One thing I love at this time is every year the debate over which 1st time eligible players and players that still have been up for years and years should be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
Tomorrow we will get that answer as up to 4 players as well as the builder's category if they elect since there were none last year
First lets take a look at the noteworthy 1st year candidates that have the best shot at getting in if not now eventually
Note: Where each player sits on the all-time list in a particular stat is in brackets
Career Stats: 1,641 pts(9th), 625 goals(15th), 1,016 assists(11th), 86 GWGs(18th), 84 playoff goals(7th) 188 playoff points(8th), 2 time Stanley Cup Champion(1996, 2001) Hart, Conn Smythe, Lady Byng and Lester B. Pearson winner(2001) and member of the triple gold club(Worlds, Cup, Olympics)
I don't even have to mention anything else
Verdict: Yes He's a lock to get in
Career Stats: 1,354 points(25th), 656 goals(13th), 237 PPGs(6th), 109 GWGs(4th) 3 Stanley Cups(1997,1998, 2002),
8 time NHL all-star along his 656 goals are the 2nd most by a LW and his 19 consecutive 20 goal seasons are the 2nd most in NHL history also a triple gold member
Verdict: Yes He's pretty much the other lock from this year's 1st year eligible candidates
Career Stats: 513 goals(37th), 1,216 points(T-40th), 184 PPGs (22nd), 92 GWGs(T-11th), 28 SHGs(T-24th) 3rd American player to score 500 goals, 4th all-time among Americans in points
He had 130 goals by the time he was 21 years old, very accurate goal scorer twice hitting the 50 goal mark and would hit 40 two other times and 30 three other times. Although he had 107 points after the 1st lockout he never got above 80 in his remaining 13 NHL seasons
Verdict: Not Yet I think he will get in eventually he might be waiting for a few years though
Career Stats: 564 goals(T-21st), 1,349 points(27th), 96 GWG(7th) 31 SHG(T-18th), Only Swedish player to hit 500 Goals, Most career goals, assists, points by a Swedish player, 1 of 2 players to score 20 goals his 1st 17 seasons, 9 time NHL All-Star
Was consistent and a point a game player tied with former teammate Joe Niewendyk on the all-time goals scored list while playing 2 fewer seasons than him, had 13 seasons of scoring 30 goals along with two 40 goal seasons, also lead the Leafs in points for 8 straight seasons (1995-2002). Only thing that hurts him is he was never looked upon being among the league's elite and the Leafs lack of success in the playoffs though he never really had that star winger beside him for most of his time in Toronto
Verdict: Not Yet Like Roenick probably waiting a year or 2 but will get in eventually
Career Stats: 943 GP(5th), 454 wins(4th), 51 shutouts(T-22).
12 times in his career he won 20 games and 6 times won 30 or more, and a player who was always made the teams he played for way better than he should have been his teams in St.Louis, Edmonton and a few years in Toronto where he was sole reason most times they went as far as they did. Also the type of goalie that was better the more shots he faced. Has a respectable shutout total and decent GAA(2.79) and SV%(.906). What works against him is no Stanley Cups and only been to the Conference final once, only 3 All-Star appearances and never won the Vezina trophy.
Verdict: No Stats may indicate in but unlikely due to no cup or Vezinas
Now that we have taken care of the 1st year eligibles now the players who have been eligible for years I'm not going through all of them just the list of guys that likely have a chance to get in right now starting with
Career Stats: 437 goals(63rd), 779 points, 2 time 60 goal scorer, two 50 goal seasons, 6 time NHL All-Star
The russian rocket has been eligible for a few years now sure he was a one dimensional player but his blazing speed and amazing sniping ability in a career that was cut short by knee injuries hard to imagine that he's not in the Hall
Verdict: Yes I think its finally time if Neely's career was cut short due to injury and he's in I think he should be too
Career Stats: 372 goals, 865 points in 760 games, 7 time NHL All-Star, Hart and Lester B. Pearson Trophy(1995)
A physical gifted power forward averaged more than a point a game and at his peak was among the best players in the game though his style got him injured and injuries and concussions shortened his career 4 time 40 goal scorer and 3 other seasons with 30
Verdict: Not Yet The debate is there wether he is a hall of famer or not I think at least he's waiting a few more years
Career Stats: 1232 points(37th, 4th among D-men), 894 assists(19th) 2nd highest scoring american player in NHL history, 7 time NHL All-Star
The point totals suggest he should be in the other 3 defensemen that are ahead of him in points are in, began his career with 11 straight seasons of 62 points or more his assists totals are ahead of Hawerchuk, Savard, and Leetch and all of them are in
Verdict: Not Yet Only because there's 1 viable candidate left that I think deserves it just a bit more I'll explain
Career Stats 1,420 points(16th), 1,079 assists(6th), 5 time NHL All-Star, oldest player to lead the NHL in assists (64 in 2001-02 at age of 39)
Him not being in absolutely baffles me I know he didnt win a cup but his 97 assist season in 1992-93 with Boston came with Cam Neely hurt for all of 13 games but you want the strongest argument to why he should be in when he retired in 2003-04 he was 6th on the all-time list in assists and guess what 8 years have passed and he's still 6th in fact he'll be 6th for a very long time as the only NHL player right now with even a prayer to catch him is Joe Thornton who is 325 behind him.
Verdict: Yes Seriously look at his career numbers how he is not in?
There are other players that I have not mentioned like Andreychuk, Mogilny, Damphousse and Bernie Nichols who are eligible for years and could be candidates as well I think they are all waiting with I think Andreychuk and Mogilny having the strongest cases so if you read all of this my scorecard of who I'd put in this year is
Joe Sakic, Brandan Shanahan, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates along with Pat Burns in the builders category(it should have happened already 2 years ago or even last year)
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