Editor's Note: The 2010 Hockey Hall of Fame class will be announced tomorrow. Last year Doug Gilmour just missed the cut but Plea From A Cat Named Felix makes the convincing case that Gilmour's time is now.
As has been frequently mentioned in the past few days, Doug Gilmour should be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The fact that he already is not, is something of a minor travesty and miscarriage of justice. One of the impediments to his enshrinement in the past has been the presence of first-ballot players. This year lacks any undisputable first-ballot stars so it’s time to right this terrible wrong.
Gilmour has always been my favourite Leaf, which causes me to look at him with blue-tinted glasses. When I started thinking about this post I thought that I would have to work really hard at making his stats look as good as possible and make a really strong and impassioned argument. After about three minutes of research I became irate that he was not in the Hall already. It’s clear from his stats that Gilmour is one of the best NHL players yet to be enshrined in the Hall. His absence is a national embarrassment. Seriously Hockey Hall of Fame, Come on!
The Case for Gilmour:
Regular Season Stats:
Drafted 134th Overall in 1983 by the St. Louis Blues
1474 games played: 450 goals, 964 assists, 1414 points.
11 straight 20+ goals seasons
3 100+ point seasons
17th All-time Regular Season Points
12th All-time Regular Season Assists
16th All-time Games Played
182 games played, 60 goals, 128 assists, 188 points.
7th All-time Playoff Points (tied with Joe Sakic)
24th All-time Playoff Games Played
5th All-time Playoff Assists
13 Playoff Game Winning Goals
1 Canada Cup
1 Stanley Cup
Selke Trophy Winner 1992-1993
Hart Trophy Nominee 1992-1993.
Making the Case:
I believe that Killer should be inducted to the Hall soley based on his stats. It is clear from the stats that Gilmour is an elite player. The only players that rank higher than him in All-time points not in the Hall of Fame are either not yet eligible, (Sakic or Jagr) still playing (Recchi) or are Adam Oates. Sakic and Jagr will be first ballot Hall of Famers, and both Oates and Recchi will likely end up in the Hall. In terms of the company he keeps on the All-time points rankings he should be a shoo-in.
To say that Dougie was clutch would be like saying Kerry Fraser is sort of a douchebag. Gilmour amassed 188 career playoff points over 17 playoff seasons. This puts him ahead of Yzerman and just behind Sakic. He is the only member of the Top 10 eligible not currently in the Hall. He is ranked 5th in playoff assists and once again is the only member of the Top 10 not yet in the Hall. Gilmour was a key piece of the Flames team that won the cup in 1989. He was third in team points with 22, 11 goals, and 11 assists. He played on the penalty kill and helped shut-down the opposition’s top talent. He scored two goals in game six one being the Cup winning goal that beat the Habs in their own building, this only strengthens his case.
His case is made even more convincing when you look at aspects of his career that are not reflected on the score sheet. As noted above Gilmour was a Selke Trophy winner and one of the best two-way players of his generation. He was nominated for the Hart Trophy in 1992-93 but lost to Mario Lemieux. Lemieux put up 69 goals and 91 assists that year, so it’s hard to fault Douggie for not winning that year. Gilmour was a leader and Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs for 3 years during their resurgence in the 1990s. Being a key component of a group that brought the Leafs back to respectability from the Ballard era should not be overlooked. For those years he was one of the elite players in the NHL at a time when Gretzky, Messier, and Lemieux were still tearing down the biz.
The fact that Gilmour has been overlooked for this long is mitigated by the presence of some excellent first-year eligible players over the last few years. It is obvious that Gilmour belongs in the Hall on the basis of his stats; leadership, strong defensive play, clutch playoff performances, additionally the fact that he has not murdered Kerry Fraser in revenge makes this an open and shut case.