The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 results are due today at 3PM, lets take a look at the most likely candidates.
The HHOF is notoriously frustrating for a lack of transparency and clear cut criteria and as such, each year’s class is met with vigorous debate and frustration. This years will likely be more of the same, with only one true lock (Teemu Selanne). It is generally accepted that players must have exceptional personal statistics, All Star nods and at least one or two major awards to gain entry. In addition, championships tend to make candidates more eligible than similar players who did not win, a case illustrated in a much criticized decision to include Jonathan Toews in the Top 100 players, even though he statistically should not have been. In rare cases, players whose careers were shortened due to injury or illness have been voted in, most notably Bruins President Cam Neely. As always, the criteria and votes are subjective and I have only included those likely to be voted in below.
Teemu Selanne: Not much needs to said here, as the Finnish Flash is widely considered a lock to make the HHOF.
- - 11th in NHL Goals
- - 15th in NHL points
- - 1x SC Champ
- - 1x M. Richard Trophy, Masterson Trophy & Calder Trophy
- - 4x 100pt seasons
- - Numerous International Awards and Medals
Vote: Yes, easily.
Mark Recchi: Recchi has been a lightning rod for debate among fans over his previous three years of eligibility. Many fans have argued he wasn’t truly elite and his numbers are largely a by product of his incredible longevity (22 years), while others argue his statistics, leadership and rings are more than enough to gain entry into the HHOF.
- - 20th in NHL goals (577)
- - 12th in NHL points (1,533)
- - 5th in games played (1,652)
- - 5x SC Champ (3x player, 2x executive w/ Pitt)
- - 7x All Star
Vote: Yes, it is time to vote Recchi in. He is the only 500g/1,500 pt player not in already the HHOF. His multiple Championships, longevity and noteworthy leadership are all worth entry.
Daniel Alfredsson: Perhaps the most controversial of this years eligible players, Alfredsson has an outside chance of being voted in his first year. The longtime Ottawa Senators captain has respectable personal statistics (1,157pts, 444g/713a), however the most common argument against is a lack of awards and rings.
- -51st in NHL points (1,157pts)
- -62nd in NHL goals (444g)
- - 6x All Star
- -1x Calder, King Clancy & Messier Award winner
- -1x Olympic Gold (SWE, 2006)
Vote: No, and certainly not on first ballot. Alfredsson is a prime example of the “Hall of Very Good”. Having watched essentially his entire career, he never felt like a truly elite player, nor did he change the game of hockey in any meaningful way. His long tenure as Captain of a Canadian team will likely earn him votes, but in my mind it doesn’t qualify him for the HHOF.
Paul Kariya: In his fifth year of eligibility, the jury is still out on Kariya. A point per game player and prolific scorer, his career was cut short due to numerous concussions (989GP). Had he remained healthy, he likely would have been an easy choice, but unfortunately his shortened career leaves his HHOF resume up for debate.
- -91st in NHL goals (402)
- -87th in NHL points (989)
- -7x All Star
- -2x Lady Byng Trophy
- -1x Hobey Baker (NCAA)
- -1x WC (CAN, 1994) & Olympic Gold Medal (CAN, 2002)
Vote: Yes, but only because a precedent has been set with other players (Neely, Lindros) who have been included after shortened careers. Had he remained healthy, he likely would have been a Top 25 scorer. A lack of championships and significant awards hurts his case and in reality, he may be waiting longer to be enshrined.
Chris Osgood: In his fourth year of eligibility, and in a light year for candidates, this may be the year for the three time Champion goaltender. Considering Rogie Vachon was enshrined last year, a precedent has been set which may include Osgood.
- -12th in NHL wins (401)
- -20th in NHL games played (744)
- -56th in Save % (.9051)
- -37th in GAA (2.492)
- -23rd in shutouts (51)
- -3x Stanley Cup Champion (2x starter)
Vote: Yes, barely and largely because of a relatively light ballot outside of Teemu. Goalies are hard to predict for the HHOF though, so it won’t be shocking if he isn’t enshrined, even after Vachon’s selection in 2016.
Dave Andreychuck: No, a lack of any significant awards and only 2 All Star nods really hurts his chances, and while his 640 goals are impressive, he did it over 1,639 games.
Alexander Mogilny: No, career was too short and his statistics aren’t strong enough to warrant inclusion without serious awards/championships.
Theo Fleury: No, same argument for Mogilny.
Tim Thomas: Too short of a career. When Thomas was at his peak, he was truly elite and his hardware alone (2x Vezina, 1x Conn Smythe and SC Champ) warrants discussion, but ultimately his lack of longevity hurts his eligibility.
What are your thoughts? Who would you include in the HHOF?
Who would you elect?
This poll is closed
Teemu, Recchi & Kariya
Teemu, Recchi, Alfie, Kariya
All of them