Sunday, October 28, 2007

I NOW Consider Eric Lindros A Hall of Famer

I like to keep track of currently active NHL players and note the points when they have satisfied my Hall of Fame standards. The last player to do so had been Teemu Selanne. Today, I think Eric Lindros has satisfied my standards.

Eric Lindros? Why him? And more importantly why now? After all, he has not played a game yet this season and is more likely to retire than to ever play another game. Everyone knows Lindros was on a Hall of Fame track earlier in his career. He has a very good 855 points in 760 games. He won the Hart and Pearson trophies as NHL MVP in the lockout shortened 1994/95 season when he tied Jaromir Jagr for NHL top scorer. He played in six straight all star games in the 1990's and was considered by many to be the best player in the game for a period in the 90's (and by many others he would have been considered the best player in the game if only he could have stayed healthier). The problem was that with concussions, his career got off track and he hasn't had a very good season in many years. What has he done now to secure his Hall of Fame position?

His major recent accomplishment is helping to get the NHLPA back on its feet by playing a major role in the selection of Paul Kelly as the new NHLPA boss. That is an accomplishment as a builder and not a player, but it all helps his Hall of Fame credentials. The Hall of Fame standards explicitly look at a player's service to the game. In my opinion, Lindros accomplished 90-95% of what was required for Hall of Fame induction with his playing career. He was very close to induction standards, but fell slightly short. In working to re-establish the NHLPA, he filled in that missing piece. Sure the Hall of Fame inducts people as players, builders and referees/linesmen, but these categories are not designed to be mutually exclusive. Should a player also make contributions as a builder, it will help his Hall of Fame case. As long as his major contribution is as a player, (as is clearly the case with Lindros), he should be inducted as a player.

Lindros was an elite NHL player, although for a relatively short time. His concussion problems kept him from having a long career or establishing any significant career numbers. He also became a significant player in the NHLPA during one of its biggest times of need and helped to re-establish it as a viable entity that looks out for player interests. This makes Eric Lindros a Hall of Fame player.

Here is the current list of all the currently active (or at least not retired) players I consider Hall of Famers regardless of what they do or do not accomplish in the rest of their careers:

Ed Belfour
Rob Blake
Martin Brodeur
Chris Chelios
Peter Forsberg
Dominik Hasek
Jaromir Jagr
Nicklas Lidstrom
Eric Lindros
Mike Modano
Scott Niedermayer
Chris Pronger
Joe Sakic
Teemu Selanne
Brendan Shanahan
Mats Sundin

As more hockey is played this season, this list may grow. It also may shrink as players such as Lindros, Selanne, Niedermayer, Forsberg and Belfour are not currently playing in the NHL.

this comment is on another player who you owe an apology on your blog.....roddy brindamour 48th out of 50 in the nhl.....2nd in pts, 1st in assists, +10, he is one of the top 3 captains in the nhl, he is top2-3 faceoff, toi, the way justin williams and roddy brindamour might be the one of the top 5 duos in the game......he is 37 but has the body of a 25 yr old....i think an apology is in order
I do not consider Eric Lindros a hall of Fame candidate, because the hall of fame would continue to get watered down if we let anyone in there. Some of the players are getting in because they have played for 15+ years not because they changed the game. Lindros did not make the game his priority, he complained that he did not want to play in Quebec and the league caved to his request. If he would have stayed there he would have won the Stanely Cup. When he first entered the league he was considered the next Wayne Gretzky and what did he really do, not much.
Eric Lindros does not earned the right to be beside such great players, he has not won a Cup or competed at the high level that worthy Hall of Famers have. After his concussions he just became another player, he didn't stand out or contribute at a high level.
Every player that is currently in the Hall of Fame has league wide appreciation and acceptance, Lindros would not be in that category.
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