Monday, June 09, 2008


Holistic Hockey Hall of Fame Picks

Over at his Legends of Hockey site, author Joe Pelletier has a look at the potential candidates to be elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 8 eight days time.

Joe has gone so far as to do his own Power Rankings, although I have no idea what criteria he used other than his own encyclopedic knowledge of the game.

Here is his power rankings, with a couple of his comments left in there.
Doug Gilmour
Igor Larionov
Pavel Bure - The Russian Rocket was the game's most electrifying and explosive scorer in the 1990s. But his career was cut short by injuries. If Cam Neely got in, so will Pavel.
Adam Oates
Dino Ciccarelli
Sergei Makarov
Claude Lemieux
Glenn Anderson - Clutch playoff performer is one of the top 5 playoff scorers in most offensive categories. But the squeaky clean selection committee does not like his off-ice reputation.
Boris Mikhailov
Anatoli Firsov
Tom Barrasso
Pat Verbeek
Mike Richter

Others: Mark Howe, Neal Broten, Phil Housley, Mike Vernon, Andy Moog, Rogie Vachon, Wendel Clark, Dale Hunter and Guy Carbonneau.


Now, if I had a vote, you can be sure the HHOF would not include the likes of Clark Gillies. I'm not as anal as some Baseball HOF voters, but I think the HHOF should include only the very best. Playoff success is not a great measure of a player given how a guy like Gillies can simply get lucky to be where he was. Poor Marcel Dionne was one of the very best, yet he was stuck on crappy LA Kings teams and never got close to the Stanley Cup.

If I was to pick 3+1 players to get into the HHOF, my picks would be
1. Adam Oates
2. Phil Housley
3. Mark Howe
4. Boris Mikhailov

I add the +1 candidate because I believe the HHOF should keep 'International' players in a separate light, especially if they spent the majority or all of their careers outside of the NHL. Less and less players do so, but it's important to recognize the Mikhailov's.

Now, some explanations

Adam Oates vs. Doug Gilmour - I know the media love Gilmour, and will select him over Oates, but I consider Oates the superior player. Oates ranks higher in career assists, points, and points created per game than "Killer"

Phil Housley - I know the waif-like Housley is easily panned by most hockey fans, but how can the HHOF possibly leave out one of the best offensive defensemen to ever play the game?

He ranks 18th in career assists, 4th among D-men, ranks 36th in points all-time, and, until recently, was the king of all American point scorers.

Mark Howe - Unfortunately, I know that Mark Howe will never make the HHOF, despite his family pedigree.

Howe was simply one of the league's best defensemen back in the mid-early 80s, overshadowed only by the likes of Coffey, Potvin, and Bourque. Those Flyers teams were hard to score against, and Howe was the prime reason.

Oh, as a defenseman, he also ranks 24th(!) all time in shorthanded goals with 28, and ranks 11th all time with a +/- of +400. Howe was a complete defenseman, but barely ever got his due.

Bure - While Neely was voted in, Bure will not. The media love "Sea Bass", but see Bure as nothing short of a 'pouty cherry-picking Russian'. Sorry, Pavel

Larionov - I'd bet on him making it, but I'd rather take Mikhailov as the 'International' pick. Larionov's NHL career wasn't even close to HHOF-worthy, so that is why I'm not exactly keen on voting him in. Still, we can't deny the risks he took and the path he helped pave for other Russians.

Ciccarelli/Anderson - Despite their numbers and skill, the HHOF votes just plain don't like these guys for their off-the-ice exploits. I think Anderson was a good-but-not-great player, while Ciccarelli has the numbers to support his inclusion.

Clod Lemieux - Playoff exploits aside, Lemieux was an above-average player who got far more fame than he deserved. All too often, he'd coast through the regular season. A hall-of-fame forward from his era should do a lot better than only 2 70-point seasons.

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C'mon, Jes - dump Howe for Dino and you've got three former Caps!
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