The Hockey Hall of Fame will meet virtually next Wednesday to decide the 2020 class. Who do you see getting inducted in November?
James O’Brien, NHL writer: Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Alexander Mogilny, Boris Mikhailov, Jennifer Botterill, Kim St-Pierre, Viktor Tikhonov (Builder).
Iginla looms as the no-brainer of the bunch. Iggy put up the point totals you want (625 goals, a neat-and-tidy 1,300 points), and also seems like a great person. I’d argue Iginla was robbed of a Hart Trophy, and should probably have a Conn Smythe in his trophy case, too. (Some would argue a Stanley Cup ring, too, but this is not the time to re-litigate parallax.)
Hossa didn’t lock down individual awards, but he was a truly dominant two-way player who scored enough to rely on his offense alone.
If Pavel Bure can make the Hall of Fame, I feel like you can squeeze in Mogilny, too. It’s the “Fame” part, not Mogilny’s sufficient numbers, that does the trick for me. His defection story really is something else, and makes him someone who should be enshrined.
Both Mikhailov and Tikhonov rank as crucial elements of “The Red Army,” the Russian powerhouse that still seems underrepresented in the HHOF.
Botterill and St-Pierre have resumes that really speak for themselves as dominant stars for Canadian women’s hockey teams.
Sean Leahy, NHL writer: Jarome Iginla, Daniel Alfredsson, Alex Mogilny, Boris Mikhailov, Jennifer Botterill, Karyn Bye-Dietz, Marguerite Norris (Builder).
We have our lock in Iginla and second-chance entry for Alfie. Mogilny and Mikhailov are long-overdue in the Hall for their contributions in the NHL and internationally. Botterill and Bye-Dietz had storied international careers representing their countries, with Bye-Dietz already an IIHF and U.S Hockey Hall of Fame.
If I were choosing, I would have Marian Hossa in as a first-ballot HOFer, but seeing as how the Selection Committee works, I think he has to wait a year or two. His 525 goals, 1,134 points, three Stanley Cups are impressive, but his lack of individual awards probably hurts him in the eyes of those picking the class.
Norris, who is from the famous hockey family, made a name for herself in the sport. Following her dad’s death in 1952 she became the NHL’s first female executive and later was the first woman to have her name on the Stanley Cup after the Red Wings’ won in 1954.
Jen Conway made a great case for Norris back in 2017 writing, “The Red Wings became a more profitable team under her care, and she tried to convince the other owners that televised games were the future. She also advocated for arenas to be more female-friendly and for the farm team system then in place be revamped to be more equitable and fair to all the teams.”
Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content: Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Rod Brind’Amour, Boris Mikhailov, Jennifer Botterill and Kim St-Pierre, Viktor Tikhonov (Builder).
Iginla’s 625 goals (t-16th all-time) make him an automatic choice.
I think Hossa should make it, too. His case is interesting because his most impressive statistical seasons came when his teams were less successful, and vice versa. But the bottom line: 525 goals, 149 playoff points (30th all-time), three Cups (plus two other trips to the final), and stellar two-way play over 19 seasons. That’s worthy in my book.
With Guy Carbonneau getting in last year, and Hossa having a strong chance this year, why not continue to recognize that type of player by inducting a two-time Selke champ in Brind’Amour? He captained the Hurricanes to their first-ever Cup in 2006, and finished with 1,189 career points (521 more than Carbonneau). The time feels right for “Rod the Bod.”
Mikhailov and Tikhonov were foundational hockey figures for the USSR. Ditto for Canadians Botterill and St-Pierre, who teamed up to win three straight Olympic gold medals in 2002, 2006, and 2010.