Tonight, four ex-NHLers — Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano and Rob Blake — will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But we already knew that.
In the spirit of moving forward (not backward) and upward, (not forward) and always twirling, twirling towards freedom, we ask: Who should be enshrined in 2015?
Nicklas Lidstrom: Lockiest lock that ever locked. Mayor of Lockville. Lock, stock and two smoking lockers. Next.
Chris Pronger: HHOF president and CEO Jeff Denomme has confirmed that Pronger will be eligible for induction next year despite the fact that, y’know, he’s still on the Flyers’ roster. (Also assuming Pronger doesn’t come back and play… which, given he has a new job in the NHL’s department of player safety, is a pretty safe assumption.)
Anyway, Pronger’s a lock. Won a Stanley Cup, Hart and Norris Trophy and two Olympic gold medals; named 1st- or 2nd-team All Star four times and widely regarded as one of the best shutdown defensemen of his era.
Sergei Fedorov: Lock. Three Stanley Cups, two Selkes, first European-trained player to win the Hart. Incredibly decorated internationally (yet, it should be noted, never won Olympic gold) and the first Russian player to ever eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
Mark Recchi: Will generate plenty of debate after getting passed over this year. Longevity — he played 22 years! — saw him rack up some remarkable totals; the Wrecking Ball sits fourth all time in games played (1,652), 19th in goals (577), 12th in points (1,533) and won three Stanley Cups with three different teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina, Boston).
Eric Lindros: He’s been passed over twice already and the depth of 2015’s class could keep him out again. The debate with Lindros will always be if his abbreviated body of work makes for a strong enough case; some feel that Forsberg’s induction (he actually played fewer games than Big E) could help Lindros, though it has to be mentioned Forsberg won two Stanley Cups to Lidros’ zero.
Jeremy Roenick: Like Lindros, has been passed over two years in a row. Roenick’s a bit similar to Recchi in that longevity allowed him to rack up some big numbers (20 years, 1,216 points) but, unlike Recchi, he never won a Cup.
Others: Phil Housley, Dave Andreychuk, Rod Brind’Amour, Alex Mogilny, Claude Lemieux, Doug Weight, Adam Foote, Steve Larmer, Markus Naslund, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin, Paul Kariya.
OK, now vote in our poll. You can choose up to four guys, since that’s the maximum allowable number of NHLers for any given HHOF class. If there’s someone not on the list you think should, write him in the comments section.