Monday, May 07, 2007

Hall of Fame Predictions

When the season ends, the Hockey Hall of Fame will make its annual selections. Over the past few years some of their selections have been questionable (such as Dick Duff and Cam Neely). This has left a few players who are Hall of Fame worthy being overlooked (Doug Gilmour, Dino Ciccarelli, Mark Howe, Sergei Makarov and Manon Rheaume are all examples). This season will be three years since the lockout began, so players who played their last NHL game in the season before the lockout (2003/04) are eligible. That leaves a large group of worthy players getting their first shot. This group includes Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens, Adam Oates and Igor Larionov. I imagine that they will induct the maximum of four players and they will all be first time eligible players. I would select Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis. I think they are clearly the cream of the crop of potential Hall of Famers. The Hall has made some questionable choices in the past, but these are too obvious to miss ... right?

Let's have some love for Clark Gillies...

He's in the Hall (class of 2002) but despite his Islanderness (heheheh) I'm not sure about it, because he had a relatively small dominant stretch ('77-'82). He did score 30+ goals six times, though, finished with more assists and points than Neely (with an admittedly superior team), and in a statistical oddity, never reached 100 PIM in a single season. It suggests that power forward, when well-played, is more than grabbing some other large gentleman and punching his head.
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