Hall or no Hall part 3

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Nov 30, 2005.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Here's another list of guys who are either destined for the Hall of Fame or are in it already but debatable. Who should be in or out.


    Bob Gainey - Five time Cup champion, twice played on Team Canada, 4 time Selke trophy winner, in fact he was the reason the Selke Trophy started.

    Verdict: Its funny how a forward who never got more than 23 goals or 47 points in a season is a shoo-in IMO for the Hall. Throw in the five Cups, the Conn Smythe Trophy in '79 and the fact that they awarded a trophy because of him is a real indication of how good Gainey was. He was deemed by Soviet assistant coach Igor Dmitriev (I believe) in '79 as the greatest player in the world. He is by far the best defensive forward of all time. To me theres no argument that he's in the Hall and I've never heard otherwise but does anyone disagree?


    Theo Fleury - Point seasons were 104, 100, 96, 93, 85. Pretty good totals. Once over 50 goals, good playoff numbers, one Cup. Always a fixture on Team Canada for more than a decade. Second team all-star in '95, 455 goals 1088 career points.

    Verdict: This one will be a tough one no matter how you spin it. In his prime Theo was a fan favourite, a sniper, always one of the top right wingers and a fierce competitor. He put up good numbers in his career. Barely over a point per game. Led the league in plus minus in '91. But is his on ice play good enough to forget his off ice stuff. Hey if Cam Neely "sentimentally" gets in the Hall why cant Fleury at least have a look?


    Rick Middleton - "Nifty" Middleton. 448 goals, 988 points just shy of a point per game. For six straight years these were his point totals: 86, 92, 103, 94, 96, 105. That's a pretty good prime. Second team all-star in '82, no Cups but played in three Cup finals and averaged almost a point a game in playoffs. Had 33 points in '83 playoffs. Played for Canada twice in '81 CC and '84 CC.

    Verdict: He's a tough one for me. The knock against him is that he never won a cup or led the league in anything. He had 40 or more goals five times, and he seemed to be able to score timely goals as well. That said was he "great?" Or just very good on a good Bruins team? He's a hard one to judge.


    Dave Taylor - No Cups, one Cup final appearance. On the highest scoring line in NHL history at the time. Had point totals: 112, 106, 92, 91, 90. Second team all-star in '81.

    Verdict: his name has come up before. I'm afraid he was just not close enough to get there. Obviously Dionne helped him out but how wouldnt he? SO you cant hold that against him. He had some high point seasons but had a poor playoff record. Had that line stayed together longer up until the late 80s then he'd be a shoo-in but it didnt and he looked more mortal after he split ways with Dionne and Simmer. He wouldnt quite get my vote, but that's just me.


    Pat Lafontaine - We all know he's already in there. But there have been grumblings about his name. his point totals are: 148, 105, 93, 92, 91. Pretty impressive. Second team all-star in '93. 1013 career points in 865 games. now that's good. No Cups, one final appearance.

    Verdict: People forget that for a brief period, Lafontaine was the best player in the world behind #99 and #66. This was form about '89-93. His prime was sickening. And his playoff numbers werent bad either. Sure his big season in '93 might have catapulted him into the Hall but look at that season! He's a HOFer in my books. And he was once considered to be a top 10 even top 5 player in the NHL.
     
  2. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Some interesting candidates, Phil.

    Personally, I think Gainey may be the most worthy of this group. He was the best defensive forward in the game for at least four years and that is worth something. It is not worth as much as being the best offensive forward but, it is still impressive. I would probably give him the nod.

    The rest of the list, I would say no to. I know that you quoted point totals for these players but, it must be considered that they all played during the NHL's most offensive era so, their totals are somewhat inflated. They are all good players but, I would call them second-tier stars and not hall worthy.

    Lafontaine did have a brilliant 92-93 but, that was a very offensive year and his 148 points only put him 4th in the scoring race. It was very good but, that was his only real stand out year.

    I say Gainey yes and no to the rest.
     
  3. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I almost agree on that one. Lafontaine should be in IMO. In '92-93 he was actually 2nd in scoring behind Lemieux. To me he just slips through the cracks.
     
  4. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    There's no debate about Gainey. Undisputablely the best defensive forward ever. Four Selkes and a Conn Smythe. The only reason he doesn't have more Selkes is because the Selke didn't exist at the start of his career. A Conn Smythe Trophy AND five Stanley Cups as a player. To me, one of the hallmarks of greatness is how we talk about a player long after they're gone. 17 years after he retired, Gainey is still revered as the best ever at his role.

    LaFontaine is a cinch to me as well. As good as he was in 1993, I don't think that was his best season. In 1989-90, he singlehandedly carried a stinker Islanders team to the playoffs. LaFontaine had 105 points. Next best was Brent Sutter at 69. The No. 3 forward? Pat Flatley with 49 points. I've long thought it was a crime that LaFontaine only finished fifth in Hart voting that year. Before the start of the 1992-93 season, THN ran a story that listed LaFontaine as the No. 2 player in hockey, after Lemieux and ahead of Gretzky. Not only was he a dynamite scorer at his peak when healthy, he was fearless, willing to venture into the high traffic areas.

    The other three are very interesting debates. Ask people who the best player is not in the Hall, and many will tell you it's Rick Middleton. I don't share that assessment (I used to say Neely, now it's Makarov or Glenn Anderson). Middleton was a top player at his peak. But it was for only five years. Outside of that, there's nothing that really stands out. Injuries aren't a factor like they are for Neely or LaFontaine. He does have that one eye-popping playoff (33 points in 17 games), but he had others where he was a non-factor. (He was shut out the following year). I say no, and I don't think it'll ever happen.

    Taylor had some excellent years on some stinker LA teams. But out of the guys on this list, he's probably the least deserving. He had some monster seasons early in his career, but injuries took their toll after his 27th birthday and his contributions slowly diminished. His playoff production is well below that of his regular season, too. Never had that career-defining playoff that a lot of fringe HHOFers had.

    Fleury is one I've wrestled with for a long time. There are a lot of PPG players not in the Hall. He did, however, has some big offensive years in the low scoring era. He had several years where I thought he was worthy of Hart consideration. (1991, 1995, 1996 and 1999). He won a Cup, and he led the playoffs in scoring after the first round from 1993 to 1995. You can't blame the Flames playoff failures on Theo; his production rarely declined in the playoffs. He never let his size hinder him, and he may be the quintessential small forward of the last 25 years. What'll hurt him is he didn't play a key role on a Cup champion, he had some very disappointing years (1992, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 2000) mixed in with his fantastic years, and our last memories of him aren't very good. He would have my vote, because he was a playoff performer, he was a defining player in his generation, and he had several years where he was among the game's elite. Will he get in? Not likely.

    BTW, LaFontaine and Gainey were both in THN's Top 100 players.

    One last thing: Cam Neely in the Hall on sentimentality? Hardly. Look at his playoff production. Look at the almost unprecedented combination of skill and physical play. Look at how he was virtually unstoppable in his prime, despite playing most of prime on one leg. That's why he's in the Hall.
     
  5. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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  6. Flash Walken

    Flash Walken Registered User

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    I'm a flames fan, but I dont think fleury deserves it.

    The hall isn't for 'really good' players, it's for the greatest players of all time, and Fleury isn't one of them, in my opinion.
     
  7. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    Yes to Gainey and Lafontaine, no to Taylor.

    I don't even know why Middleton and Fleury would deserve to deserve to deserve to deserve consideration.
     
  8. LalalalaFontaine most certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    So does Bob Gainey.

    The rest...not in my book.
     
  9. V-2 Schneider

    V-2 Schneider Registered User

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    If Gainey is in the HHOF, Claude Provost belongs as well.He has 10 Cups, and was the prototype for all defensive forwards to come.He could skate,score,hit and check, and could shut down the game's most potent scorers.

    Just ask Bobby Hull.

    What Gainey had was a dominating physical style combined with his hell bent skating.He was great for anticipating,chasing, then pounding players into the boards, and in his own way, was exciting to watch.

    It's strange how some superb talent is not in the HHOF, like Provost,Vachon, Anderson, and yet we see Mullen,Federko,Gartner and Gillies taking a spot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005


  10. Federko and Gillies should absolutely not be there, but that is for another thread.
     
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