Now that we provided our Hall of Fame choices, let’s get to some of our favorites from the hockey blogosphere. We’ll provide a “consensus” post later on, too.
1. Adam Oates – greatest assist man of all time and part of the best nicknamed duo in hockey: “Hull & Oates.”
2. Doug Gilmour – one of the best captains in Maple Leafs history, and there are quite a few to choose from.
3. Pavel Bure – he was fast, thrilling, and the hockey grandpappy of guys like Ovechkin and Kovalchuk.
4. Joe Nieuwendyk, because I’m contrarian and because he’s the “shoo-in.”
Every year Oates gets passed over drives me nuts. Nieuwendyk’s a lock regardless, but I like to live on the edge. (Ed note: someone purchased Aerosmith’s “Get a Grip” album in the 90s … besides ME!)
Four choices: Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, and Pavel Bure
Honorable Mention: Cammi Granato
Nieuwendyk should get into the Hall in his first year on the ballot… no question! Gilmour, Andreychuk, and Bure are worthy of getting in, too. Granato would be a great story to get in as the first woman, but doubt she’ll be elected in her first year on the ballot.
1. Joe Nieuwendyk – Twenty seasons, three Cups, a Conn Smythe, a 0.90 point per game average over that span … this guy is a gimme for the Hall.
2. Hakan Loob – It is the Hockey Hall of Fame, right? Not the NHL Hall of Fame. Loob had a stellar career in the NHL, in Sweden and for Sweden – putting up solid numbers and bringing fans out of their seats. I would put Mats Naslund in as well for the same criteria but there are only four slots and, well, there are enough Canadiens in the Hall already. Induct him and they might want to retire his number… (Editor’s note: is Scotty Hockey trying to score points with John Buccigross?)
3. Alexander Mogilny – Like Loob, Mogilny is a Triple Gold member. Unlike Loob, he had to defect to come to play in he NHL and battled extreme xenophobia – he was a Soviet coming to take a job. It was a battle he won by becoming a star.
4. Lorne Chabotsky aka Lorne Chabot – By any name, the first goaltender in Ranger history was a great one. Lorne played 11 seasons, was traded six times, won two Stanley Cups (one with the Rangers, one with the Leafs), collected a Vezina Trophy (with the Hawks) and left the league with a winning record (201-148- 62).
Honourable Mention – Pavel Bure – A Russian Mike Bossy without the luck to end up on a dynasty team. Both were dynamic offensive talents who wowed with their skill and had their careers end too early due to injury. And Bure did it not in the open ’80s but the dead puck era.
1. Joe Nieuwendyk
It may not be an original pick, but it’s hard not to start with him. He’s a proven winner who also looks like he’s going to have success as the Stars GM. A lock.
2. Dave Andreychuk
He’s one of 74 players all-time with more than 1,000 points and is 28th all-time in points overall. He’s a leader who played 1,639 games in a brilliant career.
3. Doug Gilmour
He’s 12th all-time with 964 assists in his 1,474-game career. Although he was somewhat overshadowed by Wayne Gretzky as a center, he certainly is worth of induction alongside the Great One.
4. Cammi Granato
If you’re going to include women on the ballot, why not start with somebody from a strong hockey family? Granato led the USA to two Olympic medals (a gold and silver) and a boatload of other international titles.
Honorable Mention — John LeClair: He may not be a sexy pick, but he’s certainly worthy of induction. He won a Cup on a great Canadiens team anchored by Patrick Roy and then nearly led the Phiadelphia Flyers to a title. And he won a silver Olympic medal too.
After the jump, picks from the remaining hockey bloggers.
Still holds the goaltending records for the Calgary Flames; and come on after so many years of battling it out with Patrick Roy between the pipes to finally pummeled him at center ice in the Fight Night at the Joe brawl on 26 March 1997 (which was also his 300th NHL victory) then back stopping the Detroit Red Wings to their first cup since 1955 and win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Probably one of the most overlooked players because he never won the Stanley Cup. Has the most points (1420 and what a pretty number that is) out of any eligible HHOF ballot members. After coming so close to winning so many different awards (Stanley Cup, Lady Byng, etc) isn’t it just time we finally let Oates be a bride and not the bridesmaid?
Four time All Star game ranging from 1982 to 1997. The original goaltender annoyance before Tomas Holmstrom. Recorded 1,200 points (and 1,425 PIM) in 1,232 career games.
The original (OK not historically but we are talking hockey) Alexander the Great. A Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold medal, and a World Championship Gold medal) member that just needs his Hockey Hall of Fame induction to complete his collection.
Though he did not have a successful postseason career, he was flashy and enjoyable to watch. People tuned in to watch games they may have not normally watched to see what Bure might do. He was quick and flashy; and the people loved him but is that enough?
1: Adam Oates. The only inactive non-hall-of-famer with more points than Oates is Joe Sakic, a first-ballot lock when eligible. That Brett Hull is in and Oates is not also breaks up the “Hull and Oates”
2: Doug Gilmour. If 1400+ games and points, many as a captain, doesn’t make you a hall of famer, maybe we should rethink George Armstrong. Both are former leafs who scored cup-winning goals…Gilmour just happened to do it for Calgary.
3: Dino Ciccarelli. Nearly a point per game through 1200+ games, he’s been kept out of the hall because of some questionable off-ice behavior. He’s been left to twist in the wind long enough, it’s time for him to finally get in.
4:John Vanbiesbrouck. Of eligible goalies, he’s the best. Tom Barrasso would also be acceptable, even if he did play for my high school’s rival before breaking into the NHL.
Honorable Mention: Phil Housley. One of the best American defensemen of all time, he’s cursed by a lack of Stanley Cups. I expect Messier to get into the Hall again before Housley does, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t.
First female inductee: Cammi Granato has been the first woman into 2 other hall of fames already – USHHOF and IHHOF – and with good reason. I see no reason to break the pattern. (USA! USA! USA!) (Editor’s note: Cornelius cheated! This won’t count but it’s still cool to have her in the post again.)
1. Dino Ciccarelli: Aside from the off-ice shenanigans, Ciccarelli was a solid scorer and someone who was dependable for most of his career. 600+ goals and 1200 points is something that shouldn’t be left out of the Hall anymore.
2. Adam Oates: There wasn’t a better passer and probably never will be. Like Ciccarelli, the lack of Cup ring will definitely hurt him in the field of guys who have it– but even so; he should be able to get in on pointage alone.
3. Pavel Bure: While his career was cut short, the impact he had when it came to people looking at Russian players is something that paved that way for the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. The only thing that will screw him over is the shortness of his career.
4. Joe Nieuwendyk: Three Cups and someone who was able to get into their role position after he was no longer the big fish in the small pond. While his stats were never flashy, he got the job done in the long run and contributed where needed.
Honorable Mention: Mike Richter: How he was passed up in his prior voting is a shock; but he will be again. NHL accomplishments aside, he did a lot of great international work with USA Hockey.
Joe Nieuwendyk – This guy has all of the numbers. 564 goals, 1126 points, three Stanley Cups. This guy is a mortal lock.
Phil Housley – Top scoring American born D-man ever. Second only to Mike Modano for highest scoring American regardless of position. If Housley doesn’t get in, the selection committee should be ashamed of themselves.
Dino Ciccarelli – The 600 goal club is a small one, and the fact that Dino is not in the hall is a travesty. I don’t think off the ice incidents (indecent exposure) should hurt a guy’s chance to get in the Hall. It’s about on ice success, and Dino was one of the best.
Dave Andreychuk – Another 600 goal club member left out of the hall. Stanley Cup, over 1300 points, in a relatively weak class of possible inductees. I’m not sure what a shoe-in vote looks like, but he has to be it.
Mike Vernon – No, he doesn’t have the greatest numbers of all time, but he beat the tar out of Patrick Roy. That has to count for something.
1. Kevin Lowe – As much as I dislike him as the president of the Edmonton Oilers, there’s no denying that he was a presence on those five Cup winning Edmonton Oilers teams. And he managed to add a sixth Cup win when with the NY Rangers. Even if it was just luck on his part, those six rings speak volumes.
2. Cammi Granato – Manon Rhéaume may have broken the gender barrier in the NHL – even if it was only during the preseason – but Granato has accomplished far more on the ice than Rhéaume has. She’s won just about everything there is to win in women’s hockey, including the first-ever Olympic gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. In 2007, she was one of the winners of the Lester Patrick Award, which is often awarded to NHLers; if that doesn’t say something, then I don’t know what does.
3. Alexander Mogilny – Mogilny’s on-ice accomplishments were many, but it’s his off-ice accomplishment that makes him HHOF-worthy. He was the first Russian to defect in 1989 as a junior player to the US to come play hockey in the NHL – the Soviet Union didn’t fall until two years later in 1991. Mogilny’s bravery led the way for other Russians to join him in North America, such as Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Bure.
4. Manon Rhéaume – She was the face of women’s hockey for many years, and inspired a generation of girls to toss their figure skates for a pair of hockey skates – or even just to learn to skate so they could play hockey. She broke the NHL gender barrier by playing two NHL preseason games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, one in 1992 versus the St. Louis Blues and the other in 1993 versus the Boston Bruins. She also participated in the first ever women’s ice hockey Olympic tournament in 1998 with Team Canada, winning the silver medal.
Honorable Mention, Mike Richter – Perhaps not the most successful goaltender on the list, but his accomplishments to grow the game here in the US were great. He was, for many years, the face of USA Hockey – and he lived up to that admirably. It doesn’t hurt that he also managed to win a Cup in 1994 with the NY Rangers as well.
Ivan Makarov (no relation to Sergei, though)
1. Joe Nieuwendyk
2. Eric Lindros
3. Pavel Bure
4. Sergei Makarov
Honorable Mention: John LeClair – consistent performer, but not quite the first-year inductee.
There is no question Joe should be elected on the first ballot – he has the numbers, the trophies and the rings. Lindros and Bure do not have the rings, but when we think of the players who dominated the game in the 90s, those two come up in all conversations. All young Canadian and Russian prospects with high potential are still compared to those two all the time. Finally, Makarov belongs to HOF too. No doubt he was one of the best players to ever play the game and it’s a shame he was in his prime when he couldn’t play with the best in the NHL.