Tim Thomas' HoF chances

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by tarheelhockey, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    *DISCLAIMER* I realize this year's Vezina race is a speculative topic, just give it the benefit of the doubt. *thanks*


    There was a thread on this a while back, I think on the main board, but at the time it seemed Tim Thomas was in "fluke" mode and wouldn't be able to sustain his pace. Now we're far enough along (33GP) that it no longer seems like a statistical anomaly... barring a pretty severe breakdown in the second half, he should coast to the Vezina this year.

    So assuming he wins Vezina #2 this season, where does he stand for HoF consideration? He's such a weird case because he's probably going to decline and retire within the next 3-5 seasons, and even 200 wins would be a bit of a stretch. That's Guy Hebert territory, as far as accumulation is concerned.

    But even though he doesn't have the cumulative totals, he has this window of 4 years where he's been absolutely unreal. That peak window might end up at 5 or 6 years by the time he retires... to benchmark it, Ken Dryden played 7 full seasons.

    Thomas also has an unusual international slant to his resume, having won the MVP and best-goalie awards in SM-liiga prior to coming back to North America (the first North American to win those awards BTW).

    I don't even know where to begin comparing him to guys like Moog, Richter, or other bubble goalies. Would love to hear the thoughts on this board.
     
  2. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Ken Dryden also won multiple Cups over that time period.

    I'll start taking Thomas' candidacy seriously once he wins one (or does something else extraordinary).
     
  3. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    What else would you consider extraordinary?

    What if he won or at least came close to winning the Hart?
     
  4. King Woodballs

    King Woodballs Captain Awesome

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    one or two good years dont make the hall as far as I am concerned
     
  5. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    I always liked Tim Thomas (yes, even before his NHL career) but I think he is Hall of very good. Dont get me wrong. He has been extraordinary in goal for the Bruins. But if he doesnt do a "I just won a Vezina, Smythe and a Cup in one season"-season I dont see him getting into the hall.
     
  6. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    If he had a seven-year stretch with one Hart and five Vezinas, I'd start to consider him somewhat. To have that short of a prime (and I understand that he played internationally, but it was really only because he couldn't get a shot in the NHL), you've got to be exceptionally exceptional.
     
  7. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Come on now, Thomas has more than that. He's on pace for a second absolutely elite year, plus also has one or two additional good seasons.

    As for the initial question, it's legitimately hard to answer right now. One thing though, Thomas is really hurt by the fact that he was not the US's starting goaltender in the last Olympics. If he had won MVP of the Olympics, rather than Ryan Miller, it would give him that "clutch" thing for his resume that is the biggest thing he lacks right now (edit: other than longevity of course).
     
  8. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered User

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    You'd start to consider him after 1 Hart and 5 Vezinas? I think those levels (presumably accompanied by a half dozen post-season All-Star selections) would clearly put him in the area of serious-but-not-a-lock consideration. That definitely puts him in Tony Esposito territory, albeit with less longevity in the NHL.

    I say 3 Vezinas, multiple post-season all star selections, possibly a Hart, and (here's the key) a serious run into June with an Smythe-worthy performance is where we're looking to knock on the door of HOF consideration. He also must never again have an off-season like last year. Some sustained success as a top-5 goalie for the next 5-6 years is necessary.

    PS: Dr. No, have you stopped updating the bios on your website? I notice no stats beyond 06-07.
     
  9. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    The OP assumes he has a peak window of about 5-6 years, not one or two.

    So it would look like:

    2007-08 - 28-19-6, 2.44, .921
    2008-09 - 36-11-7, 2.10, .933
    2009-10 - 17-18-8, 2.56, .915
    2010-11 - 22-4-6, 1.83, .944 (so far)
    2011-12 - ???????, ????, ????
    2012-13 - ???????, ????, ????

    So far he has a cumulative .928 during that period, which is a whole .005 higher than the next guy, and also the best GAA. His record is 103-52-27. And of course the Vezinas.

    So, if he does have a season like that? For example, if the Bruins go all the way this year and he wins the Smythe?

    :laugh: You'd "start" to consider him "somewhat" when he challenges Hasek's Vezina record? Is that to say you'd even remotely consider a "no" vote at that point?
     
  10. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    That's correct. If you have a short NHL career, you need to do more.

    I'm sorry that I'm not considering someone with a seven-year NHL prime and two Vezinas. It doesn't say "Hall of Fame" to me.
     
  11. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Again though, I'm not saying he should be considered based on that kind of resume. I'm essentially asking, what more does he need to do? Personally I would find it dubious to exclude a three-time Vezina winner. Or a player who has the best numbers of an "era" as Thomas does post-lockout.

    What I'm sort of agog at is the idea that you consider the bar to be HIGHER than 5 Vezinas and a Hart. :laugh: It would be an absolute crime to have guys like Cheevers and Fuhr in there but not a 5-time Vezina winner.
     
  12. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    Hey doc, would you vote for this guy?
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/d/durnabi01.html
     
  13. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    On the "short career" angle, I think it's kind of an interesting comparison to look at Hasek before he un-retired. He had 8 seasons in Buffalo and 1 in Detroit, and he had a similar number of GP per season. During that timeframe he had a 6-season tear which is comparable in some ways to what Thomas could be doing right now. During that tear he had 5 Vezinas and two Harts, plus that run to the Finals in '99.

    Now Hasek is one of those mortal-lock players, so it's not fair to hold Thomas absolutely up to that standard. What if he goes the route of "Hasek Lite" and wins 3 Vezinas, 1 Hart, and makes a Finals run while being slightly less dominant than the Dominator? At that point does he get held out based purely on longetivity issues?
     
  14. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    I'd vote for Durnan. There's no save percentages to look at, but from all accounts, he dominated his peers over his entire career.

    Six First-Team selections, Six Vezinas (Jenningses), two Stanley Cups, and an Allan Cup (which was a bigger deal then than it is now).

    I don't see how Thomas compares with Durnan at that level.
     
  15. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    The Hart and Finals run would put him on the list. I think it'd be a hard sell (goalies are traditionally shorted in HHOF voting). Add a Cup to that, and I think he's in.
     
  16. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    How about a Hart this year, and a Finals run in the future?

    (yes, I realize how nitpicky I'm being. I just think it's an interesting way to isolate the career/peak dynamic)
     
  17. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    They don't necessarily have to be in the same year. I might even prefer separate seasons, because if Thomas' main weakness is longevity, having his accomplishments spread out as much as possible would be an asset.
     
  18. Derick*

    Derick* Guest

    Tim Thomas is definitely up there with strangest careers and difficult players to evaluate.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jan 20, 2011
  19. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered User

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    Nobody has asked you to consider the above case of only 2 Vezinas and a short prime. What they have challenged is that a Hart + 5 Vezina trophies is only enough to make you "start to consider" induction into the HOF. These are Hasek-like numbers (minus the Cup and the international success) and he's expected to be a first-ballot HOFer.

    5 Vezinas/1 Hart (plus lets say 5-7 post-season All-Star selections) says he was the best goalie in the world for half a decade. I'd say that warrants serious consideration. If nothing else, this puts him WAY above Bernie Federko level of worthiness.
     
    Last edited by moderator Bear of Bad News: Jan 20, 2011
  20. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Pretty much nil unless he's the starting goalie for the Bruins, that win the Cup 3 of the next 4 years.
     
  21. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Well a Hart would be huge. Only Plante and Hasek have them as a goalie in the last 50 years. Actually Thomas could win the Hart this year if he keeps playing well, The Bruins climb to over 100 points and win their division and Crosby slows down a little.

    Right now I think my Hart vote would be for Crosby then Thomas. But just because he might be the actual MVP does not mean he will get enough votes from the writers.

    I really doubt Thomas makes the HHOF. It is tough for goalies to get in the way the voters have been selecting players. If he was to keep playing like he has for 3 more seasons and wins the Vezina this year and the Vezina in one of the next 3 years I think he has a shot. Also the Bruins would need to make the final at least once and Thomas would need an outstanding playoffs. But that would only give him an outside shot.
     
  22. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered User

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    Yup, my thoughts exactly (see post#8). 3 Vezinas and a serious run into the playoffs just gets him into the conversation.
     
  23. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered User

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    You forgot Theodore. He lowers the bar a bit unfortunately.
     
  24. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Martin St. Louis:

    Like Thomas he started late and he would get in based on peak not the counting numbers. He however has a Cup and a Hart and more top echlon seasons. But Thomas would be comparable if he got a Vezina this year and won a Cup and played for at a very high level for 3 or 4 more seasons.

    Of course it is easier for forwards to get in then it is Goalies. But really it is who is on the selection committee when the voting comes in 10 years or so. Since it is such a small number of voters a few of them can sway the vote. If Thomas had the right supporters he could have a far improved chance at induction. I think a lot of the players in the Eastern Conference recognize Thomas as a truly great and elite goalie moreso than some fans or writers do so that could help him if say there are players and coaches that played with or against him on the committee when he is up for selection.
     
  25. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    You are right. I forgot him. Still Thomas already has a better career than Theodore does based on his consistency.

    It is funny how Hasek who was unorthodox and relied on athleticism and reflexes was able to play so long and still play today. One would think that would limit his career as he ages moreso than a more conventional goaltender. Thomas is similar (well as similar as any goalie can be to Hasek in terms of unothodox style) in some ways to Hasek relying on athleticism, quickness and reflexes more than most other goalies. Will that mean a longer career into his 40's? Who knows.

    I love Thomas's attitude. He is truly a battler. He never gives up on a play and he is as competitive as any goalie I can remember seeing. I really hope he keeps playing for a long time. It is hard not to like him.
     

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