The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2020 class on Wednesday, mixing no-brainers (Jarome Iginla) with some surprises. Like clockwork, people pumped out takes about Hall of Fame “snubs.”
During the latest episode of “Our Line Starts,” Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp don’t go as far as throwing the “snub” word around.
Sharp and Jones did, however, share their future Hall of Fame picks with host Liam McHugh. You can check out the full episode at the bottom of this post, and the specific Hall of Fame clip in the video above.
[MORE: Who the PHT staff would have inducted into the 2020 HHOF]
Let’s dive into their most prominent choices:
Jones, Sharp make strongest Hall of Fame cases for Alexander Mogilny
In my opinion, the most fascinating thing about Mogilny is his legacy in defecting to play hockey in North America.
But it’s also interesting to find out “which” Mogilny people think of when you ask about the gifted winger. Maybe it’s an age thing, but as much as I enjoyed his work on other teams, my first thought is of his time with the Canucks.
Jones puts a lot of emphasis on Mogilny’s time with the Devils, though. Mogilny won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1999-2000, helping defense-obsessed New Jersey with much-needed offense.
(Granted, Mogilny didn’t set the playoffs on fire, scoring two goals and seven points in 23 games during that run. His prime postseason production was impressive, though.)
Really, we should probably remember Mogilny most for his explosive days with the Sabres. After all, he became the first-ever European captain of an NHL team with Buffalo.
Hall of Fame discussions aren’t always about the concrete, however. Some of it comes down to feelings. Jones explains that his memory of trying to defend Mogilny inspired a feeling of fear. Fear of being burned by Mogilny’s speed and skill. Jones was far from alone.
Pretty simple case here. Alfredsson piled up considerable individual stats, and served as a face of the Senators franchise for years.
Sharp said it was probably a “matter of time” for Mogilny to get inducted, but that could be true with Alfredsson as well. I will admit that I blurted out “Scott Niedermayer” when Sharp asked if anyone had a bad thing to say about Alfredsson.
(Then again, Niedermayer probably let Alfredsson’s tantrum go a long time ago, anyway.)
Tkachuk and other mentions
- Jones seemed pretty emphatic about Keith Tkachuk’s Hall of Fame credentials. (No, I don’t think It’s a Keith Thing.)
Jones points to Tkachuk’s 538 goals (33rd all-time), the most of any eligible player who’s not in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s likely a high compliment that Jones said he hated playing against Tkachuk.
- In discussing Tkachuk, Jones linked him to a former power forward teammate John LeClair.
Granted, Jones acknowledged that Tkachuk boasts greater longevity and a comparable peak. LeClair’s best years — some strong playoff work with the Habs, that run on the “Legion of Doom” line — prompted Jones to say LeClair joined Eric Lindros as the league’s best “duo” for some time. I’m not sure I agree there, but I do generally appreciate quality-over-quantity Hall of Fame arguments.
- Sharp brings up Rod Brind’Amour, a name that’s been gaining steam recently.
Whether “Rod the Bod” should be inducted or not, it’s delightful to see more love for dominant two-way forwards. And it’s not as if Brind’Amour was a total slouch offensively.
(Was “Rod the Bod” a slouch in any way, literally or figuratively? /Asks while slouching.)
As former players, Jones and Sharp reflexively mention a lot of their contemporaries. Regardless, it’s interesting to hear their insight on Mogilny and others they believe should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“Our Line Starts” discusses Mogilny and other Hockey Hall of Fame hopefuls
Start-11:08 – Reaction to this year’s HOF class (Holland, Hossa, Iginla, Lowe, St-Pierre, Wilson)
11:10-16:45 – Who should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame (or not): Mogilny? Alfredsson? Tkachuk?
16:45-End – Fantasy draft for this year’s 24-team playoff tournament
Where else you can listen:
NBC Sports on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/nbcsports
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.