With the Hockey Hall of Fame announcing it's 2010 selections this week, I figured I'd share some random thoughts on current, future and past selections.
I do believe he'll get in on this his first year of eligibility. His resume has just about everything one could look for. 564 career goals, 3 Cups, Calder Trophy, Conn Smythe, Olympic Gold medal.... simply a winner, and one of the great leaders of the game.
I'm somewhat confused as to why Bure is not in the Hall yet. Sure he played just over 700 games, but I believe he has the credentials. In my mind if Mike Bossy is in, Bure should be a no-brainer. Bossy played 50 more games and scored 573 goals to Bure's 437, but when the numbers of these two vastly different eras are compensated for, the similarity is remarkable. During Bossy's career the average goals scored per game was often over 8.00, while in Bure's NHL the average was usually under 5.50 per game, a vast difference. When both players numbers are adjusted to a league average of 6.00 Bossy's adjusted career goals total is 497 and Bure's 498.
Sure, Bure can't compete with Bossy's four Cups but his three seasons leading the league in goals, Calder Trophy and three All-star team selections on top of the adjusted goal total make him a sure fire Hall of Famer in my mind.
His Hall of Fame selection possibility is a contentious issue among hockey fans, and I for one have a feeling that the Big E will be elected in his first year of eligibilty. Like Bure, his career was ravaged by injury and Lindros' "me first" attitude early in his career rubs many the wrong way. However, when it comes down to it he possesses in my mind, the main credential for Hall of Fame selection in any sport. He was considered one of the top players at his position for a fair length of time.
In truth he was considered one of the top players in the entire game for at least four or five years. From 1993/94 through 96/97 he was top three in the NHL in points per game, and for six straight years he was at least top six. His career total of 1.14 points per game place him 15th in history among players with at least 600 games. His 45 points in 44 career senior level international chamionships is impressive as is his 57 points in 53 career playoff games. He often gets a bad rap for not being able to lead a squad to a championship, but in 96/97 when the Flyers lost to Detroit in the finals, Lindros tallied 26 points in 19 games. It was hardly his doing that they lost.
Doug Gilmour, Adam Oates, Dave Andreychuk
All three will get into the Hall sooner than later, just not this year. Oates ranks sixth all-time in assists. The rest of the top ten are in the Hall...enough said. Gilmour ranks 12th overall and in fact the top sixteen in assists all are in the Hall or soon will be (Joe Sakic and Jaromir Jagr are the only others not yet in). Andreychuk, like in the past, is in the same boat as Gilmour. He ranks 13th all-time in goals, all of the rest of the top fifteen are in the shrine (excluding Brendan Shanahan who will be in three years after he hangs them up). Also, with 274 powerplay goals Andreychuk is number one all-time in NHL history. All three of these guys will be in soon enough.
Mark Howe, Phil Housley
Neither of these two American born defenders ever won a Cup, and both played some forward earlier in their careers. I believe Howe and Housley should be in Hall at some point in the future. Housley's 1232 career points rank fourth among defenseman all-time Howe's 742 points in 929 games when added to his over 500 WHA points can not be discounted. Howe also made three first all-star sqauds in the mid '80s. If Brad Park is Hall worthy, so too should these two guys.
This one has always puzzled me. Chabot played just over ten full NHL seasons, yet had a 201-147-62 record in 412 games. His 71 shutouts rank 11th all-time and his 2.03 GAA is fourth best ever. Even when adjusted (as Bure and Bossy's goal totals were) his average is 2.79. Hall of Famer Harry Lumley has an adjusted GAA (remember, this makes the diferent eras irrelevant) of 3.01, Grant Fuhr a 3.04, Roy Worters 3.12 and Gump Worsley 3.14. In addition Chabot won a Vezina Trophy and two Cups.
Chabot's contemporaries that are in the Hall, George Hainsworth, Alex Connell and Roy Worters all played their last NHL game in 1937 just as he did. All played less than 500 NHL games (like Chabot) and their GAA's are 1.93, 1.91 and 2.27 respectively. Just put the guy in the Hall already.