Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sorry Canucks Fans, The Sedin's are not Hall of Fame "Shoo-Ins"

Living in Vancouver, I am have been fully engulfed in Sedin-mania the last week or so now that the two greatest Canucks are retiring. On multiple occasions over this time I have heard the statement made in the media that Daniel and Henrik are "Shoo-Ins" for the Hall of Fame. I believe this is a case of hometown bias if not downright hyperbole. While they do have fine cases for enshrinement to the Hall (one moreso than the other), they are hardly sure things for first-year entry.

The main problem is the fact that there is a large contingent of recently retired players who are more deserved of a Hall selection than the brothers. The overall volume of players that will get in before them pretty much guarantees the Sedans will not be elected on their first attempt. Let's have a look at the numbers.

In order to equate varying scoring rates of different eras, I looked at Adjusted Points, Goals and Assists from Hockey-Reference.com. The website explains the metrics; "All statistics have been adjusted to an 82-game schedule with a maximum roster size of 18 skaters and league averages of 6 goals per game and 1.67 assists per goal." In addition, I used Adjusted Goals Created which is another era-corrected statistic that combines a players goal scoring and playmaking ability into one number. I looked at forwards who are not in the Hall of Fame, all of which have retired over the last decade or so. The Olympics category gives 5 points for a Gold, 3 for a Silver, and 1 for a Bronze.The raw numbers are below. Parentheses are players ranks in each category, (1st place: 10 points, 2nd place: 9 points, etc.) 
It's tough to go against the argument that Jarome Iginla is a lock sure-fire Hall of Famer. He tops the rankings by a wide margin with his lack of a Stanley Cup being the only knock against him. I don't really have an issue with the other guys that rank higher here than Henrik, other than perhaps Pierre Turgeon and his lack of individual accolades. The guy DOES rank tops among retired players with 1327 points and his Adjusted Points is second only to Iggy. Alfredsson, I am comfortable having ranked ahead of the brothers if solely for his longer period of peak productivity. Alfie had what can be considered productive seasons for 12 of 13 straight seasons from 96/97 to 09/10 while Henrik had 9 of 10 productive seasons from 05/06 through 14/15. 
Hossa is easily ahead of Henrik and Daniel on the strength of his 525 career goals and being a large component in three Stanley Cup wins. Marty St.Louis finishes marginally ahead of Henrik mainly due to his nine different individual awards (5 All-Star selections, 2 Art Ross, Hart and Pearson), I didn't even factor in his three Byngs. 
One major takeaway from the list is that Henrik is indeed more qualified for Hall selection than Daniel. They both have won the same number of individual awards and Daniel even has Hank beat in Olympics as he won Silver with Sweden in 2014 while Henrik sat out, but.. Daniel's claim to fame was being the goal scoring brother of the two. Of the two, he certainly was, but Daniel's 393 career goals only rank 104th all time; two more than Jean Pronovost and Dean Prentice and one behind Tomas Sandstorm. Hardly Hall-worthy company. Granted, his 442 Adjusted Career Goals move him up to 70th, he's still behind several borderline-at-best Hall candidates, Bondra, Fleury, Kovalev, Guerin, Elias, Brind'Amour, Nolan, Arnott, Doan, Leclair and Amonte. Would the Hall selection committee dare put Henrik in the Hall and not Daniel? They actually have a case to do so.
Now, I can already hear the argument that the above rankings do not incorporate in any manner the off-ice contributions, overall character and general respect held for each player. Honestly, in my opinion, most professional hockey players (with a few exceptions) can present an impressive resume of community involvement and fandom appreciation. Sure the Sedins rate high in this aspect but they are not exceptionally unique. Where they are unique (obviously) is the fact that they are identical twins that spent their entire careers starring for one team. Is that enough to push both of them into the Hockey Hall? Time will tell, but almost certainly not in their first year of eligibility. 

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