Players who have made HoF cases for themselves this year

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by kmad, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    Off the top of my head, players who, before this season or last season, might not have made the Hall of Fame but look to be sure things now.

    Teemu Selanne
    Has had a lot of productive years in Winnipeg and San Jose, including the most prolific rookie season in NHL history, but until recently, thanks in part to a lackluster season in Colorado, was thought of as not much more than a good scorer with a lucky rookie season. The past two seasons in Anaheim have rekindled his superstar status and, at this level of dominance this late in his career, is once again a strong HoF candidate.

    Mats Sundin
    The most recent addition to the 500 goal club, Sundin has been the Leafs' posterboy for over a decade and still has a few years left. The biggest hindrance to his case is the fact that he hasn't led Toronto to much playoff success, which raises question about his captaincy abilities. However, his continued popularity and productive success throughout his career make him a strong candidate.

    Brendan Shanahan
    One of the most successful power forwards in NHL history, Shanahan was considered by many to be the missing puzzle piece of the Red Wings' 90s dynasty. While he may have been a Hall of Fame player already, Shanahan solidified his case with his recent surge in goal production since the lockout and his landmark creation of the NHL rules committee. In addition to his on-ice dominance, Shanahan is heavily involved in charity and is overall a welcome ambassador for the sport of hockey.
     
  2. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I think Shanahan was an HHOF lock before last season. He was a 500-goal scorer who played a strong all-round game and keyed three Cup wins. He was the missing link for the Wings. He's a strong locker room presence as well. But I think he's gone from an HHOF lock to a first ballot guy.

    I've been over the Selanne HHOF argument several times, so I'll keep it brief. He's still lacking that big-time playoff that all the all-time greats have had. But I also said midway through last season that if he had a couple big regular seasons, at the level of the stretch from 1995-96 to 1998-99, he'd probably be the exception - that player who gets in without the big playoff. While he was better in last year's playoff, when Anaheim needed that big goal in Game 1 or 2 vs. Edmonton, Selanne didn't get it.

    Sundin is also lacking in post-season success. He's had good playoffs, but he's never had that career-defining, carried his team on his back playoff. I wouldn't vote for him. I've always viewed Sundin as overrated. Calling him the poster boy of a Leafs team that has always been, well, middling (generally a good, but not a great team) isn't necessarily a good thing. He's a guy who has left me wanting more. He has two second-team all-star selections, but I would call them forgettable.

    Two players who have really elevated their status are Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. They were guys who had some pieces of an HHOF resume before 2005-06. But if their careers were to end after this year, they'd both get in. Pronger has a Norris, a Hart, three all-star team selections, despite missing significant time due to injury. But he had that career-defining playoff last year. Ward won the Conn Smythe, but Pronger was the best player in last year's playoffs. By a wide margin. He's a Hart Trophy candidate this year.

    Niedermayer had three Cups in New Jersey, and was a key part of two of them. He also had a Norris and a couple all-star team selections. Since the lockout, he's had a first-team all-star birth, and will likely get another this year. He was marvellous for Anaheim last year in both the regular season and the post-season. If international play meant anything to HHOF voters, he'd have the big 4 on his side, too: WJC, World Cup, Olympic and World Championship victories, and a best defenceman award at the 2004 Worlds.

    Another player who really boosted his HHOF credentials last year was Mark Recchi. He's not a guy who I've necessarily associated the label "Hockey Hall of Famer" with, even though he's been a consistent scorer who had some high finishes in the scoring race, and played a strong all-round game. While he was a marquee player on Carolina last year, you can't underestimate the leadership and experience he gave the Canes, nor the depth. A capable replacement for Erik Cole. 1,300 points and two rings should get him there.
     
  3. Weztex

    Weztex Registered User

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    Agree with everyone exept Mark Recchi. I think the guy's career lack dominace to push him into the HHOF. If we're going to talk about playoff, I'd be more happy to see a guy like Claude Lemieux making it. Anyway, Recchi will surely be consider.

    Pronger and Niedermayer are already locks IMO.
     
  4. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    What about Brind'Amour?
     
  5. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    If Mike Gartner can make it, Recchi can make it. Unfortunately, a lot of Hall selections will be based on precedence. The selections of Federko and Gillies open it up wide for a lot more players. You don't need to be dominant anymore to make it into the Hall - you just need impressive career-end numbers.
     
  6. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Idunno, maybe it's just me, but I won't be telling my kids about Mark Recchi in 20 years. That's probably the wrong way to look at it, but it is the hall of fame, not the hall of accomplishment. I've seen plenty of Mark Recchi, and I don't say to myself "there goes a HOFer" when I see him. He just lacks a certain something.
     
  7. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    You got it backwards. The precedent isn't who is in, but, who is out. Who is Recchi competing against for the spot? That's what will define his ability to get it. As its stands, names like Gilmour, Anderson and Bure back log against him. Names like Sakic, Forsberg, Shanahan and others will hurt him head to head. And then there are long time snubs that could/should be rectififed whenever the committee gets their act together like Shero, Howe, Tremblay and Vachon. And who knows if or when they'll embrace Europe's history with inductions like Mikhailov, Holocek and Johansson?

    So that's the long and short of it, what defines a hall of famer is the ability to prove their worth against other players outside the hall, not the players inside the hall.
     
  8. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    I was going to mention him, but didn't want to come across as being a homer. I think he's put a pretty impressive career up to this point and it continues. With as much of a conditioning freak as he is, he'll be effective for a few more years. We could see 1,200-1,300 points out of him and another Selke before it's all said and done. Plus, the dynamic of having lead Carolina to a Stanley Cup last season. Two years ago, I would have said anybody that thought he deserved in was out of their mind. Right now, i'm still on the fence about whether he deserves consideration or not. He's another one of those "reclamation project" type players who played consistant for a decade, took a dump for a few years, and now have come back stronger than ever. His consistant defensive play may be the trump card. Plus the intangible and leadership qualities that he brings to the rink.

    Mark Recchi is a HHOF'er. The way he continues to produce is pretty astounding considering his stature. How many players as small and skilled as Recchi still have the ability to play a physical style at 38 years old? Talk also is that he's not going to hang them up after this year so he has another year or two at least to pad those already impressive statistics. I'm not sure what criteria people are using here, but Mark Recchi is a better player than Mike Gartner, IMO.
     
  9. MS

    MS Registered User

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    Shanahan, Sundin, and Selanne were all locks if they retired before this season started.

    Shanahan has 600 goals, multiple championships, is arguably the best LW of the past 20 years, and is one of the top 3 power forwards ever. He's a dead lock who will almost surely get in on the first ballot.

    Selanne I've been through a bunch here over the last couple years, but again his performance from 1992-2000 where he was top-5 in goals or points almost every year and won three goal-scoring titles made him a lock. No-one with an even remotely comparable resume isn't in.

    Sundin is probably the best Swedish player ever, and is the all-time leading scorer of an original 6 team, with an international resume that's second to none. And the advantage of playing in Toronto, and career numbers that are easily HHOF-worthy.
     
  10. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    I might be considered a homer for this, but I really, really don't care : Mats Naslund, in his prime, was a better offensive player than Sundin. But Naslund was also 5'6 and Sundin... well... invert the two numbers.

    Naslund had a relatively short prime, though.
     
  11. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Sundin's the best Swedish player ever? By what standard are you using? I'd say that Peter Forsberg, Nik Lidstrom and Borje Salming were all better players than Sundin. And we haven't even looked at the players who spent the majority of their careers, or their entire careers, in Sweden.
     
  12. Weztex

    Weztex Registered User

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    That do not seems to be the case for Dino Ciccarelli thought. I agree that the Gartner induction was a mistake but seeing guys like Gilmour and Bure being overlook, I think the HHOF tries to put things back on track. Sure the Dick Duff debacle did not helped them to do so but this may have more to do with politics, which is a shame.

    Anyway, I don't think 1300 points or 500 goals are still worthy of automatic induction. Guys like Turgeon, Recchi and Damphousse had good carrers and longevity. I seriously hope these are not the new criterias to get in.

    P.S. I'm all against Ciccarelli's induction by the way.
     
  13. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    What's the difference between Dick Duff and Joe Nieuwendyk? Nieuwendyk's was never had an all-star team selection, and was never a top 10 to 20 player in the regular season. But Nieuwendyk was a money player, a guy who stepped his play up when the hockey mattered the most - the playoffs. Duff was probably one of the best clutch players in the latter years of the Original 6/the first few years of the post-expansion era. Most people around here think that Nieuwendyk's getting in. It'll take a few years, although not as long as Duff.

    I support Gartner's induction. Gartner still holds the record for consecutive 30-goal seasons and career 30-goal seasons, and he's tied for third all-time with nine 40-goal seasons. He had world-class skating and shooting abilities that I think would have translated well to any era. (He did score over 30 goals as a 36-year-old in a season when scoring dipped below six goals per game). I don't think he's a top 100 player in NHL history, he doesn't have the playoff track record to rate that highly (he did finish 89th on THN's top 100 list, ahead of retired greats like Ullman, Schriner, Joe Primeau, Cournoyer and Gadsby) but you don't have to be a top 100 guy to get in the HHOF. When the THN Top 50 was released in 1998, he was one of the most controversial omissions among then-active players. So there are obviously a lot of very knowledgeable people who think very highly of Gartner.

    I don't think Dino Ciccarelli belongs. He's a borderline player whose on and off ice antics have helped keep him out. I don't think Andreychuk belongs, either. Andreychuk was not as good of a player as Dino. I'm a big Vincent Damphousse fan, but I wouldn't vote for him, either.

    500 goals and 1,200 points are great accomplishments, but I don't think they guarantee HHOF enshrinement anymore. Not when players are playing at high levels in their late 30s. The only guarantees to get into the HHOF now appear to be 700 goals, and maybe 1,000 assists. That's it.
     
  14. barfy2000

    barfy2000 Registered User

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    Sidney Crosby.


    But really...I think that Pronger, Sundin and Selanne have all punched their tickets to the Hall after their years they're having.

    Chris Pronger would have and may still win the Hart if he didn't go down with injury. He built on an unbelieveable playoffs and didnt miss a step...which really irks me because i can't stand the guy...
     
  15. MS

    MS Registered User

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    Meant best Swedish forward ... obviously Lidstrom is the best Swede ever. And I was posting late at night and, yeah, I would take Forsberg over him, too.

    But Sundin is a HHOF lock, or very close to it. Better career than guys like Sittler and Federko, almost a carbon copy of Gilbert Perreault's career. The fact that he's such a keystone player in the history of such a prominant franchise is huge, and that sort of legacy is what puts players over the top. Unlike a nomadic player with nice numbers like Mark Recchi, who won't be remembered as a 'great' for any of the many teams he played for.

    1200 points for Sundin playing most of his career in the dead puck era isn't remotely the same as guys like Nicholls and Ciccarelli putting up those numbers in the 1980s. And of course he'll be up around 1500 points by the time he's done. There's no way in hell he won't get in.

    __________

    I don't see how Duff and Niewendyk are similar at all.

    Yes, neither was a top-10 scorer in their prime. But Niewendyk was close, and was clearly a front-line offensive player. Past the age of 23, Duff was primarily a 3rd-line guy who averaged about 35 points/season. And not even the best defensive forward on his team. As I've said before, comparable to guys like Bob Nystrom and Bob Bourne, not a major talent and 500-goal scorer like Niewendyk. Niewendyk was not putting up 25-point seasons in the prime years of his career.
     
  16. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    It's not so much this season, but after how many consistent, solid years does Mike Modano crossover into a lock for the Hall? Personally, I think he already qualifies. Definitely rate him over Sundin. Pretty much equal offensively, but Modano is far ahead of Sundin defensively and has a much better playoff resume highlighted by being the leading scorer on the `99 Stanley Cup champions.
     
  17. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I would take Modano ahead of Sundin, too, for the reasons you stated above. Better all-round player, better playoff performer, led a Cup champion in scoring, finished second in scoring on a Cup finalist. Played with a serious wrist injury in 1999 that would have sidelined him for four to six weeks had it happened in the regular season. (He forever shed the pretty boy image after that). Not a strong leader (he was overwhelmed as Dallas' captain) or a physical presence, but he gives you a lot in all three zones.
     
  18. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Duff's not in the HHOF because he delivered in the regular season. He's in the HHOF because he got the job done when the hockey mattered most. Third line players don't finish second in postseason scoring on a powerhouse Montreal Canadiens team. He was a very important piece of those first two Toronto Cup wins, and those four Montreal wins. It's like they said when he was inducted: Winning has a knack for following some people around.

    And being a third liner on that late 60s Habs team isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ralph Backstrom was the No. 3 centre on those teams, and there are a lot of people who want Backstrom in the HHOF.

    40 years from now, people who look at just the stats and awards for Nieuwendyk and wonder why he's in the HHOF. (And mark my words, he will get in). Never an all-star. Won a Calder Trophy, but there are a lot of Calder winners who went on to have fairly forgettable careers. Won a Conn Smythe, but the numbers aren't inspiring. They'll point out the fact that in his first nine years, a lot of people put up great numbers. But those who watched Nieuwendyk, who know the game and look beyond the regular season numbers, will be able to say why Nieuwendyk's in the Hall.

    As for Sundin: while it's true that he's been a keystone part of Toronto for over a decade, is it a time to be a keystone player for that team? The Leafs haven't exactly enjoyed great success over the last decade. They went to the conference finals twice. The furthest that the Leafs advanced in the playoffs was 2002, and Sundin played in less than half of the games. He's never been able to take his play in the playoffs, something that Federko and Sittler did do. (And I'm not saying that Federko belongs in the HHOF. He does not). If the Leafs enjoyed the success that they enjoyed in the late 40s/early 50s, or during the 60s, then absolutely he belongs in the HHOF. But he's been the best player on a team that has ranged from disappointing to above average for the last 10 years.

    Honestly, I wouldn't rate Sundin in the top 15 Leafs ever. Not until he takes his play to another level in the playoffs, and leads his team to something more to a win in the conference final.
     
  19. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Which is why Bob Bourne is an apt comparison for Duff, or Rick MacLeish. Bourne was an excellent defensive player who always stepped up in the post season, has four rings and led the champions in scoring in '83 beating out Trottier and Bossy. MacLeish was the back to back scoring leader on back to back champions.

    Both are on the outside looking in.
     
  20. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Bob Bourne shouldn't sniff the Hall.

    I know that Glenn Anderon has more rings, but personally I think Recchi was the better player. Recchi could create more offense on his own, and the far better playmaker.
     
  21. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    I agree. And Duff should never have been entered. I was just saying Bourne is an apt comparison to Duff and a good example of why Duff isn't Hall worthy.
     
  22. FissionFire

    FissionFire Registered User

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    I disagree that Pronger is a HHOF lock. Maybe with the newer, marginal players ya but he's no lock. When you compare his career and accomplishments with some of the players in the HHOF he's VERY lacking. Niedermayer has a much stronger case, but still doesn't strike me as a player that should be placed next to the HHOF greats on an equal level.

    Sundin - No. No Cups and not a dominant player for a long enough stretch to justify it.
    Selanne - No. Great numbers but again, he needs to justify it. If he keeps it up this season and adds 2 more then yes.
    Modano - Probably.

    If you want into the HHOF without at least 1 Cup, you better bring 700+ goals and 1200+ points to the table or you're wasting your time. I don't want the HHOF to become the MLBHOF where EVERYONE gets in, devaluing the point of it. The HHOF should be for the ELITE of the ELITE, not the really good for awhile.
     
  23. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

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    Sundin's a lock for me. I don't mind his lack of Cups, because he plays for the Maple Laffs, Steve Yzerman would have no Cups playing with the guys Mats is stuck with. Mats is one of the scariest players I've watched and it's been that way for as long as I've followed hockey closely, that's good enough for me. That's all he can do, that's all he has control over, his own play. He can't control not having a dynastic roster or an elite goalie. Watching him play demonstrates clearly to me that his lack of Cups has nothing to do with a lack of personal awesomeness. He's clutch, a monster with uncanny consistency, it's crazy how long he's tormented me and been a one man gang with an all-around game. Beats the crap out of guys like Gartner.
     
  24. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I'm not sure how you can be so down on Sundin as a HOFer, and support Mike Gartner. Gartner was the better goal scorer, Sundin is better at pretty much everything else (including goal-scoring in the playoffs).

    It just makes no sense.
     
  25. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Pronger will likely pick up his fourth all-star team birth this season. If he continues to dominate after he returns from the foot injury, he'll likely win his second Norris. He had the monster playoff last year that all the greats have had, and his breakthrough performance came in the playoffs, too, in 1996, when he was dominant. The playoffs last year and this season have sealed his spot in the HHOF.

    Niedermayer has established himself. This will likely be his third straight first team all-star birth, to go with his Norris and three Cups. No defenceman has done more to cement his place in the Hall at this age since Tim Horton.

    I've taken the con side to Selanne's induction before, but if he finishes out this season playing this well, he'll likely get in. He'll qualify for the Gartner/Dionne exception - players who struggled in the playoffs, but their regular season portfolio is too much to ignore. Of course, if he has the big playoff that he's lacking - even if he doesn't win a Cup - that will augment his legacy in a way that another 50-goal season never could.

    You bring up a couple interesting points. First is the comparison with Cooperstown and the MLB Hall. Cooperstown is easily the toughest to get into. You look at guys like Andre Dawson, Goose Gossage, Bert Blyleven or Jim Rice. By any other Hall voting standards, they'd get in. Cooperstown? No. (I hope you're not implying that Ripken or Gwynn don't belong. Only morons would think that. Bruce Sutter is in Cooperstown because he brought the split-finger to the game).

    Hockey's Hall of Fame was a joke as far as standards for many years. They admitted 27 players in 1962 alone. The Hall has taken heat for some of their recent inductions, but it's a lot better than what we saw in the first 20 years, or what we saw from the Veteran's Committee.

    I don't think winning a Cup is a pre-requisite for enshrinement. I've seen a lot of great playoff players who never won a Cup. Brian Propp is the all-time leader in post-season scoring among LWs. No Cups. Brad Park was a great playoff performer. (Just ask the recently crowned king of HF Boards, Hockey Outsider). No Cups. Norm Ullman twice led the playoffs in scoring. No Cups.

    I also don't think that stats is the only measure of HHOF quality. As a very knowledgeable, long-time fan used to tell me: stats are for losers. But you do bring up an interesting point with 1,200 points and zero Cups. Among those who thrived in the post-expansion era (and benefitted from improved training, medical treatments, job availability and simply not facing an HHOF goalie every night), here are notables between 1,000 and 1,200 points without a Cup, entering this season: Michel Goulet (best LW of the 1980s, so he got in); Jeremy Roenick (won't get in); Bernie Federko (doesn't belong, but he was the first with 10 straight 50-assist seasons and he tied for the scoring lead in the 86 playoffs); Darryl Sittler (some people here don't realize just how good he was); Dave Taylor (classic case for the Hall of Really, Really Good); Teemu Selanne (might hit 1,200 next year); Rod Gilbert (his induction was a no-brainer); Dale Hunter (only player with 1,000 points and 3,000 PIMs, but chalk that up to longevity instead of year-to-year dominance); Pat LaFontaine (almost peerless in his prime from 1988 to 1996, when he was healthy); and Brian Propp (a clutch player like that deserved a couple rings. He might make it eventually).

    In the 900-1,000 point range, the only two without a Cup are Rick Middleton (a perennial fixture among the best not in the HHOF, and that likely won't change) and Steve Thomas (zero chance).

    So in that list, Goulet, Federko, Sittler, Gilbert and LaFontaine are in, and Selanne will likely get in.
     

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