Do these guys deserve the Hall ???

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by John Flyers Fan, May 21, 2007.

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  1. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Sort of a role reversal on Big Phil's threads:

    Dick Duff

    Cam Neely

    Clark Gillies

    Bernie Federko

    Joey Mullen
     
  2. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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  3. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    An absolute yes to Cam Neely. The people who oppose his induction usually point to a lack of longevity and falling under a point-per-game pace for his career. Yet they fail to realize that Neely's in there because he set the template for every power forward who will ever play in the league. There were many power forwards pre-Neely, but Neely was the first to have this label thrust upon him, thanks to the explosion in popularity of the NBA, and the question of "who's the NHL's answer to Charles Barkley or Karl Malone?" When someone is that good, that he becomes not just a defining player for his generation, but the standard setter for a very significant role for generations to follow, he should be a no-brainer for the HHOF. Throw in four all-star team selections and a knack for coming up big in the playoffs, and you have a guy who might have been the best eligible player not in the HHOF.

    Joey Mullen belongs, too. A lot of people say he got in because he's the top scoring American of all-time. Well, Phil Housley didn't get in on the first ballot, and doesn't deserve to be inducted either, and Housley passed Mullen. People forget that Mullen was a seven-time 40-goal scorer, a first-team all-star the same year he won his first Cup, and a key player on two Cup champions. Didn't get you much outside of the offensive zone, but his offence was enough to get him there. I don't remember much criticism when the selection was announced, other than he was chosen ahead of Dale Hawerchuk, who was a much better player.

    The other three? No, but you could make a good case for all three. Duff was a clutch playoff scorer. The conspiracy theorist in me said they inducted him to justify the induction of Claude Lemieux in about 10 to 20 years. And I think Duff's induction does pave the way for Lemieux to be inducted. (The difference between the two, and it is a big one, is that Duff's character is thought of much higher than Lemieux's character). Guys like Gilmour and Anderson, who were also wonderful clutch players, were passed over for Duff, and I think they deserved it more. (Although questions could be asked about inducting Gilmour on the first ballot). I would have inducted former teammates Provost and Brewer before Duff.

    Federko was the first player to post 10 straight 50-assist seasons. A gifted playmaker. No all-star team selections, but let's face it, the competition for those spots in Federko's time was very stiff. Good playoff performer. But was he a good enough player? Or was he the classic Hall of Very Good? Outside of the 10 straight 50-assist seasons, there isn't anything that says "this guy has to be in the HHOF," and when he was inducted, I don't think that was a record anymore.

    I don't remember much clamouring for Gillies to be inducted. Not like say, Glenn Anderson, who continues to be passed over. Gillies was a two-time all-star (although LW in the late 70s wasn't much of a horse race). A power forward before the label was tossed around, and the perfect guy for the Trio Grade line with Trottier and Bossy. The Islanders have spent 20 years searching for Gillies replacement. A key part of three Cup-winning teams (he was injured for most of the fourth). There's a lot to like, but was he that much better than Tonelli, Bourne or Goring? He doesn't get a sniff of the HHOF if he wasn't part of the Islanders dynasty, but you could say that about other dynasty players.
     
  4. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Duff - absolutely not. Possibly the worst selection ever. Not even close.

    Neely does - it's not the 'hall of statistics'. Neely is a legend for the way he played the game, and is one of the most physically dominating forces the game has ever seen. And he still had a bushel of 50-goal seasons and All-Star berths. The guy will still be a legend 25, 50 years from now, and those sorts of people have to be in.

    Gillies is borderline leading toward no. Very short prime, and really wasn't all that prolific, especially when you consider the gift of linemates he had. When you only have 4 really good years, they should be really good, but he was never even top-10 in goalscoring in the league. Probably the ultimate case of a player making it in because of circumstances. 'First real power forward'. 'Won 4 Cups'. But was he really a HHOF calibre player on the ice?

    Federko is borderline. Way better player than people give him credit for. His career is almost a carbon copy of guys like Sittler, but no-one will ever question Sittler's induction. A guy who had the supreme misfortune of playing in perhaps the most anonymous hockey market of the era. If he'd had the same career for an original-6 team, he'd be a slam-dunk. 4 100-point seasons, always near top-5 in the league in assists, amazing playoff performer despite playing for weak teams.

    Mullen is to me a lot more debateable selection than Federko. He had one really big season in 1988-89 where he was 7th in scoring, named a 1st Team All-Star, and then lit it up en route to winning the Stanley Cup with Calgary. Other than that ... nothing he did is really HHOF-worthy. Never top-10 in scoring otherwise, and not even really all that close. Usually 15-25 in scoring. No other 50-goal or 100-point seasons, no awards outside of 2 Lady Byngs. Is in primarily because he was the first American to score 500 goals. Does have some things in his favour, but is again borderline.
     
  5. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    My rationale behind not admitting Cam Neely was that... Gillies is already in for power-forwards, and much will concede that Neely was a bit admitted on a "what if?" basis. Admitting Neely isn't like admitting, let's say, Pelle Lindberg, but I think he should have done more to be admitted without any Cups.
     
  6. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Duff, no way. Good player yes. But come on great? Bob Pulford was maybe a tad bit better than him and he got in very suspiciously.

    Neely - I always say no. Never had more than 92 points, only had 299 assists for his career and had a good but short peak. Kariya had a short peak too, but if he was named a top 3 player in the game no on lifted an eyebrow. Even in '93-94 Neely was no higher than a top 10 player in the game. You wouldnt kick him off your team but he was never a superstar and never won a Cup.

    Federko - Gets bashed more than he should. His points per game is good even for his era. Never won a Cup though although he has even better points per game ratio. Who led the league in playoff points in '86? Yep Federko. I would have liked to have seen him excel in either the '81 or '84 Canada Cups but he was never chosen. That's too bad. He deseres it more than Ciccarelli or Andreychuk do though, call him borderline.

    Gillies - Two first team all-stars at LW but that doesnt say a whole lot. Was he ever a top 10 player in the game? He helped the Isles to a dynasty but so did Goring, and Tonelli. In m HHOF Tonelli gets in before Gillies. And Tonelli would be hard pressed to get in. His numbers just dont cut it. I know he's more than numbers but if you are it helps to have a Selke Trophy or two lying around like Gainey. If Tonelli is on the first line with Bossy and Trottier do the Isles still win 4 in a row? I think so.

    Mullen - He deserves to be there. Sure he's probably a guy who's near the bottom of the pack but he's in there at least. He joins the likes of Shutt, Barber who are all just lukewarm enough to be indcuted. I'm going to even ignore the "American" thing about him and just focus on his career. Like Shutt ('77) and Barber ('76) Mullen had a great year in '89 that I think puts him over the top. If not for that year I dont see him in there but it happened. Everything did that year. He had 51 goals and 110 points he led the NHL in plus minus, he won the Cup he had 24 points in that Cup win. Twice he led the league in goals in the playoffs. Once he was a first team all-star in '89. A top ten player in the game? You're not wrong if you say he was in '89. Plus throw in a couple more Cup wins with Pittsburgh and its hard to ignore him.
     
  7. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Thing about Mullen is that he was clutch. Even asside from Calgary and Pittsburgh, he and Federko hooked up well in St. Loo.
     
  8. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    If you could pick one forward to be on you team on game one of the NHL playoffs from about 1988-1996 and he was healthy I think that there would be alot of GMs that would have picked Neely 3rd after Mario and Gretzky every one of those seasons. Over Forsberg or Lindros or Yzerman or Sakic or Gilmour. He was that dominant of a power forward and that clutch.

    He may never have won a Cup but there were few better playoff forwards in his generation aside from Gretzky and Mario.

    Neely was so freking dominant in the playoffs and raised his game from it's already high level. Neely was a force of nature in a playoff game.
     
  9. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I think Neely (as well as similar cases like Lindros and Bure) all belong in. It is the Hall of Fame, after all. Not that it's just exciting play that should get you inducted, but I think there's a lot to be said for guys who are still going to be talked about in 30 years.

    Neely makes the grade for me. Although he doesn't have the full career as most HOFers do, his peak was huge. He was one of the most dominant players in the game, and he did it for long enough to prove to me that it wasn't a fluke. That's all I ask for. To me, it's not a shrine to careers, but rather a shrine to the players themselves. As a player, Cam Neely was good enough to be in the hall of fame, regardless of how scant his resume looks because of his injuries.
     
  10. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Neely wouldnt be third on my list. Mario and Wayne of course they'd be first. Gilmour was a huge part in a Cup win and his playoff performance in '93 and '94 was clutch as well. Neely never had a playoff like Gilmour's in '93. Messier from the years '88-96 would be picked ahead of him too. The guy captained two Cup teams in those years. Yzerman you have a good argument because he wasnt a playoff warrior at that time. Sakic didnt peak in the playoffs until '96. But if you mean overall only Lindros would be a guy who has a weaker playoff resume than Neely. Forsberg, Sakic, Gilmour, Yzerman were all better clutch performers.

    I just think Neely gets overrated a lot around here. He was a good goal scorer and fit the power forward bill pretty good but his overall game doesnt make me jump out of my seat. He wasnt a great passer and couldnt use that as a weapon very well. He just fell short of a superstar IMO.
     
  11. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Neely was a huge force in the playoffs. He had many unbelievable playoff runs and the fact he didn't get that many assists or points is not important. Look at the goals! Neely's overall game was massive. He was a physical force that just dominated games physically. He crushed teams spirits.

    Bourque and Neely were such unbelievable playoff performers for Boston. They didn't win a Cup but their playoff perfomances were so strong. I love Gilmour, he was my favourite player. His 1993 and 1994 playoffs were so unbeleivable and yet he never even got the Leafs to the final.

    I didn't say I would take Neely as the 3rd best playoff forward from 1988-1996 I am saying that quite a few GMs would have taken him after Gretzky and Mario. Neely was valued very, very highly, he was a superstar. And his game was built not for the regular season or the Canada Cup but for the NHL playoffs. Neely would have not been the 3rd pick for the Canada Cup or even at the start of the regular season. In the playoffs he would have been by lots of GMs.
     
  12. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Well he actually had only about two. In '90 and '91. Yes they were both pretty good. Does that push him over the edge for a HHOF induction. I wouldnt have put him in. His numbers just arent that impressive. If you only got 90 points twice you better have won Cups, or be Bob Gainey.

    I loved Neely and without his injuries he'd be a legit HHOFer no doubt. But the truth is he had them and within that time he didnt dominate. If you play pretty much ten years you need to have an Orr/Bossy career. Plus other than I guess '93-94 was he ever a top 10 player in the game? I dont understand how people almost have a heart attack when Lindros is mentioned as a HHOFer but with Neely its okay. He just doesnt jump out at me as a HHOFer.
     
  13. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    If Lindros had retired after Stevens laid him out - or maybe after his first Rangers season he would have had more of a chance. But Lindros has hung around as a very average player for a long time now. That makes him less likely to be selected. He still might get in the HHOF though. His first 6 or 7 seasons were hugely dominant.
    Too bad he blew off his possible first season as that would have been another dominant season on his resume.
     
  14. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I've never understood the "no cups" argument. If you saw how Neely played in the playoffs, you know his lack of championships have nothing to do with himself. There's a lot of luck and circumstance involved in winning a Cup in a 30 team league, and there's going to be a number of a great players from here on out that never do it. But if they perform like Neely did in the playoffs, I don't think it's relevant at all.
     
  15. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    According to Big Phil Neely had only 2 great playoffs. I think he was great EVERY playoffs.
     
  16. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Who's Big Phil Neely ?


    Actually, the quick response when looking at the names, without having hockey db in front of me would be Neely-yes, with a shoulder shrug or no for the rest. Numbers could prove me wrong, but to me, Neely at his best was dominant. He'd take over games and be the difference.

    Yeah, I know, longevity matters, some players contribute more than numbers.

    If you went to a game, on the way home there was a better chance you'd be talking about something Neely did than the others.
     
  17. toastman344*

    toastman344* Guest

    Dick Duff....No

    Cam Neely...Hell Yes!

    Clark Gillies...Hell No!

    Bernie Federko...No

    Joey Mullen...Yes
     
  18. 85highlander

    85highlander Registered User

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    One of my favorite you tube videos shows some of Neely's ferocious body checks ... other stats aside, I'm glad he's in for this part of his game alone....
     
  19. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    But if that was ture where are his dominant numbers? '90 and '91 he was great before Uflie checked him but at the end of the day he only had 89 points in 93 playoff career games. To me that just doesnt shout out dominant. To be in the Hall of Fame you have to do something that makes a you think wow this guy CANT not be in here. Yvan Cournoyer like Neely has 4 second team all-stars. But he also won 10 Cups, a Conn Smythe and was part of Team Canada '72. You CANT leave Cournoyer out. I just want to know what the thing is that makes anyone think that of Neely.

    I liked him and his style too. But imagine he's the most unpopular player on the planet. Does he get in then? Can people honestly think that Neely isnt in partially because of sentimental reasons and because we all loved him?
     
  20. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    He scored 57 goals in 93 games. That is impressive. Points are not nearly as relevant to a goal scorer like Neely as goals are.
     
  21. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I personally like Neely as a HOFer, but I can't understand how so many people can have him in and leave Lindros out. Very similar careers (Lindros was better, and for longer, IMO). Do a poll, and you'll find most people in favour of Neely being in, and overwhelmingly opposed to Lindros' induction. I think popularity clearly plays a role here.
     
  22. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Neely never hung around as an essentially average player. If he hung around for 5 more years and got 15 goals and 30 points a year then he might not have ever made the HHOF.
     
  23. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    It's true, and I don't feel it should be this way, especially when a player's prime is abruptly ended by injury. If Neely hobbled around for another 5 years and became a marginal player, it shouldn't take away what he accomplished when he was healthy(ish).
     
  24. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    He's fourth all-time in playoff goals per game. Period. You want numbers? How's that for a number?

    1991? He was the best player in the playoffs. Pittsburgh was done until Samuelsson kneed Cam. The entire complexion of that series changed after that hit. Pittsburgh had no other way of stopping Neely.

    Neely, Bourque and Moog were the difference for Boston in 1990. They were brilliant. Without them, that's a Boston team that maybe gets out of the first round.

    But look beyond the numbers, and watch his performance in 1988. Boston hadn't defeated Montreal in the post-season in 40 years. Neely was a second team all-star in 88, but he really took his play to another level in that playoff series against Montreal. The Habs had no answer for Neely, and that 40-year drought was over. Interesting to note that the Bruins haven't defeated the Habs in a series without Neely as an active player in the organization since 1948.

    As for the Neely/Lindros debate, two difference makers: playoffs and character. Neely was a much better player in the playoffs than Lindros (even through Lindros might have better numbers). Also, the name Eric Lindros conjures up a lot of negatives to a lot of people. You can't say the same about Neely. Character won't keep a sure-fire HHOFer out. But it will keep a borderline candidate out.
     
  25. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Lindros brought plenty of problems on himself too or at least his stage parents did.

    Anyway I think there's enough residual hype to carry him in.
     

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