2010 HHOF Inductees: Tomorrow

Unlike the past few seasons where there was little to no intrigue as to who would be inducted due to the star studded players who had their first year of eligibility; who will be inducted in 2010 is completely up in the air.

2007 had what was widely regarded as the best class of inductees ever, with Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens. That argument was soon defeated in 2009, when Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Brian Leetch were inducted together. This year will likely see at least two players who are already past their first year of eligibility.

Joe Nieuwendyk

  • 1st year of eligibility; 20 NHL seasons
  • Won Calder Trophy in 1988
  • Won 3 Stanley Cups on Calgary (1989), Dallas (1999) and New Jersey (2003)
  • Won Conn Smythe Trophy with Dallas
  • GP: 1257, 564 goals, 562 assists, 1126 points

Is the surest thing to getting in this year. He won everywhere he went, including a Cup in three different decades with three different teams.

Eric Lindros

  • 1st year of eligibility, 13 NHL seasons
  • Won the Hart Trophy and Lester B Pearson Trophy in 1995
  • 760 GP: 372 goals, 493 assists, 865 points

So Eric had (some) (more than a few) a shit load of injury problems (most games played was 81 in his 10th NHL season), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that for a period in the 90’s, Lindros was the most dominant player in the NHL, hands down. From 1992-93 to 1999-00 (his last season in Philly), he amassed 659 points in 486 games!!! Cam Neely only had 694 points in his entire 726 game career; he is already in the Hall. The Big E is by no means a slam dunk and will likely have to ‘wait his turn’ like some of the other players on this list have, but Eric Lindros should be in the Hall.

Adam Oates

  • 4th year of eligibility
  • GP: 1337, 341 goals, 1079 assists, 1420 points
  • 6th in all time assists

Considering Oates has the most points of any player not in the Hall, his name is definitely one that could possibly come up tomorrow. He was a pure playmaker, cracking 50 assists in 12 of his NHL seasons.

Doug Gilmour

  • Won Stanley Cup in 1989 (Calgary)
  • Nominated for the Hart Trophy in 1992-93
  • Won Frank J Selke Award in 1992-93
  • 1474 GP: 450 goals, 964 assists, 1414 points
  • 182 Playoff GP: 60 goals, 128 assists, 188 points

Doug Gilmour was the ultimate competitor and leader, which is mainly the reason that he is still embedded into the minds of Leafs’ fans everywhere. What he brought didn’t always show up on the scoresheet, but he always had an impact in the game. His best and most memorable seasons will always be the two Conference Finals runs with Toronto, but the Cup he won was in Calgary. What might be the pushing point to get ‘Dougie’ in the Hall is that fact that he was a big game player. In the three seasons he went to the Conference Finals or beyond, Gilmour had a combined 85 points in 61 games.

Phil Housley

  • 5th year of eligibility
  • 1495 GP: 338 goals, 894 assists, 1232 points
  • Second leading scorer among US born players

First look at his stats say yes, but when considering the length of his career and the fact that he spent significant time playing in the high scoring 80’s, the argument for Housley gets a little toughter. Add in the fact that he never won an individual trophy and only made it to the Final once, the case gets a lot more difficult. If he makes it, it will be because of his rank as a US born player.

Pavel Bure

  • 5th year of eligibilty
  • Calder Trophy in 1992
  • Rocket Richard Trophy in 2000 and 2001 (and led the league in goals in 1993-94)
  • 702 GP: 437 goals, 342 assists, 779 points

Sure Bure wasn’t anywhere near a complete player over his career and had his fair share of injuries and drama over his career, but there is no doubting that the “Russian Rocket” was one of the best at what he did…..ever. His 0.623 goals per game are currently sixth all time, in front of the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull. I am not saying that Bure was better than either of those two because the significantly less number of games he played takes away from that average. But to say Bure shouldn’t be in because he lacked longevity is a joke. The Hall of Fame shouldn’t always be about longevity; it should recognize those players that were regarded as the best when they did play. Bure fits that bill and should be in this year. That doesn’t mean I think he will be though….

Dave Andreychuk

  • 2nd year of eligibility
  • Won Stanley Cup in 2004 with Tampa Bay
  • 5th most in games played (1639)
  • 13th most in goals (640)
  • 1st in career powerplay goals (274)

What defines Dave Andreychuk’s career?  His beginnings as a Buffalo Sabre where he put up 804 points in 837 games? His years alongside Gilmour and Wendel Clark, making their mark as legends in Toronto? Or his revival in Tampa Bay as a two way player, leading the Bolts to his first and only Stanley Cup? The fact that Andreychuk was successful in so many different places, in so many different roles, makes him a Hall of Famer in my mind. He never broke 100 points, never won an individual award; but 13th all time in goals and more powerplay markers than anyone in the history gets him in.

This list is my look at the favorites for players and isn’t mentioning goalies like Tom Barrasso, Andy Moog or Mike Richter or players like Dino Ciccarelli, Alex Mogilny or Steve Larmer.

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