Tonight, the Hockey Hall of Fame will enshrine four ex-NHLers: Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Sergei Fedorov and Phil Housley.
But that’s old news.
The new news, or just “news” I guess, is that after tonight there’s a fresh HHOF debate on our hands:
Who gets in for 2016?
First, let’s be clear about something — next year’s class is going to lack the oomph of previous enshrinements. Per TSN, the names “of note” among first-time eligible entrants are Jason Arnott, Milan Hejduk, Jose Theodore, Roman Hamrlik, Vaclav Prospal and Zigmund Palffy.
Which means next year could be the time for some long-eligible guys to get in, like…
Eric Lindros: Now in his sixth year of eligibility, the Big E remains a polarizing figure. Though his window of dominance was small, it was really dominant, and there’s a case to be made that if Peter Forsberg got into the Hall despite a career riddled with injury, so too should Lindros.
(The counter-argument, of course, is that Forsberg won a lot more hardware, most notably his two Stanley Cups).
Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk: In their third and eighth years of eligibility, these two fall under the “strong resumes because they played for so long” category. Recchi (22 seasons!) 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. Andreychuk (23 seasons!!) has 640 career goals and more PPG (274) than anybody in history. He also won a Cup with Tampa Bay in ’04.
Jeremy Roenick: Similar to Recchi and Andreychuk in that his longevity — 20 seasons — allowed him to rack up some big-time totals. He’s a member of the 500-goal and 1,200-point clubs, but never won a Stanley Cup.
Others: Rod Brind’Amour, Alex Mogilny, Claude Lemieux, Doug Weight, Adam Foote, Steve Larmer, Markus Naslund, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin, Paul Kariya, Theoren Fleury, Sergei Makarov, Curtis Joseph.
OK, now vote in our poll. You can choose up to four players, since that’s the maximum allowable number of NHLers for any given HHOF class. If there’s someone not on the list, write it in the comments section.