John LeClair

Mogilny, others among Hockey Hall of Fame picks for Sharp, Jones

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.

(Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

Daniel Alfredsson

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:

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1482681517

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/nbc-sports/our-line-starts

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7cDMHBg6NJkQDGe4KHu4iO?si=9BmcLtutTFmhRrNNcMqfgQ

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 phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Video: Lindros and LeClair inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame

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Prior to puck drop tonight in Philadelphia, Flyers legends Eric Lindros and John LeClair were inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.

The two spent six seasons together leading the Flyers to a Stanley Cup final appearance during the 1996-97 season.

John LeClair can’t wait to play with Lindros one more time

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Getting together for a reunion can sometimes be awkward, but for John LeClair, he can’t wait to team up with Eric Lindros one more time.

The former “Legion of Doom” linemates haven’t played together since the 1999-2000 season but in today’s Winter Class Alumni Game, LeClair tells Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com that he can’t wait to lace ’em up one more time with his old friend.

“It’s going to be fun,” John LeClair said, of reuniting with Lindros. “It’s been a while since we played together. It’s a lot of good times and a lot of good memories. It’s great to see him. He’s a big part of Flyers history. He had a lot of great years. He did a lot of great things. He took us to a Stanley Cup in ’97. He was a big part of it.”

For as controversial as Lindros was through his career in Philly, he’s coming back to town like a conquering hero with the fans eager to go wild for him one more time. We can dream about seeing them lay the body and ripping things up today, but we’ll just have to rely on old highlights for that.

Legion of D’oh: Mikael Renberg not likely to play in Winter Classic alumni game

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It’s looking like the Legion of Doom won’t be riding again in the Winter Classic alumni game.

While we all got super geeked up hearing about how Eric Lindros would be playing in the Winter Classic event and was itching to get the band back together to break out the “Legion of Doom” one more time, Mikael Renberg is looking like he won’t be able to make it.

CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker reports that while Chris Therien will be joining in on the festivities, Flyers contributing writer Bill Meltzer finds out that Renberg will have TV duties covering the World Junior Championships in Edmonton in Calgary instead.

Well if that doesn’t just deflate your tires a little bit I don’t know what will.

The nostalgic turn of events that was going to bring out the kid in all of us who remembered seeing Lindros, Renberg, and John LeClair terrorize the NHL with their physical force and scoring prowess was making the alumni game a must-see event. Now it’s going to be toned down just a little bit.

Seeing an iconic line reassembled the way it was going to be for the alumni game would’ve made it a huge thrill, but Renberg having to do TV work and sticking to his commitment is one of the things that makes hockey players who they are. They have a job and they do it. In this case, we’ll miss out on something that would’ve been really cool to see one more time.

(Photo: Philadelphia Flyers)

Want to make the Winter Classic alumni game great? Get Wayne Gretzky

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While the Alumni Game during Winter Classic weekend is just one of the other events, the announcement that Eric Lindros is trying to get the Legion Of Doom line back together with old pals John LeClair and Mikael Renberg has everyone feeling nostalgic all over again.

Adding that on top of the revelation from Pierre LeBrun that the LCB line from the Broad Street Bullies days with Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, and Bill Barber will suit up too, Philly fans will have plenty to go wild for.

It would be tremendous fun to see those lines back together after so long, but there is one former Ranger that would help make this event to be as much of a must-watch, or even more so than the Winter Classic itself.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One hasn’t seen the lights of the NHL ever since he got out of the mess with the Phoenix Coyotes and while he’s told outlets in Canada recently that he hopes to someday make his return to business in the NHL, it’d make for one hell of a show to see 99 back on the ice with some of his old Rangers (and Oilers) teammates to take on the Flyers with the Legion Of Doom line that beat Gretzky in the 1997 Eastern Conference finals.

While the Rangers could have a host of other big name former players suiting up for them in Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, and Mike Richter to help make the alumni game a fun nostalgic romp, Gretzky’s presence would help it over the top.

Gretzky retired as a Ranger in 1999 and while he’s better known as an Oiler or a King, seeing him buzzing the ice once again in Ranger blue would be enough to make the Alumni Game must-see TV.

How about it 99? Give us one more time for fun’s sake and to show that the league you helped make great can properly welcome back its biggest star of all time.