August 07, 2009
His 20-year National Hockey League career ended yesterday amid reflection and tears inside HP Pavilion Center in San Jose. With 513 goals, 1216 points, nine All-Star Game appearances, Jeremy Roenick(notes) has the credentials for an argument for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but is it enough?
Yahoo! Sports' own Ross McKeon wrote his endorsement yesterday, comparing Roenick to current Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine who appeared in four less seasons, 498 less games, scored 45 less goals and tallied 203 less points in his 15-year NHL career. One of McKeon's reasons why Roenick deserves a plaque in Toronto, besides his on the ice accolades, is the way he marketed the game:
"Throw all the numbers out the window and try to find another player over the last 20 years who brought more attention to the league with his colorful personality, his outgoing nature and his honest, often controversial opinions than Roenick. Brett Hull is the only player who even comes close. And he finishes a distance second."
While his impact off the ice was grand, you could also say Sean Avery(notes) has brought just as much attention to the NHL in his career. Granted, it's mostly negative, but there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?
When Roenick is eligible for induction in 2012, he'll one of many first time players on the ballot joining Joe Sakic(notes), Teppo Numminen(notes), Markus Naslund(notes), Gary Roberts(notes), Claude Lemieux(notes) and maybe Mats Sundin(notes). Quite possibly still on the ballot in three years could also be Dino Ciccarelli, Dave Andreychuk, Alex Mogilny, and Pavel Bure. It could turn out to be an interesting debate when the selection committee meets.
Puck Buddy Mike Halford of The Kurtenblog as well as Adam Proteau of The Hockey News have joined McKeon in trumpeting Roenick's cause for induction in three years time, but if the committee elects JR, then one of his contemporaries has a decent argument in his favor.
He's just as worthy, if not more, than Roenick, especially if you look at their career numbers:
Turgeon tallied more goals, assists, points, points and goals-per-game and power-play goals in 69 less career games. His playoff stats are also impressive in 45 fewer games than Roenick. Turgeon posted 40-goal seasons three times along with fourteen 20-goal campaigns compared with Roenick's four 40-goal years and thirteen 20-goal seasons. Turgeon is the only one to have hardware (the 1993 Lady Byng Trophy), but Roenick did come closer to the most important trophy of them all in the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals.
So if you're choosing between Jeremy Roenick and Pierre Turgeon(notes) on who's the better Hockey Hall of Fame candidate, is the deciding factor impact they had on the game? Is it Numbers? Accolades? With the highly debated selections of Glen Anderson, Clark Gillies, and Bernie Federko entering the Hall in recent years, is it time for the selection committee to reveal the standards they use when choosing the annual Hall class?
If you were a voting member on the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committe, what would be your criteria for judging a player's worthiness to be enshrined in Toronto?