It’s Hockey Hall of Fame day here at PHT and with the 2011 induction class being announced at 3 p.m. ET it’s time for everyone to make their case for who they think should get the call from the Hall of Fame this year. The Hockey Hall of Fame has some rules for making the grade though. A committee of 18 voters casts their ballots and at least 14 of them have to agree on a player to get them inducted. It can be tough to get through, but each year the voters generally get a few people they agree on.
Since we don’t have the access to those who are voting, nor would they tell us who they voted for, we put the word out to some of our media friends to see who they would’ve voted for this year. Some gave us deep thoughts on why they picked who they chose, others kept it short and sweet but all around we’re happy to have them give us their thoughts as to who should go in this time around.
Oh yeah, and we’re trying to have some fun with this too.
Joe Haggerty – CSN New England
Pat Burns – It’s time to right the wrong of last season’s selection process while Burns was still living and breathing. A Stanley Cup-winning coach with the New Jersey Devils, Burns is the only guy in NHL history to win the Jack Adams with three different teams and a larger-than-life personality that worked his way up from walking the police beat in Montreal. He was one of the dominant coaches of his era with successful stints in Montreal, Toronto and Boston – not an easy feat to gain acceptance and taste success in each of those Original Six stops.
Joe Nieuwendyk – A three-time Stanley Cup champion, Calder Trophy winner and Conn Smythe winner for his 11 goals in 23 games for the Dallas Stars during the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs, 564 career goals and 1126 career points with some excellent teams in Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey over his 19-year career. The 564 goals ranks him 21st on the NHL’s all-time list and his 93 career game-winning goals put him in the top 10 all-time. He looks and smells like a sure-fire Hall of Fame candidate.
Rick Middleton – Third in Bruins franchise history with 402 goals scored, fourth in points with 898 career points scored and the franchise’s all-time leader with 25 shorthanded goals. When you look at the Bruins’ franchise record books, every player around “Nifty” is already in the Hall of Fame – a fact that makes his omission all the more stunning. Middleton was a three-time All-Star and Lady Byng Trophy winner that always seems to get overlooked when people talk about the greats in Black and Gold history.
Ed Belfour – Just to prove that I’m completely impartial, I give “The Eagle” the nod even though I once saw him throw his goalie pads at a reporter getting too close to his personal locker space. A Stanley Cup win with the Dallas Stars, two Vezina Trophies, 484 career regular season wins to go with 88 in the playoffs, led the league in shutouts four times and five All-Star appearances encapsulate a Hall of Fame-worthy goaltender.
Ray Ratto – CSN Bay Area
Pat Verbeek – “Only because anyone with the nickname “Little Ball of Hate” deserves his own wing in the Hall.”
Mike Milbury – NBC Sports
Ed Belfour – “To me he’s automatic. An absolute lock.”
Doug Gilmour – “He’s an absolute Hall of Famer. He did it all.”
Dave Andreychuk – “He’s got 640 goals. Come on now.”
Keith Jones – Versus
Pat Burns – “No brainer. It should’ve been done last year. They have to do it now and right a terrible wrong.”
Joe Nieuwendyk – “He was the total package. Offensive skill, defensively sound. He did it all and helped win three Stanley Cups.”
Pavel Bure – “There was no one more dynamic than Bure. His talent was so unique and powerful that has to be recognized. He changed games with his speed and ability to score.”
Phil Housley – “His point totals were outstanding. He was a different kind of defenseman and a tremendous American player as well. His offensive game from the blue line was incredible.”
Sarah Baicker – CSN Philly
Ed Belfour – It’s hard not to put him in: A Stanley Cup win, two World Cup titles, two Vezina trophies, a Calder Trophy … and the list goes on.
Joe Nieuwendyk – I was pretty surprised he didn’t get in last year. He should this time.
Fred Shero – Everyone in Philadelphia (myself included) believes Fred Shero belongs in the Hall without question. The man revolutionized the way the game is coached.