  • 252G, 420A for 672P in 1070 games, +328 (22nd
    all-time).
  • 82 game average of 20G, 32A for 52P.
  • 3 year peak (’75-’78): 24G, 45A for 69P, +40
  • Playoffs: 17G,
    31A for 48P in 89 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Selke, (’85) and possibly deserving of it multiple times before the creation of the award.
  • scored 25 goals
    three times, 20 goals eight times;
  • 40 assists three times;
  • 70 points
    twice, 60 points five times, 50 points eight times.
  • Top 10 in +/- once.
  • 1 All-Star

Great teams:

  • Top 6 forward on one runner up (’75 Sabres), probably a top 6 forward on one final four (’80 Sabres) until he got hurt.

So this is one guy who is pretty impossible
to judge. Without things like takeaway-giveaway ratios, ATOI, hits and
the like, and because both Gainey and Ramsay weren’t centres, it’s
really hard to know how dominant Ramsay (or Gainey for that matter)
really was without watching him. The fact is, before the Selke was
created for Gainey, Ramsay put up some pretty ridiculous +/- despite not
scoring all that much. (Like once he put up a +51 while scoring less
than 60 points that season…which is utterly bonkers if you think about
it: yes Buffalo was a great offensive team that year, but they were
also in the top 3rd goals against…Ramsay was on the ice for only 13 even-strength
goals against all season). Of course, he was on the ’70s Sabres
who, like the ’80s Flyers, were +/- demons. So we have to take that into
account. Fact is, without a huge amount of research (which I will
undertake if I ever write a hockey book) there’s no real way of knowing
if he should have won the Selke in the mid ’70s multiple times had said
award existed. It all depends. Ramsay was probably the best pre-Gainey defensive
forward ever, which means he belongs. But that requires retroactively
applying the Selke, which I will do in my book. Until then, most people
will reject Ramsay.

Mike Ramsey, D:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 76G, 266A for 345P, +218 in 1070 games.
  • 82 game average of 6G, 21A for 26P, +18.
  • 3 year peak (’82-’85): 82 game average of 9G, 27A for 36P, +40.
  • Playoffs: 8G, 29A for 37P, +1 in 115 games.
  • Traded once after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Best defensive D (’85),
  • Top 5 D thrice (’82, ’90), Top 10 D four times (’84).
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 4? D on one final four (’80 Sabres), Top 6? D on one runner up (’95
    Wings) and one final four (’96 Wings);
  • Top 4? D on one Olympic champion
    (’80 USA).
Ramsey was one of the best defensive D in the league for a period in which nobody was much good at defense and likely would have deserved an award in ’85 if one existed. For this he deserves at least some credit.

 

Mark Recchi, RW:

Career:

  • 22 seasons, 21 quality.
  • 577G (19th), 956A (14th) for 1533P (12th) in 1652 games (4th), 0.
  • 82 game average of 29G, 48A for 76P.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 82 game average of 45G, 63A for 108P, -7.
  • Adjusted: 590G (20th), 979A (11th) for 1569P (8th).
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 29G, 49A for 78P.
  • Traded three times in his prime, and twice after. Waived once.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward thrice (’91, ’93, ’00).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 40 goals five times, 30 goals seven times, 25 goals twelve times 20 goals sixteen times (one of only 17 players);
  • 70 assists twice (one of 3 wingers), 60 assists four times (one of only 4 wingers), 50 assists seven times (one of only 5 wingers), 40 assists twelve times (one of only 4 wingers;
  • Scored 120 points once (Flyers single season record), 110 points twice, 100 points thrice, 90 points five times, 80 points six times, 70 points ten times, 60 points fifteen times (one of 12 players), 50 points seventeen times (one of 17 players.
  • One 2nd All-Star Team, seven All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best player on one final four(’00 Flyers), Top 3 forward on one Champion (’91 Pens), Top 6 forward on one Champion (’06 Canes), Top 9 forward on one Champion (’11 Bruins) and one final four (’04 Flyers);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’97 Canada);
  • Top 6? forward on one WJC Champion (’88 Canada).

If you value longevity or ‘counting’ statistics, Recchi’s omission from the Hall in 2014 must have galled you something fierce. If there was a player in recent memory who deserved to enter the Hall based on his milestones – in terms of goals, assists, points and games played – it was Recchi. I mean, at least based on these terms, he should have been a lock far above Modano. Modano may have been a better all-around player at his peak, but Recchi was far and away the better offensive player during his own peak and it seems like the only reason Modano got in ahead of Recchi is because Modano is considered, for some reason, to be “The Greatest American Hockey Player of All Time” despite the existence of Chelios, Howe, LaFontaine etc.
But forget about the Modano thing – Recchi was one of the greatest passing wingers of all time (at least by counting stats – even by APG he is still in the top 10).
And he managed to win cups in three different decades, playing a significant role even at age 42.
And so though there are people who object to the inclusion of someone like Recchi because he was never dominant, how can someone with his resume be excluded?

Luke Richardson, D:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 35G, 166A for 201P, -119 in 1417 games.
  • 82 game average of 2G, 10A for 11P, -7.
  • 3 year peak (’00-’02): 82 game average of 1G, 9A for 10P, +5.
  • Playoffs: 8A for 8P, -23 in 69 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 D once (’01).

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on two final fours (’92 Oilers, ’00 Flyers);
  • Depth D on one World Champion (’94 Canada) and one runner up (’96 Canada).
Richardson raises an interesting question given the general mediocrity of his career: how much do we value longevity? If a player plays as long as Chelios and has the career milestones, it’s an easy decision. But with Richardson, who was well within the Top 25 in games played all-time when he retired but who never distinguished himself, what do we do? We look at him and we see no points and an ugly minus. But we are now coming to realize that +/- isn’t everything and we know that Richardson was regularly a Top 4 D, perhaps even better than that on some mediocre and bad teams. Yes, often on bad teams. But he persisted to the point that he is still 26th all-time in games played despite a number of players passing his 1417 games since he retired. I am not for a second trying to make a case for Richardson’s induction, but only asking a general “Where do we draw the line?” when it comes to longevity. When does longevity boost otherwise okay stats into Hall-of-Fame-worthy stats? I don’t know.

Stephane Richer, RW:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 421G, 398A for 819P, +76.
  • 82 game average of 33G, 31A for 64P, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’87-’90): 82 game average of 48G, 39A for 87P, +19.
  • Playoffs: 53G, 45A for 98P, +2 in 134 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and thrice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 50 goals twice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scored 90 points once, 70 points four times, 60 points seven times;
  • Top 5 in plus / minus once.
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Best skater? on one champion (’95 Devils), Top 6 forward on one runner
    up (’89 Habs) and one final four (’94 Devils), Top 9 forward on one
    champion (’86 Habs);
  • Top 3? forward on one WJC champion (’85 Canada).
Without watching the ’95 finals – I was not yet a hockey fan – we can at least argue that – on paper, Richer might have deserved Lemieux’s Conn Smythe. (I would likely argue for Brodeur in that situation, but anyway…) But beyond that Richer never really distinguished himself. He scored 50 goals twice in the ’80s, as did any number of other non-HOF-worthy players. So what?

Rene Robert, RW:

Career:

  • 10 seasons, 9 quality.
  • 284G, 418A for 702P in 744 games.
  • 82-game average: 31G, 46A for 77P.
  • 3-year peak (’74-’77): 39G, 55A for 95P, +18.
  • Adjusted: 246G, 368A for 614P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 27G, 41A for 67P.
  • Playoffs: 22G, 19A for 41P in 50 games.
  • Traded numerous times before and after his prime, and claimed twice in an expansion draft before his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 offensive player (’75).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, scored 35 goals thrice, 30 goals four times, 25 goals six times, 20 goals eight times;
  • Top 10 goals twice, Top 10 in GPG once;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists seven times;
  • Top 10 in assists and APG once;
  • Scored 100 points once, 80 points thrice, 70 points five times, 60 points eight times;
  • Top 10 in points and PPG once.
  • One 2nd Team All Star; 2 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on two final fours (’73, ’77 Sabres), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’75 Sabres) and two final fours (’76, ’78 Sabres).

Robert was easily the least of the French Connection. Though his peak is reasonably impressive, he gets killed on adjusted numbers (dropping a full 10 points per 82 games over his carer) and he was rarely important, in terms of points anyway, in the playoffs (whereas Martin and Perreault would lead the team).

Gary Roberts, LW:

Career:

  • 21 years, 12 quality (depending on your definition).
  • 438G, 472A for 910P in 1224 games, +229.
  • 82 game average of 30G, 32A for 62P.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): an 82 game average of 52G, 49A for 101P, +34.
  • Playoffs: 32G,
    61A for 93P in 130 games, +14.
  • Traded after his injury.

Accomplishments:

  • Masterton,
  • Top 10 offensive player (’92).
  • Scored 50 goals once, 40 goals twice, 35
    goals four times, 25 goals six times, 20 goals thirteen times;
  • 40
    assists twice;
  • 90 points once, 80 points twice, 70 points four times, 50
    points seven times;
  • Top 5 +/- once, top 10 +/- three times.
  • 3 All-Star Game appearances.

Great teams:

  • Best forward on one final four
    (’02 Leafs), Top
    6 forward on one champ (’89 Flames);
  • Best forward on one Memorial Cup champ (’86 Platers), top 6
    forward on one Memorial Cup champ (’84 67s);
  • Top 3 or Top 6 forward on
    one World Junior champ (’86).

As a Leafs fan I would of course love to include
Gary. But putting that aside: His peak looks incredible…until you
remember the era, and those types of numbers probably put him in the top
15 offensive players those years. More importantly, he was never the
same offensively after his injury. And though I have made the case many
times that we shouldn’t punish the injured, I made that case with
players who maintained their excellence despite their injuries. That
didn’t happen with Roberts. However, to make a case for him I will say
this: the basketball Hall of Fame puts weight on the college
achievements of basketball players as well as their pro achievements.
Normally, the Hockey HOF does not. If they did, Roberts would have a
much stronger case. But given current standards, I’d say there’s no way
he’s in. (But we should marvel at how he was able to play so long after his supposedly career-ending injury.)

Jeremy Roenick, C:

Career:

  • 21 years, 15 quality.
  • 513G (3rd among Americans), 703A (6th American)
    for 1216P (3rd) in 1363 games (4th American), +153.
  • 82 game
    average of 31G, 43A for 73P.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 82 game average of 49G, 56A for 105P.
  • Playoffs: 53G, 69A for 122P in 154 games,
    +21.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 offensive player (’92), Top 10 offensive player (’94).
  • Scored 50 goals twice, 45 goals three times,
    40 goals four times, 30 goals seven times, 25 goals ten times, 20 goals
    thirteen times;
  • 60 assists once, 50 assists four times, 40 assists ten
    times;
  • 100 points three times, 90 points four times, 70 points seven
    times, 60 points eleven times, 50 points thirteen times;
  • Top 5 in +/-
    twice.
  • 9 All-Star game appearances

Great teams:

  • Best
    forward on one runner up (’92 Hawks), Top 3 forward on one runner up
    (’90 Hawks), Top 6 forward on one final four (’04 Flyers);
  • Top 6? 9?
    forward on one Olympic Silver (’02);
  • Top 9? forward on one Canada Cup
    runner up (’91).

Roenick was a very good player for a long time, but
I’m not sure that he was ever great. He is an absolute must for the US
Hockey HOF but I’m not sure his numbers are good enough to merit the
main event. For one thing, he was better than a point per game player in
the early ’90s (when most top forwards on most teams were) but he was
under a point per game player when the league offense dried up. Now, this
happened to most players, but there are a few (Jagr, Lemieux, Sakic) who
it didn’t happen to. On the other hand, no other American born player
had as many points in the ’90s and he is among the best Americans
all-time, and if we are going to make a big deal about cultural
background (and I think we should, to an extent) maybe that is enough. I
say borderline.
But, as an addendum, wasn’t JR better than Modano? I mean, wasn’t he?

Mike Rogers, C:

Career:

  • 7 NHL seasons, 6 quality; 5 WHA seasons, all quality.
  • NHL: 202G, 317A for 519P, -50 in 484 games.
  • NHL 82 game average of 34G, 53A for 88P, -8.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’79-’82): 82 game average of 42G, 65A for 107P, +3.
  • NHL Playoffs: 1G, 13A for 14P in 17 games.
  • WHA: 145G, 222A for 367P, +40 in 396 games.
  • WHA 82 game average of 30G, 46A for 76P, +8.
  • WHA 3 year peak (’76-’79): 82 game average of 28G, 50A for 78P, +13.
  • WHA Playoffs: 13G, 21A for 34P, -8 in 46 games.

Accomplishments:

  • WHA equivalent of Lady Byng,
  • Top 10 forward in the NHL once (’80).
  • Scored 40 goals in the NHL twice, 35 goals thrice, 25 goals five times, 20 goals six times;
  • Scored 35 goals in the WHA once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals every season he was in the league;
  • Tallied 60 assists in the NHL thrice, 40 assists four times;
  • Tallied 50 assists in the WHA once, 40 assists four times;
  • Scored 100 points in the NHL thrice, 70 points four times, 60 points six times;
  • Scored 80 points in the WHA twice, 70 points four times, 50 points every season he was in the league.
  • 1 NHL All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one WHA final four (’76 Whale), Top 6 forward on one WHA runner up (’78 Whale) and one final four (’79 Whale).
I don’t think Rogers belongs in the HOF, as though his peak was incredible, it was achieved at a time when everyone was scoring this much – Rogers was still only 5th in the league in points during his best year – but the thing to me that stands out and makes him worthy of at least a little consideration is that he was a much better player in the NHL than in the WHA. For Rogers, the WHA really was a minor league, where he got his hockey legs, and when he entered the NHL he was on fire, albeit for 3 seasons.

Al Rollins, G:

Career:

  • 9 years, 7 as a starter.
  • 141W, 205L, 83 others;
  • 2.78 GAA.
  • 3 year peak (’50-’53): an 82 game average of 68 starts, 32W, 22L, 14 others, 2.22 GAA.
  • Playoffs: 6W, 7L, 2.38 GAA.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Hart (’54),
  • Vezina (really Jennings, in ’51),
  • Top 5 goalie (’51, ’52, ’57).
  • Top 5 in wins three times;
  • 1st in GAA
    once, top 5 three times;
  • Top 5 in shutouts six times;
  • 1st in minutes
    played twice, top 5 in minutes played five times.
  • 1 All-Star Game appearance.

Great teams:

  • Backup goalie on one champ (’51 Leafs).

Al Rollins’ Hart is why I want to write a book on
hockey (well, along with Carlyle’s and Wilson’s Norrises, among others).
Rollins won two major awards, putting him one away from near-automatic
inclusion, despite his short and very average career. But one award was
just the Jennings back then (the Vezina used to just be the Jennings:
best GAA that season, as no shot totals were recorded). (And the year he won that he then was the backup in the playoffs). And the other is
super questionable. Check out his stat line for his MVP season: 12W,
47L, 7 others, 3.23 GAA. Now, I along with most serious baseball fans
agree that wins don’t reflect a pitcher’s – I mean goalie’s – talent.
But, the Blackhawks didn’t even make the playoffs that year. They were
the worst offensive team and the worst defensive team. Why did
Rollins win the Hart? Nobody knows. (I’m sure somebody knows. There is
probably a book about it.) But the reason he probably won is because
people felt bad for him. His reputation was that he was a great goalie
and the team in front of him was terrible (the leading goal scorer had
19 goals, the leading point getter had 42 points) but so what? By all available measures he wasn’t even a top 5 goaltender that year. If we had shot
stats, and he had a ridiculous (and I mean ridiculous, like above .950)
save percentage, the award might – might – make sense. But
personally I am inclined to leave the Hart to skaters (another thing for
the book) and on the little info we have, he didn’t even deserve the
Vezina (the real one, not the pseudo one of times past). Al Rollins’
Hart is the reason every award decision in NHL history needs to be
reviewed by hockey fans. You just can’t trust these people to make good
decisions.

Bobby Rousseau, RW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 245G, 458A for 703P, +54* in 942 games.
  • 82 game average of 21G, 40A for 62P.
  • 3-year peak (’65-’68): 27G, 54A for 80P.
  • Adjusted: 253G, 476A for 729P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 22G, 41A for 63P.
  • Playoffs: 27G, 57A for 84P in 128 games.
  • Traded twice after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder,
  • Top 10 player (’66), Top 10 forward (’67)
  • Scored 30 goals twice, 25 goals thrice, 20 goals six times;
  • Top 5 in goals once, Top 10 twice;
  • Top 10 in GPG once;
  • Led league in assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • Top five in assists thrice, Top 10 four times;
  • Top 5 in APG twice, Top 10 four times;
  • 70 points twice, 60 points four times, 50 points eight times;
  • Top 5 in points once, Top 10 twice;
  • Top 5 in PPG once, Top 10 twice.
  • 3 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best player? on one runner up (’72 Rangers), Top 3 forward on one Champion (’65 Habs), one runner up (’67 Habs), and two final fours (’64 Habs, ’74 Rangers), Top 6 forward on one Champion (”66 Habs) and one final four (’71 Stars), Top 9 forward (by points) on two champions (’68, ’69 Habs) and three final fours (’62, ’63 Habs, ’73 Rangers);
  • Best skater? on one Olympic runner up (’60 Canada).
Rousseau’s playoff success is completely inflated by playing for the ’60s Habs and the early ’70s Rangers, but he was, briefly, a star player. He certainly has a way better case than Dick Duff, but beyond that he doesn’t belong.

Tomas Sandstrom, RW:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 394G, 462A for 856P in +6 in 983 games.
  • 82 game average of 33G, 39A for 71P, +1.
  • Adjusted: 362G, 426A for 788P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 27G, 36A for 66P.
  • Playoffs: 32G, 49A for 81P, -45 in 139 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward once (’91)
  • Scored 45 goals once, scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals thrice, 30 goals five times, 25 goals nine times, 20 goals eleven times;
  • Top 10 in GPG once;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assist thrice;
  • Scored 80 points twice, 70 points five times, 60 points six times, 50 points ten times.
  • All-Rookie, 2 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward (by points) on one runner up (’93 Kings), Top 6 forward on one final four (’86 Rangers), Top 9 forward (by points) on one final four (’96 Pens), Role player (by points) on one champion (’97 Wings);
  • Top 9? forward on one Olympic Bronze Medalist (’84 Sweden).

Well, Sandstrom was lucky. But that’s about it.

Mathieu Schneider, D:

Career:

  • 22 seasons, 19 quality.
  • 223G, 520A for 743P, +66 in 1289 games.
  • 82 game average of 14G, 33A for 48P, +4.
  • 3 year peak (’05-’08): 82 game average of 17G, 42A for 60P, +27.
  • Playoffs: 11G, 43A for 54P, -9 in 114 games.
  • Traded five times in his prime and twice after, left unprotected in expansion draft during his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D once (’06), Top 10 D thrice (’92, ’08).
  • Scored 20 goals twice, scored 15 goals four times;
  • Tallied 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 50 points six times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D on one final four (’07 Wings) when healthy, Top 6? D on one
    champion (’93 Habs) when healthy;
  • Top 4? D on one World Cup champion
    (’96 USA).

Schneider’s peak does look great for his era until you remember he was playing with Lidstrom and either Niedermayer or Pronger during that peak. Then it seems a little less impressive. A player that so few teams were interested in keeping can’t have been that good.

Jim Schoenfeld, D:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, all quality.
  • 51G, 204A for 255P, +85 in 719 games.
  • 82 game average of 6G, 23A for 29P, +10.
  • 3 year peak (’79-’80): 10G, 25A for 36P, +39.
  • Playoffs: 3G, 13A for 16P in 75 games.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Probably should have won the Norris in 1980.
  • Led league in +/- once
  • One 2nd All-Star, two All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 4? D on one runner up (’75 Sabres) and one final four (’80 Sabres).

Back in 1980, Schoenfeld probably should have won the Norris. So that’s why he’s on this list. Without ice-time, I can’t say that for certain, and I can’t tell you what role he played on the only two playoff teams that he played on that went anywhere. But I still think he deserves a mention because of his possible Norris-calibre season in 1980.

Ray Sheppard, RW:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 357G, 300A for 657P, +10 in 817 games.
  • 82 game average of 36G, 30A for 67P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’92-’95): 49G, 33A for 82P, +13.
  • Playoffs: 30G, 20A for 50P, -12 in 81 games.
  • Traded thrice in his prime including one time for virtually nothing, traded once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward (’94).
  • Scored 50 goals once, scored 35 goals four times, scored 30 goals six times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 40 assists once;
  • Scored 90 points once, 60 points six times, 50 points seven times.
  • All-Rookie.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one runner up (’96 Panthers); Top 9 forward on one runner up (’95 Wings).

No way in hell does Sheppard belong.

Charlie Simmer, LW:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 9 quality.
  • 342G, 369A for 711P in 712 games, +113.
  • 82 game average of 39G, 43A for 82P, +13.
  • 3 year peak (’78-’81): 82 game average of 63G, 59A for 122P, +43.
  • Playoffs: 9G, 9A for 18P in 24 games.
  • Traded and waived once after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player twice (’80, ’81).
  • Led league in goals scored once, scored 55 goals twice, 40 goals thrice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times, 25 goals seven times, 20 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • Scored 100 points twice, 90 points thrice, 80 points four times, 60 points seven times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 9? forward on one World Championship third place (’83 Canada).

 

Jesus Tapdancing Christ does Simmer’s peak look impressive, but the 82-game-average trick fails us here, as Simmer didn’t complete a single one of those seasons – despite leading the league in goals one year – and we can’t assume that he would have continued scoring 1.5PPG for all three seasons had he managed to play even 70 games in each – he played a total of 167 games over his three “best” years. (Also, it is worth noting that this is when the league exploded offensively.) I definitely believe players shouldn’t be punished for being hurt, but in the two seasons Simmer did play a full schedule he scored 80 and 69 points – the latter was at the tail end of his career, though. And I am worried that Simmer’s incredible prowess over a short period came from playing on Dionne’s wing. I think Simmer deserves consideration – a PPG career always deserves some consideration – but I think we have to be sceptical of his best years because of the era and because of Simmer’s luck in playing with one of the greatest players of all-time.

Bobby Smith, C:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 357G, 679A for 1036P, -10 in 1077 games.
  • 82 game average of 27G, 52A for79P.
  • 3 year peak (’79-’82): 82 game average of 37G, 72A for 109P, +10.
  • Playoffs: 64G, 96A for 160P, -10 in 184 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder,
  • Top 10 forward once (’82).
  • Scored 40 goals once, 30 goals four times, 25 goals nine times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 70 assists once, 60 assists three times, 50 assists seven times, 40 assists 11 times;
  • Scored 110 points once, scored 90 points thrice, 80 points six times, 70 points ten times, 50 points eleven times.
  • 4 All-Star Game appearances.

Great Teams:

  • Top forward on one runner up (’89 Habs), Top 3 forward on one
    champion (’86 Habs), one runner up (’81 Stars) and two three final fours
    (’80 Stars, ’84, ’87 Habs), Top 6 forward on one runner up (’91 Stars);
  • Top 3? forward on one World Championship third place (’82 Canada);
  • Top
    3? forward on one WJC third place (’78 Canada).

Smith’s career fell off a cliff after a little more than a decade but though he was never really dominant during the regular season to the extent of so many other players – Smith ranks 16th in points during the time he played in the NHL – he was a strong playoff performer. (This is relative: he had a lower PPG in the playoffs overall but was always among the best offensive players on his particular team.) I’m inclined to think that we should reward a player who went to four finals in a 17-24 team league, and all but one of those he was one of the top offensive players on his team. I think we should probably celebrate a guy who made it to the third round nearly half his years in the league; it’s a much bigger deal to do that in the ’80s and ’90s than it was in the ’50s. (But then I guess that means we should celebrate Propp too.)

Dallas Smith, D:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 55G, 252A for 307P in 890 games, +355 (18th
    all-time).
  • 82 game average of 5G, 23A for 28P.
  • 3 year peal (70-73): 7G, 31A for 38P, + 55.
  • Playoffs: 3G,
    29A for 32P in 86 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player (’71), Top Top 10 D thrice (’73, ’76)
  • Led league in +/- once, top 5 in +/- twice, top 10 in +/- three times.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great teams:

  • Top 2? D on two Champions (’70. ’72 Bruins), one runner up (’74 Bruins) and one final four (’76 Bruins).

Chicken or egg: did Dallas Smith
(thought to be the strongest man in the league by his peers) allow Bobby
Orr to be Bobby Orr, or did Smith’s +/- benefit hugely from playing
with #4? Smith was actually “named to play for Team Canada in the 1972
Summit Series, but declined, citing the necessity to work his farm.” So
he must have been pretty good. But honestly, if Bobby Orr is the
greatest hockey player ever (argument anyone?) then what does it matter
who played with him? Without watching, I can’t know. But I can assume
that many other D would have had similar +/- numbers playing with Orr. Not enough evidence for induction. One for the book.

Thomas Steen, C:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 264G, 553A for 817P, -70 in 950 games.
  • 82 game average: 23G, 48P, 71P, -6.
  • 3-year peak (’88-’91): 28G, 68A for 96, +6.
  • Adjusted: 222G, 465A for 687P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 19G, 40A for 60P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward (’89).
  • Scored 30 goals once, 25 goals thrice, 20 goals five times;
  • 60 assists once, 50 assists thrice, 40 assists seven times;
  • Scored 80 points twice, 70 points thrice, 60 points seven times, 50 points eleven times.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6? forward on one World Cup runner up (’84 Sweden);
  • 3? forward on one World Championship Silver Medalist (’86 Sweden), Top 6? forward on one Word Championship Silver Medalist (’81 Sweden);
  • Top 3? forward on one WJC Silver Medalist (’78 Sweden) and two Bronze Medalists (’79, ’80 Sweden).

Steen was always a #2 centre and his best years in terms of Per Game
numbers game when he missed a lot of time to injury. He played important
roles on some international teams, but he was hardly a dominant player.

Kevin Stevens, LW:

Career:

  • 15 Seasons, 9 quality.
  • 329G, 397A for 726P in 874 games, -103.
  • 82-game average of 31G, 37A for 68P.
  • 3 year peak (’90-’93): 53G, 61A for 114P over 82 games
  • 46G, 60A for 106P in 103 playoff
    games, +3.
  • Traded multiple times in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player (’92).
  • 55 goals once, 50 goals twice, 40
    goals four times, 25 goals five times, 20 goals six times;
  • 60 assists
    once (most by a LW), 50 assists twice, 40 assists five times;
  • 120 points
    once, 110 points twice, 80 points three times, 70 points four times.
  • 3 All-Star Games, 1 1st team, 2 2nd teams.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on 2 champions (’91, ’92 Pens).

Stevens is an easy one for me. Fantastic
with Lemieux. Did nothing without him. Yes, he was over a point per game
in the playoffs but his entire playoff
career was with the Penguins. He played lots of years with shitty teams
and didn’t make the playoffs. From ’90-’96, playing with the Pens, he was
a point per game player or better in the regular season and the
playoffs. The rest of his career, he was not. Fire hydrant.
In fact, I think Keven Stevens is the player
the phrase “fire hydrant” was coined for. Let me make this clearer:
With Pittsburgh: an 82 game average of 45G, 51A for 96P, -3 (with 5
players all performing at better clips than him). After Pittsburgh: an
82 game average of 16G, 24A for 40P, -13. Do you need any more proof?

Cory Stillman, LW:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 13 quality.
  • 278G, 449A for 727P, -20 in 1025 games.
  • 82-game average: 22G, 36A for 58P, -2.
  • 3-year peak (’02-’06): 25G, 54A for 79P, +7.
  • Adjusted: 303G, 481A for 784P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 24G, 38A for 63P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward (’04).
  • Scored 25 goals thrice, 20 goals eight times;
  • Tallied 50 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • Top 5 in assists once, Top 10 in APG once;
  • Scored 80 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points four times, 50 points six times;
  • Top 10 in points once.

Great Teams:

  • Top 6 forward on two Champions (’04 Bolts, ’06 Canes), Top 9 forward on one final four(’01 Blues).

Stillman was close to a star in ’06 but though he was Top 3 in points on that Canes team, he didn’t play anywhere near top minutes and as we have a hard time remembering, defense is half the game.

Martin Straka, C:

Career:

  • 15 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 257G, 460A for 717P, +67 in 954 games.
  • 82 game average: 22G, 40A for 62P, +6.
  • 3-year peak (’98-’01): 29G, 54A for 83P, +19.
  • Adjusted: 276G, 487A for 763P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 24G, 42A for 66P.
  • 26G, 44A for 70P, -6 in 106 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and waived once; traded once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward (’01).
  • Scored 35 goals once, 30 goals twice, 25 goals four times, 20 goals six times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice, 40 assists four times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 80 points twice, 70 points four times, 60 points five times, 50 points six times.
  • 1 All Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’01 Pens), Injured on one runner up (’96 Panthers);
  • Top 6? forward on one Olympic Bronze Medalist (’02 Czechs), Role player? on one Olympic Champion (’98 Czechs);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’05 Czechs).
Straka was never dominant; does not belong.

Gary Suter, D:

Career:

  • 17 Seasons, at least 12 quality.
  • 203G, 641A (14th all-time D) for 844P (14th
    all-time D) in 1145 games played, +126.
  • 82-game average of
    15G, 46A for 61P.
  • 3 year peak (87-90): 19G, 68A for 87P over 82-games, +27.
  • 17G, 56A for 73P in 108 playoff games, -3.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder,
  • Top 15? (’88).
  • 20 goals three times;
  • 70 assists once, 60 assists twice, 50
    assists four times, 40 assists eight times;
  • 90 points twice, 80 points
    twice, 70 points four times, 60 points seven times, 50 points eight
    times.
  • 4 All-Star Games, 1 2nd Team, 1 All-Rookie.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D on one final four (95 Hawks);
  • Probably a 5 or 6 D on one Olympic runner up (’02).

I think Suter’s numbers only recommend him
to the American Hall of Fame. Suter was a top 4 for much of his career, as far as I know. That seems enough to keep him out.

Brent Sutter, C:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 363G, 466A for 829P, +167 games.
  • 82 game average of 27G, 34A for 62P, +12.
  • 3 year peak (’84-’87): 82 game average of 37G, 51A for 88P, +31.
  • Playoffs: 30G, 44A for 74P, -16.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40 goals once, scored 30 goals thrice, scored 25 goals six times, scored 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 60 assists once;
  • Scored 100 points once, 60 points six times, scored 50 points nine times.
  • 1 All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’83 Isles), Top 6 forward on one runner
    up (’84 Isles); Top 9 forward on one champion (’82 Isles), one runner up
    (’92 Hawks) and one final four (’95 Hawks);
  • Top 9? forward on three
    World Cup champions (’84, ’87, ’91 Canada);
  • 1 World Championship third
    place (’86 Canada).

Sutter had one pretty fantastic year (and he was far from the best player on his team that year) but there are some pretty huge differences between that year and every other.

Petr Svoboda, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 58G, 341A for 399P, +206 in 1028 games.
  • 82 game average of 5G, 27A for 32P, +16.
  • 3 year peak (’86-’89): 8G, 30A for 37P, +34.
  • Playoffs: 4G, 45A for 49P, +18.
  • Traded once in his prime and twice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Best defensive D (’88), Top 10 D five times (’86, ’87, ’89, ’96).
  • Top 5 in plus / minus once.
  • 1 (likely honorary) All-Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D on one runner up (’89 Habs), Top 4 D on one final four (’87
    Habs), Top 6? D on one runner up (’97 Flyers) and one final four (’95
    Flyers), mostly hurt on one champion (’86 Habs);
  • Top 6? on one Olympic
    champion (’98 Czech Republic);
  • Top 2? D on one WJC third place (’84
    Czechoslovakia).
Svoboda had some defensive success at a time when it was hard to do so, but I don’t think he played enough of a role – that’s a guess, obviously – to really warrant inclusion. It totally depends on his minutes.

Don Sweeney, D:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 52G, 221A for 273P, +112 in 1115 games.
  • 82 game average of 4G, 16A for 20P, +8.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 82 game average of 5G, 18A for 24P, +19.
  • Playoffs: 9G, 10A for 19P, -29 in 108 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D once (’93), Top 10 D four times (’94, ’95, ’99).
  • Top 10 in +/- once.

Great Teams:

  • Top 4 D on one runner up (’90 Bruins), depth D? on two final fours (’91, ’92 Bruins);
  • Top 4? D on one World Champion (’97 Canada).

It’s kind of impossible to tell how much of a role Sweeney played with those Bruins teams without knowing his ATOI. But he was probably deserving of the Defensive D of the Year award – if the NHL had one – in 1993 and that means we should at least take a second look at his career, even if his offensive numbers are absolutely paltry.

Darryl Sydor, D:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 98G, 409A for 507P, +21 in 1291 games.
  • 82 game average of 7G, 26A for 32P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’96-’99): 82 game average of 12G, 38A for 50P, +18.
  • Playoffs: 9G, 47A for 56P in 155 games, +7.
  • Traded twice in his prime and three times after

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D twice (’97, ’98).
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D on one champion (’04 Bolts), one runner up (’93 Kings) and one
    final four (’98 Stars), Top 4 D on one champion (’99 Stars) and one
    runner up (’00 Stars);
  • Top 4? D on one World Champion (’94 Canada) and
    one runner up (’96 Canada).

Sydor was never quite the best D on his team – due to his lack of offense – but he had a lot of playoff success. I do feel like the Hall should eventually acknowledge guys like Wesley and Sydor – the kinds of guys who allow the offensive D to do what they do. I’m not saying Sydor belongs but I think that this important role – shutdown D – has been pretty neglected by the Hall post-Orr.

Jean-Guy Talbot, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 43G, 242A for 285P, +1* in 1056 games.
  • 82 game average of 3G, 19A for 22P.
  • 3 year peak (’61-’64): 82 game average of 5G, 30A for 34P.
  • Playoffs: 4G, 26A for 30P in 150 games.
  • Traded twice, left unprotected in expansion draft and waived, all after his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 player once (’62), Best defensive D (’56), Top 5 D five times
    (’59, ’60, ’63), Top 10 D twelve times (’57, ’58, ’61, ’64, ’66, ’67,
    ’70).
  • Tallied 40 assists once.
  • 1 1st All-Star, 6 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best D? on one runner up (’70 Blues) and one final four (’62 Habs), Top
    2? D on one champion (’58 Habs) and one final four (’61 Habs), Top 4? D
    on five champions (’56, ’57, ’59, ’60, ’66 Habs), one runner up (’69
    Blues) and two final fours (’63, ’64 Habs); Top 6? D on one champion
    (’65 Habs) and two runners up (’67 Habs, ’68 Blues)

Talbot is perhaps the poster boy for two separate problems with evaluating older players: in a six team league, a guy’s playoff success can look amazing when it is luck or just above average for the era, and DPS – how I determine whether or not a D was among the best in the league – might mean absolutely nothing prior to the tracking of plus / minus but especially prior to tracking ice time. Talbot’s resume makes him look like a lock, but without reliable DPS, without ice-time and with his career taking place mostly in a six-team league (and with his last few playoff successes coming in part because the league had, at the time, a good division and a bad division and so the Blues, a mediocre team, made the Finals because of their division) it’s pretty near impossible to argue either way without watching tape (if there even is any of his earliest years).

Marc Tardif, LW:

Career:

  • 8 NHL seasons, 7 quality; 6 WHA seasons, all quality.
  • NHL: 194G, 207A for 401P in 517 games, +26.
  • NHL 82 game average of 31G, 32A for 64P.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’79-’82): 82 game average of 40G, 41A for 81P
  • NHL Playoffs: 13G, 15A for
    28P in 62 games.
  • WHA: 316G (1st all-time), 350A (3rd all-time) for 666P
    (2nd all-time) in 446 games (20th all-time), +116.
  • Tardif is 4th in GPG,
    9th in APG and 3rd in PPG in the WHA annals.
  • WHA 82 game average of 58G, 64A for
    122P.
  • WHA 3 year peak (’75-’78): 82 game average of 68G, 84A for 152P
  • WHA Playoffs: 27G, 32A for 59P in 44 games, +4.
  • Traded once in his prime and claimed in an expansion draft

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Davidson/Howes (’76, ’78),
  • 2 Bill Hunters (’76, ,78),
  • Top 5 forward in the WHA thrice (’77) Top 10 four times (’79) in his six year career.
  • Scored 35 goals in the NHL once, 30 goals three times, 25 goals four times,
    20 goals six times;
  • Led WHA in goals scored twice, scored 70 goals once, 65 goals twice,
    50 goals three times, 40 goals in all six seasons
  • Led WHA in assists
    twice, 80 assists once, 70 assists twice, 60 assists three times, 50
    assists four times;
  • Scored 70 points in the NHL once, 60 points twice, 50 points six
    times.
  • Led league in points twice, 150 points once, 140
    points twice, 100 points three times, 90 points four times, 80 points
    five times, 70 points in all six seasons.
  • 1 NHL All-star

Great teams:

  • Top
    6 forward on one Champion (’73 Habs), top 9 forward on one Champion
    (’71 Habs), 4th liner? (he was hurt some of the time) on one final four
    (’82 Nords);
  • Best forward
    or best player on one WHA runner up (’75 Nords), top 3 forward on one
    WHA final four (’78 Nords); Top 6 forward on one WHA Champion (’77 Nords);

Tardif was perhaps the second greatest
regular season player in WHA history after Bobby Hull. He is on all the
leader boards (G, A, P, GPG, APG, PPG) while missing a little bit (not much)
of time due to injury. Additionally, he is one of the rare WHA players
to have had NHL success before playing in the league (Habs’ Cups) and after
(he was nearly a point per game player when healthy for the Nordiques).
I think his resume is pretty spectacular. If there is any WHA player
not yet in the Hall who belongs, it is Tardif. (I would argue there are a few more than just Tardif.)
I strongly believe Marc Tardif belongs in the HOF
if it starts including WHAers (as of course it should, since it isn’t
the NHL Hall of Fame).

Dave Taylor, RW:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 14 quality.
  • 431G, 638A for 1069P, +181 in 1111 games.
  • 82 game average of 32G, 47A for 79P+ 13.
  • 3 year peak (’79-’82): 82 game average of 48G, 72A for 120P, +32.
  • Playoffs: 26G, 33A for 59P, +1 in 92 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 10 forward twice (’79, ’81).
  • Scored 45 goals once, scored 40 goals thrice, 35 goals five goals, scored 30 goals six times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals twelve times;
  • Tallied 60 assists twice, 50 assists four times, 40 assists eight times;
  • Scored 110 points once, 100 points twice, scored 90 points five times, scored 70 points six times, scored 60 points ten times, scored 50 points twelve times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star, 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 9 forward on one runner up (’93 Kings);
  • Top 6? forward on one World
    Championship runner up (’85 Canada) and two third places (’83, ’87
    Canada).

Taylor’s peak is very impressive but we must remember the era and the fact that he was playing on the wing of one of the greatest centres of all time.

Steve Thomas, LW

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 421G, 512A for 933P, +17 in 1235 games.
  • 82 game average of 28G, 34A for 62P, +1.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 38G, 45A for 82P, +1.
  • Playoffs: 54G, 53A for 107P, +2 in 174 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 40 goals twice, 35 goals four times, 30 goals five times, 25 goals eight times, 20 goals ten times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists three times;
  • Scored 80 points once, scored 40 points five times, scored 60 points eight times, scored 50 points ten times.
  • Trade thrice in his prime and once after.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on two final fours (’93 Isles, ’99 Leafs), Top 6 forward
    on one final four (’90 Hawks), Role player on one runner up (’03
    Ducks);
  • Top 6? forward on one World Champion (’94 Canada), and two World
    Championship runners up (’91, ’96 Canada).

Stumpy was never a star as much as we Leaf fans would have liked to pretend he was.

Keith Tkachuk, LW:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 15 quality.
  • 538G (2nd American), 527A for 1065P (4th American), +33 in 1201 games.
  • Tkachuk is 3rd in GPG among Americans to have played 700 NHL games, and that’s before the era adjustment (which would hurt the two men above him, LaFontaine and Mullen).
  • 82 game average of 37G, 36A for 73P, +2.
  • 3 year peak (’94-’97): 48G, 45A for 93P, +2
  • Playoffs: 28G, 28A for 56P, -15 in 89 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and twice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward once (’02), Top 10 forward four times (’96, ’97, ’98).
  • Led league in goals once, scored 50 goals twice, 40 goals four times, 35 goals seven times, 30 goals nine times, 25 goals thirteen times (one of only 21 players), 20 goals fifteen times (one of only 24 players);
  • Tallied 40 assists three times;
  • Scored 90 points once, 80 points three times, 70 points six times, 60 points eight times, 50 points 13 times.
  • 2 2nd Team All-Stars, 5 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’02 Blues);
  • Top 9? forward on one
    Olympic runner up (’02 USA);
  • Top 3? forward on one World Cup champion
    (’96 USA).

Taychuk had some bad luck playing on some pretty poor teams over his career but still managed to be pretty productive. His peak is pretty good, especially given that the league had started to tighten things up, but he was never truly dominant. He is one of only four players to have 1000 points and 2000 PIMs but I personally don’t think PIMs exactly equate to value, as you know. (If there are valuable penalties, or if there is value in taking certain kinds of penalties – fighting majors for instance – and I don’t grant that there is, then that value does not apply equally to all PIMs because some of those minutes in the box are clearly less “valuable” than others: is a lazy hook the same as an aggressive cross-check that possibly saves a goal?) The other three players: Dale Hunter, Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan, and Pat Verbeek. Now, I think Tkachuk is the second best player of that group, but I’m not sure that makes him a Hall of Famer. I think he is a no-doubter US HOFer, but he is severely borderline for the big one.
But, let’s look at Modano vs. Tkachuk for a moment: Modano was drafted by the Stars who were fluky good and then eventually very good. Tkachuk got drafted by the Jets who became the Coyotes and were generally shitty. The Blues were obviously better. Tkachuk was a better offensive player than Modano but Tkachuk was unlucky in his teams and also was a giant asshole. So Modano is in, and maybe Modano was better all-around, but it again seems weird to me that a player demonstrably better at something than Modano (this time, goal scoring) is left out while Modano is inducted as the “Greatest American Hockey Player of All Time.”

Walt Tkaczuk, C:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 227G, 451A for 678P, +145 in 945 games.
  • 82 game average: 20G, 40A for 59P, +13.
  • 3-year peak (’69-’72): 28G, 51A for 78P, +7.
  • Adjusted: 208G, 416A for 624P.
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 18G, 36A for 54P.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? forward (’70).
  • Scored 25 goals four times, 20 goals six times;
  • Tallied 50 assists once, 40 assists five times;
  • Top 5 in assists once, Top 5 in APG once;
  • Scored 70 points twice, scored 60 points six times, 50 points seven times;
  • Top 5 in points once and PPG once.
  • 1 All Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’73 Rangers), Top 6 forward on two runners up (’72, ’79 Rangers) and one final four (’71 Rangers), Top 9 forward on one (’74 Rangers).

Tkaczuk was only briefly a star and was rarely as good in the playoffs.

Rick Tocchet, RW:

Career:

  • 18 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 440G, 512A for 952P, +82 in 1144 games.
  • 82 game average of 31G, 37A for 68P, +6.
  • 3 year peak (’88-’91): 82 game average of 48G, 49A for 96P, +2.
  • Playoffs: 52G, 60A for 112P, -8 in 145 games.
  • Traded 3 times in his prime and twice more after.

Accomplishments:

  • Scored 45 goals twice, scored 40 goals thrice, scored 35 goals four times, scored 25 goals eight times, scored 20 goals ten times;
  • Top 10 in GPG once.
  • Tallied 60 assists once, 50 assists twice;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points three times, 70 points four times, 60 points six times, 50 points eight times.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one champion (’92 Pens) – when healthy – one runner up
    (’87 Flyers) and one final four (’89 Flyers);
  • Top 6 forward on one final
    four (’00 Flyers), Top 9 forward on one runner up (’85 Flyers);
  • Top 9?
    forward on two Canada Cups (’87, ’91 Canada).

Tocchet was never a really star and the one time he led a team in scoring were terrible.

J.C. Tremblay, D:

Career:

  • 13 NHL seasons 11 quality; 6 WHA seasons, all quality.
  • NHL: 57G, 306A for 363P in 794 games, +130.
  • NHL 82 game average of 6G, 32A for 38P.
  • NHL 3 year peak (’69-’72): an 82 game average of 7G, 46A for 53P.
  • Playoffs: 14G, 51A for 65P
    in 108 games.
  • WHA: 66G, 358A (2nd all-time) for 424P (14th all-time) in
    454 games, +65.
  • WHA 82 game average of 12G, 65A for 76P.
  • Tremblay
    is 8th all-time in APG in the WHA.
  • WHA 3 year peak (’72-’75): an 82 game average of 15G, 68A for 83P.
  • WHA Playoffs: 2G, 23A for 25P in 35 games, +4.
  • Traded once in his WHA prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 2 Murphys (’73, ’75),
  • Probably should have won the Norris in both ’66 and ’68, Best defensive D in the NHL (’62, ‘6), Top 5 D five times (’63), Top 10 seven times (’69, ’72),
  • Top 5 D in the WHA thrice? (’76), Top 10 D four times? (’79).
  • Led the NHL in shorthanded goals once;
  • 50 assists in the NHL twice;
  • 70 assists in the WHA twice, 50 assists three times, 40 assists four
    times;
  • 60 points in the NHL once, 50 points twice;
  • 80 points in the WHA twice, 70 points three times, 50 points four times.
  • Top 5 in +/-
    in the NHL once, top 10 twice.
  • NHL: 1 1st team, 1 2nd, 7 All-Star Games.
  • WHA: 3 1st Team All-Stars, 1 2nd Team.

 

Great teams:

  • Top
    offensive player (and maybe MVP had Crozier not won it) on one Champion
    (’66), best (offensive?) D on three Champions (’65, ’68, ’71 Habs), top 2
    D on one Champion (’69 Habs), top (offensive?) D on one runner up (’67
    Habs);
  • Top D on one WHA Champion (’77 Nords), top D on one WHA runner up
    (’75 Nords).

If there is one player on this list who belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame and is not, it’s J.C. Tremblay. By what little information I have, he probably should have won the Norris twice, losing out first to his teammate and then to Bobby Orr. (This is no slight on Orr, but look at his first Norris Trophy season: he played 67 games and did not show the dominance he would the very next season.) Then Tremblay switched leagues and became the best offensive D in WHA history, absolutely dominating the league into his late 30s. I really have no idea why this guy isn’t in the Hall. (Note: I am sure someone out there knows why; I am guessing it is because he didn’t play #1 minutes or something like that which I cannot gleam from hockey-reference.com.) I mean look at that resume. It is absolutely incredible. And yet for some mystical reason the selection committee views this guy as not good enough but someone like Rob Blake is good enough.

Pierre Turgeon, C:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 515G, 812A for 1327P in 1294 games, +139.
  • 82-game average of 33G, 51A for
    84P.
  • 3 year peak (’91-’94): 48G, 66A for 114P over 82 games.
  • 35G, 62A for 97P in 109 playoff games, -6.
  • Traded thrice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 1
    Lady Byng,
  • Top 10 forward (’93).
  • 55 goals once, 40 goals three times, 35 goals four times, 30
    goals eight times, 25 goals ten times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • 70
    assists once, 60 assists twice, 50 assists eight times, 40 assists
    eleven times;
  • 130 points once, 100 points twice, 90 points five times,
    80 points eight times, 70 points nine times, 60 points twelve times;
  • Top
    5 in +/- once.
  • 4 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best forward on two final fours (’93 Isles, ’01 Blues).

Well Turgeon put up some very good regular
season numbers but never excelled in the playoffs. The fans have him
ranked above many of the people on this list (tied for 50th best player
all time as I write this) and and yet that’s about all I can say for him. Like so many
players, his best offensive year came in ’93. And he was still somehow a
-1 (and not among the top five players in the league). I think Turgeon is a borderline case.

Garry Unger, C:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 413G, 391A for 804P, -131 in 1105 games.
  • 82 game average of 30G, 29A for 60P, -10.
  • 3 year peak (’73-’76): 82 game average of 37G, 42A for 80P, -6.
  • Playoffs: 12G, 18A for 30P in 52 games.
  • Traded twice in his prime and thrice after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward once (’70).
  • Scored 40 goals twice, scored 35 goals five times, scored 30 goals nine times, scored 25 goals ten times, scored 20 goals;
  • Tallied 40 assists twice;
  • Scored 80 points thrice, scored 70 points four times, scored 60 points six times, scored 50 points ten times.
  • 7 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward one one final four (’72 Blues);
  • Role player on one World Champion third place (’78 Canada).

Unger set the old consecutive games record which, though something we should honor, has at least something to do with luck. Unger played on bad teams his whole career which partially explains his terrible minus.

Rogatien Vachon, G:

Career:

  • 14 seasons, 12 as a starter or 1A.
  • 355W (16th all-time), 291L (16th all-time), 127T, 14th in minutes, 51 shutouts (21st all-time);
  • 2.99 GAA, unknown save
    percentage.
  • Playoffs: 23W, 23L, 2 shutouts, 2.77 GAA, unknown save
    percentage.
  • Demanded a trade.

Accomplishments:

  • 1 Vezina when it was the Jennings,
  • Possibly most valuable golie once (’77),
  • Top 5 goalie twice? (’75, ’77).
  • Top
    5 in wins eight times, top 10 thirteen times;
  • Top 5 in GAA once, top 10
    ten times;
  • Top 5 in shutouts seven times, top 10 twelve times.
  • 3 All-Star Games, 2 2nd Team.

Great teams:

  • Starting
    goalie (though it looks like he lost his job) on one Champion (’69
    Habs), backup goalie on one Champion (’68 Habs), starting goalie on one
    runner up (’67 Habs);
  • Starter on one Canada Cup Champion (’76).

I don’t know. He’s got some great numbers
(wins, minutes, playoff GAA lower than regular season) and not so great
ones (his wins came in a lot of games played, losses, general playoff
record). The fans have him ranked higher than Roy as I write this, which only
says that old people are voting. I have no idea. I can’t quite make up my mind. I’m gonna lean on “no” for the time being.

Rick Vaive, RW:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 441G, 347A for 788P in 877 games, -78.
  • Vaive is 21st all-time in GPG.
  • 82-game average of 41G, 32A for 73P.
  • 3 year peak (’81-’84): 55G, 37A for 92P over 82 games.
  • 27G,
    16A for 43P in 54 playoff games, -7.
  • WHA: 26G, 33A for 59P in 75 games.
  • Traded thrice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 15? (’82, ’84)
  • 50 goals three times, 40 goals four times, 35 goals five times, 30
    goals nine times, 25 goals eleven times, 20 goals twelve times;
  • 40
    assists once;
  • 90 points once, 80 points twice, 70 points three times, 60
    points 8 times, 50 points ten times.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3? forward on one World Championship runner up (’85 Canada), Top 9?
    forward on one World Championship third place (’82 Canada);
  • Top 6?
    forward on one WJC third place (’78 Canada).

Vavie scored a ton in the 80s. So what? He is only on here because of his GPG, and we all know that is inflated by his era.
Vaive is like the pre-Wendal Clark ‘Wendal Clark
Test’ player. Ask an older Leafs fan if he belongs in the hall (or,
better yet, if he was better than Mats). If they say yes, they are
crazy.

Pat Verbeek, RW:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 522G, 541A for 1063P in 1424 games, -44.
  • 82-game average of 30G, 31G for 61P.
  • 3 year peak (’89-’92): 38G, 41A for 79P over 82 games.
  • 26G, 36A for 62P in 117 playoff
    games, -32.
  • Traded twice in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • 45 goals once, 40 goals twice, 35
    goals seven times, 30 goals eight times, 25 goals ten times, 20 goals
    thirteen times;
  • 40 assists three times;
  • 80 points four times, 70 points
    six times, 50 points ten times.
  • 2 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four
    (’88 Devils), Top 6 forward on one final four (’98 Stars), Top
    9 forward on one champion (’99 Stars).

I don’t see why Verbeek would even get consideration really, except for the 500 goals thing. But he does get mentioned a lot. Verbeek does not belong in the HOF and I think it’s pretty obvious why.

Mike Vernon, G:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, 17 as a starter.
  • 385W, 273L, 92T, 16th in minutes, 27 shutouts.
  • 2.98 GAA.
  • .890 save percentage.
  • Playoffs: 77W, 56L, 6 shutouts, 2.68
    GAA, .896 save percentage.
  • Traded thrice in his prime, claimed in an expansion draft and traded once more.

Accomplishments:

  • Conn Smythe (’97),
  • Jennings (’96),
  • Top 5 goalie once? (’89, ), top 10 goalie nine times? (’87, ’88, ’90, ’93, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’00).
  • Led league in wins once, top 5 five times, top 10 nine times;
  • Top 5 in
    save percentage twice;
  • Top 5 in GAA twice, top 10 in GAA five times;
  • Top
    10 in shutouts five times.
  • 5 All-Star Games, one 2nd Team.

Great Teams:

  • Best
    player on one Champion (’97 Wings), best player? on one runner up (’86 Flames), starter on one Champion (’89
    Flames) and one
    runner up (’95 Wings).

Well we can’t outright say that Vernon was
a star goalie of his era, as he rarely was amongst the top in the
league during the regular season. But he definitely performed in the
playoffs, at least a few times. I don’t know. If I’m going to argue for Cujo and Kolzig I sort of feel like I have to argue for Vernon too.

Doug Weight, C:

Career:

  • 19 seasons, 17 quality.
  • 278G, 755A (5th American) for 1033P, -58 in 1238 games.
  • Weight is 4th in APG among Americans to have played over 700 NHL games.
  • 82 game average: 18G, 50A for 68P, -4.
  • 3-year peak (’95-’98): 82 game average: 24G, 62A for 87P, -6.
  • Adjusted: 295G, 804A for 1099P.
  • 82 game average: 20G, 53A for 73.
  • Playoffs: 23G, 49A for 72P, -13 in 97 games.
  • Traded once in his prime, once before it and twice afterwards.

Accomplishments:

  • Clancy,
  • Top 10? forward (’01).
  • Scored 25 goals thrice, 20 goals six times;
  • Tallied 70 assists once, 60 assists thrice, 50 assists seven times, 40 assists ten times;
  • Top 5 in assists thrice, top 10 six times;
  • Top 5 in APG once, top 10 seven times;
  • Scored 100 points once, 90 points twice, 80 points thrice, 70 points six times, 60 points eight times, 50 points ten times;
  • Top 10 in points once.
  • 4 All Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Top 9 forward on one Champion (’06 Canes);
  • Top 9? forward on one Olympic runner up (’02 USA)
  • Top 3 forward on one World Cup Champion (’96 USA).

I loved Weight during those Oil-Star battles of the late ’90s. But he was only a star on some mediocre teams and never dominated like the stars of his era. Also, as my friend liked to say, he was lazy in his own end. (Hilariously, he received Selke votes in multiple years.) An absolute lock for the US HOF, but not for the big house.

Glen Wesley, D:

Career:

  • 20 seasons, all quality.
  • 128G, 409A for 537P in 1457 games (19th
    all-time), +66.
  • 82-game average of 7G, 23A for 30P.
  • 3 year peak (’87-’90): an 82 game average of 13G, 32A for 45P, +18.
  • 15G, 37A
    for 52P in 169 playoff games, -1.
  • Traded once in his prime.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 D twice (’88, ’89), Top 10 thrice (’90).
  • 40 assists once;
  • 50 points twice.
  • 1 All-Star Game, 1 All-Rookie.

Great Teams:

  • Top 2 D on two runners up (’88 Bruins,
    ’90 Bruins) and two final
    fours (’91, ’92 Bruins), top 4 D on one runner up (’02 Canes), depth
    D on one Champion (’06 Canes).

Well for a guy who played for a number of
bad teams during his career, he sure made the finals a hell of a lot.
His regular season numbers are pretty paltry (he was a minus player – on
bad teams – many, many times) but it’s hard to look at his playoff
success and not be impressed, especially given the era. On the other
hand, getting drafted by the Bruins was just luck. Would his career look
like this had he been drafted by the Whale and traded to the Bruins?
No. I tried to make a case a couple of years ago but I don’t know what I
was thinking.

Doug Wilson, D:

Career:

  • 16 seasons, 11 quality.
  • 237G (11th all-time D), 590A (17th all-time D)
    for 827P (15th all-time D) in 1024 games, +53.
  • 82 game average
    of 19G, 48A for 66P.
  • 3 year peak (’87-90′): 82 game average of 24G, 63A for 87P.
  • Playoffs: 19G, 61A for 80P in 95 games, -1.
  • Traded near the end of his career.

Accomplishments:

  • Norris (’82),
  • Top 10 offensive player (’82).
  • 39 goals once (most goals by D not named Coffey or Orr), 20
    goals three times;
  • 50 assists three times, 40 assists eight times;
  • 80
    points once, 70 points three times, 60 points seven times, 50 points
    nine times.
  • 7 All-Star Games, 1 1st Team, 2 2nd Teams.

Great teams:

  • Best (offensive?) D on four final fours (’82, ’83, ’85, ’90 Hawks).

Wilson’s Norris is almost as dubious as
Carlyle’s, but at least Wilson was a plus (+1, hahaha: i.e. there were
75 defencemen with a better +/- that year). The Hawks that year were in
the top 3rd of the league offensively but were abysmal defensively. It’s
a miracle that Wilson was a plus (which is to his credit, though their
being the third worst defensive team clearly is not to his credit).
Coffey, who I would never argue for as a Norris candidate in the ’80s,
had clearly better stats all around that year: 29/60/89, +35. And if we
go into how Montreal had 3 better candidates for the award on their own
(obviously without knowing ATOI I can say this), the Wilson Norris is
pretty appalling. And that is the only reason why he would merit
consideration for the HOF.
Doug Wilson did not deserve his Norris and is one
of the main reasons I will eventually write a hockey book debunking NHL
awards.

Alex Zhamnov, C:

Career:

  • 13 seasons, 12 quality.
  • 249G, 470A for 719P, +10 in 807 games.
  • 82 game average: 25G, 48A for 73P, +1.
  • 3-year peak (’92-’95): 39G, 59A for 98P, -4.
  • Adjusted: 280G, 512A for 792P.
  • Adjusted 82 game average: 28G, 52A for 80P.
  • Playoffs: 6G, 13A for 19P -6 in 35 games.
  • Traded once in his prime and once after.

Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 forward and top 10 player (’95).
  • Scored 30 goals once, 25 goals thrice, 20 goals nine times;
  • Tallied 40 assists six times;
  • Scored 70 points twice, 60 points seven times, 50 points nine times.
  • 1 2nd Team All Star, 1 All Star Game.

Great Teams:

  • Top 3 forward on one final four (’04 Flyers);
  • Top 6? forward on one Olympic runner up (’98 Russia), Top 9? forward on one Olympic Champion (’92 Unified Team); Role player? on one Olympic Bronze Medalist (’02 Russia);
  • Role player? on one World Championship Bronze Medalist (’91 Soviet Union);
  • Top 3? forward on one WJC runner up (’90 Soviet Union).

Zhamnov was always hurt – never once playing a full season – which is why his totals look underwhelming, adjusting for era makes him a point per game player, and it’s not his fault he was drafted by Winnipeg. On the other hand, he peaked when the league did, in his first three seasons, and never reclaimed his form, and his one dominant season came during a shortened season. Also, a couple of his best years came playing as Selanne’s (and Tkachuk’s?) centre. Zhamnov is probably the fourth best Russian centre at best.

Sergei Zubov, D:

Career:

  • 17 seasons, 16 quality.
  • 152G, 619A for 771P, +148 in 1068 games.
  • 82 game average of 11G, 48A for 59P, +11.
  • 3 year peak (’98-’01): 10G, 40A for 50P, +10, approx ATOI 26:30.
  • Playoffs: 24G, 93A for 117P, +28 in 164 games.

Accomplishments:

  • Probably should have won the Norris in 2001 (instead of Lidstrom – shock! horror!),
  • Top 5 D four times (’99, ’01, ’06, ’07), Top 10 D six times (’00, ’03).
  • Tallied 70 assists once, 50 assists thrice, 40 assists eight times; scored 80 points once, 70 points twice, 60 points thrice, 50 points eight times.
  • 1 2nd All-Star, 3 All-Star Games.

Great Teams:

  • Best D on one champion (’99 Stars) and three final fours (’96 Pens,
    ’98, ’08 Stars), Top 2 D on one champion (’94 Rangers) and one runner up
    (’00 Stars);
  • Top 4? D on one Olympic runner up (’92 Unified Team);
  • Top
    2? D on one WJC champion (’89 Soviet Union) and one WJC runner up (’90
    Soviet Union).

First off: Despite calling into question Lidstrom’s Norris in 2001, I still believe Lidstrom is probably the second best D of all time, so calm down. Now, to Zubov…
Zubov gets no respect. I think this is because most hockey fans think of the early ’90s Zubov; the Zubov who led the ’94 Rangers in points in the regular season; the Zubov who was definitely a great offensive player but perhaps not the most complete D.
Well folks, that changed. By the best method I can establish, Zubov was the best D in 2001 and was very close to the best D again in 2006. You could make an argument – that I might or might not agree with – that he deserved Nieuwendyk’s Conn Smythe as well. He was a dominant player but he played in Dallas – so we rarely watched him – for a team that was I think inherently unlikable: Hatcher, Hull, and others made them so. Add to this Zubov’s nationality and I think it’s pretty easy to see why nobody in Canada thinks much of him right now. But he was absolutely one of the best D on the planet for a time and likely just a little below that top tier of D – Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Pronger – that emerged in the early ’90s (if he is even below them). I think he has got a bum rap because of xenophobia and because he got better as a player in a market none of us care about. I think he should be a lock for the Hall. I mean just look at that resume.So that’s it. If I missed anyone, let me know by commenting.
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