The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its 2015 class on Monday, and here’s what we know for sure: Nicklas Lidstrom would be in already were it not for a mandatory waiting period.
There are a couple of other presumptive locks for this year, although they carry their own caveats in ways that Lidstrom doesn’t.
Here are the odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015 as we see it. Along with the players mentioned here, we expect Pat Quinn to be posthumously inducted in the “builder” category and Angela Ruggiero, U.S. women’s hockey legend, in the as a women’s player.
Keep in mind that the Hall of Fame eligible goalies will have played a minimum of 400 NHL regular season games, won over 200 NHL games, or recorded 25 or more NHL shutouts. The forwards and defensemen will have played a minimum of 800 NHL regular season games or recorded a minimum of 300 goals, 400 assists or 700 points.
And here … we … go.
Lidstrom is the best defenseman of multiple generations and one of the greatest in the history of the game. He won the Norris Trophy seven times, tied for second most behind Bobby Orr, and his seemingly effortless (and tireless) play earned him the moniker of “The Perfect Human.” He’s already a god; immortality is a mere formality.
Fedorov is slightly less of a lock, but it’s hard to conceive how a second Detroit Red Wings legend won’t be a first-ballot puck. He scored 1,179 points in 1,248 career games, won the Hart Trophy and three Stanley Cups. He scored 176 points in 183 playoff games as well. One of the best two-way forwards of his era and without question fills the “fame” part of the equation with his explosive play.
Look, he’s likely in. The rules mean he’s eligible. But this Hall of Fame committee, in its various incarnations, has made political and personal points in the past with its voting. Pronger is still an active NHL player with an active NHL contract, currently owned by the Arizona Coyotes. We all know what the real deal is, but we’re not putting it past the Selection Committee to deny entry to an absolute lock because he’s not actually retired yet. Because if there’s one thing we know about the Hall of Fame, it’s that it doesn’t actively court controversy. That said …
Every year of distance from Lindros’s playing career helps his case. There’s a building wave of people that see him as a Hall of Famer, and it’s not hard to imagine the Selection Committee sneaking him in a class that’s this loaded with big names.
Lindros is 19th in NHL history in points per game average with 1.138. He won the Hart and the Pearson in 1995. He has just 760 NHL career games, however, in a concussion-plagued career. And the reason he’s not in now is because, well, he wasn’t exactly the Prom King as far as popularity goes within the hockey world.
Recchi was a scoring and winning machine, leading the NHL in assists in 1999-00 while being 12th in career point (1,533) and 19th in career goals (577). Three Stanley Cups helps his profile. He’s got the numbers, but does he have that extra “thing” a Hall of Famer needs?
Andreychuk is starting to enter that Pat Burns “when will the Hall of Fame right this wrong?” category. Because when you score 640 goals in the NHL – and he’s the only one that has who isn’t in the Hall – it really shouldn’t matter if you scored them two feet or 15 feet away from the goalie.
Housley’s stock is rising. Steve Whyno of the Canadian Press thinks he’s in this year. He is third in all-time career points by an American born player with 1,232 behind Brett Hull and Mike Modano. But a lack of awards and a Cup ring are significant drawbacks.
Roenick never won an individual award in the NHL nor did he win the Stanley Cup either. He won Olympic silver with the U.S. in 2002. Statistically, Roenick has 513 career goals (37th overall) and a 0.892 points per game average, placing him right with Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk. But again the argument for Roenick is that no player during his best years epitomized the “FAME” part of the candidacy.
Yes, this one again.
Three Stanley Cups, and the backstop for two of them with the Detroit Red Wings. A postseason GAA of 2.09 and a regular season GAA of 2.49. A postseason save percentage of .916, and a regular season one of .905. He won two Jennings and led the NHL in wins in 1995-96, and is 10th all time in that category.
I still think he ultimately gets in for various reasons, but I don’t think it’s going to be on this ballot.
Your “guys with Hall of Fame numbers that lack that extra thing that makes a Hall of Famer” list. Kariya's stock is rising, though, when you consider he was a point-per-game player in the era in which he played.
Legendary players that all have something going for them, whether it’s Makarov’s international success or Hextall’s unique approach to the position, but don’t have the total package.
Players with numbers that are right on the cusp of being Hall worthy but just can’t match up with their peers.
Ethan Moreau is first-year eligible. Just sayin’.