With the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees announcement coming soon, I thought I'd take a look at who's not in. No superstar NHLer stopped playing professional hockey three years ago, so this year can be a year to make up for past misses.
Here are the rules as laid down by the Hockey Hall of Fame:
Player: Must have not played in a professional or international hockey game(a) during any of the three (3) playing seasons prior to his or her election.
Builder: May be active or inactive at the time of his or her election.
Referee or Linesman: Must have not participated as a referee or linesman in a professional or international hockey game(a) during any of the three (3) playing seasons prior to his or her election.
Eligible Since: 2010
NHL Stats: 760GP - 372G - 493A - 865P / 1.14PPG
Team Canada Stats: 94GP - 58G - 55A - 113P / 1.2PPG
Junior Hockey: '90 OHL Champion, '90 Memorial Cup, '91 CHL MVP, '91 OHL MVP, '91 OHL Top Scorer
Team Canada: 90/91 U20 Gold, '91 Canada Cup, '92 Olympic Silver, '02 Olympic Gold,
NHL: All-Rookie Team '93, NHL All-Star Team '95/96, Hart Trophy '95, Ted Lindsay Award '95
Eric Lindros is one of those guys everyone has an opinion on. Many say he should be in on skill alone. When he was in his prime, before Scott Stevens, he was a hockey machine and pegged to become the next big superstar to carry the league.
Others see a selfish entitled jerk who had to have things his way or he'd pout and go home.
To be honest a person's character clearly doesn't matter, nor does walking out/staying home, if we look at past inductees.
To me, he should get in for his skill on the ice in the NHL, playing over a point per game, and the success he's had at every level of the game, just look at that list of titles and honors he's won. That's not even everything listed on his elite prospects page.
Eligible Since: 2009
NHL Stats: 1639GP - 640G - 698A - 1338P / 0.82PPG
Team Canada Stats: 17GP - 9G - 7A - 16P / 0.94PPG
Awards: World Championship Bronze '86, Stanley Cup '04
We follow up Lindros with someone much less flashy. Andreychuk is the dependable guy who can get stuff done, but can go unnoticed for long stretches. One of the best examples of someone you want on your team when it's full of kids, to teach by example, and to remind them that there's a job to be done and you don't always get rewarded for it. Atleast until the penultimate season of his career, when he won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning.
Eligible Since: 2009
NHL Stats: 1084GP - 455G - 633A - 1088P / 1.0PPG
Team Canada Stats: 57GP - 23G - 50A - 83P / 1.46PPG
Awards: WHL Most Points '88, U20 Gold '88, IHL Champion '88, Stanley Cup '89, Canada Cup '91, World Championship Silver '91, Olympic Gold '02, EIHL Champion '06
One of the best examples of "He's too small" being bullshit alongside Martin St. Louis, Fluery roared into the NHL and showed being an agitator who can score isn't limited to the bigger guys. Being around for many historical moments is something not many can say: Playing on the only team not Montreal to win the Cup in the Forum, his spot on the team during the "Punch Up in Piestany", and playing on the first mens Canadian team to win a gold medal in the Olympics in half a century should more than overshadow his final years in the NHL, which were covered honestly and without fear in his autobiography. Now an outspoken advocate for those who have suffered abuse, Fleury could join those he angered in the game so long ago in the hall.
Eligible Since: 1984
NHL/WHA Stats: 1067GP - 376G - 384A - 660P / 0.62PPG
Team Canada Stats: 15GP - 9G - 4A - 13P / 0.87PPG
Awards: Memorial Cup '62, OHA Most Goals '63, Summit Series Championship '72
Putting the fame in "Hall of Fame" is the man who scored the most famous goal in the world (Beating the Soviets was so done and over with by 1980). Paul Henderson wasn't a superstar player by any means. His numbers are average, in clips he looks like a hockey player, and the teams he payed on weren't world beaters. Except one. In the 1972 summit series Henderson sealed a comeback victory for Canada in game 8 (yes, 8, shut up, don't ask).
There's been a strong push from some people to get Henderson in the hall, and while he has his moment in Canadian hockey history, I"m still not sold on him myself.
Eligible Since: 2013
NHL Stats: 989GP - 402G - 587A - 989P / 1.0PPG
Team Canada Stats: 88GP - 35G - 80A - 85P / 0.97PPG
NCAA Awards: NCAA Championship '93, Hockey East MVP '93, Hockey East Rookie of the Year '93, Hobey Baker Award '93
Team Canada Awards: U20 Gold '93, World Championship Gold '94, Olympic Silver '94, World Championship Silver '96, Olympic Gold '02
NHL Award: NHL All-Rookie Team '94, NHL All-Star Team '96/97/99/00/03, Lady Byng Award '96/97
An NHL/NCAA/Hockey Canada star should have been a no-brainer earlier in his eligibility, but this year is wide open enough to correct that mistake. A point per game in the NHL, multiple IIHF medals, and more college awards than you could shake a stick at in a stick waving class offered to give athletes more practice time seals his entrance for me. Someone who helped make hockey big in California, and took a massive pay cut to play with his buddy Selanne in Colorado (okay that's not important, and it didn't work out, but I love the idea of it), and put up PPG numbers with the NHL and in international tournaments is better than a few guys in the hall already.
The biggest question for me is, will the reclusive Kariya come to Toronto for the ceremony?
Eligible Since: 2009
NHL Stats: 990 GP - 473G - 559A - 1032P / 1.04PPG
Soviet Stats: 98GP - 38G - 20A - 58P / 0.59PPG
Team Russia Stats: 41GP - 23P - 26A - 49P / 1.2PPG
Awards: Olympic Gold '88, U20 Silver '88, U20 Gold '89, World Championship Gold '89, NHL All-Star Team '93/96, Stanley Cup '00, Lady Byng Trophy '03
Mogilny isn't someone I would have ever thought of as missing from the HHoF, until I looked at his accomplishments, and read his story. A young soviet star, lined up against Theo Fluery in the Punch Up in Piestany, and then fled cloak and dagger style to join the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL. A member of the Triple Gold Club, his skill and legacy is more than enough for me to put him in the hall. Maybe the committee never thought of it either?
Eligible Since: 2012
NHL Stats: 1363 GP - 513G - 703A - 1216P / 0.89PPG
Team USA Stats: 41GP - 28G - 25A - 53P / 1.29PPG
Awards: Olympic Silver Medal '02
A very, very good player, an excellent video game character, and on camera weeper, Roenick has been passed over for 3 straight years, and considering who he's up against, talent alone may not be enough to get him in.
Eligible Since: 2001
NHL Stats: 1254GP - 84G - 347A - 431P / 0.34PPG
Team Canada Stats: 16GP - 1G - 5A - 6P / 0.38PPG
Awards: World Cahmpionship Bronze '82, Canada Cup '84, Stanley Cup '84, '85, '87, '88, '90, '94, King Clancy Trophy '90
Kevin Lowe is one of the few big name members of the Oilers Dynasty to not be in the hall of fame. SIX Stanley Cups is impressive, but terrible personal stats probably keep him out. However as a non-Oilers fan I'd love to put him in the Hall as a Builder.
Eligible Since: 2000
Soviet Stats: 519GP - 322G - 388A - 710P / 1.37PPG
NHL Stats: 424GP - 134G - 250A - 354P / 0.84PPG
Team Russia Stats: 181GP - 105G - 125A - 230P / 1.27PPG
NHL Awards: Calder Trophy '90, NHL All-Rookie Team '90
Team Russia Awards: U20 Gold '77/78, World Championship Gold '79/81-83/85-87/89, World Championship Silver '87, World Championship Bronze '85/91, Olympic Gold '84/88, Olympic Silver '80, Canada Cup '81
Yeah, I think is awards and numbers speak for themselves. Even though he didn't make it into the NHL until he was 31, and accomplished the majority of his work before he arrived there, Makarov was a tremendously skilled player, and some committee members may have been blinded to his soviet past, but there's no excuse for him having to wait 16 years to get into the hall, politics or no.
Eligible Since: 2010
IIHF Stats: 164GP - 56G - 62A - 118P / 0.72 PPG
Awards: World Championship Gold '90/97/99-01/04/07, World Championship Silver '05, Olympic Silver '98, Olympic Gold '02/06, ECAC Championship, ECAC Rookie of the Year
The "Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey" has 9 gold medals and 2 silver hanging around her neck, and helped North Eastern University to their ECAC championship, and many other tournament victories from other international tournaments as well. She was a trailblazer in women's hockey, playing in the Ontario Women's League in the 90's as well as the precursor to the CWHL's Brampton Thunder, where she won the league championship in 2006.
She is currently the head coach for the University of Toronto's women's varsity team.
Eligible Since: 2005
IIHF Stats: 51GP - 47G - 37A - 84P / 1.65PPG
Awards: World Championships Silver '92/94/97/99-01, Olympic Gold '98, Olympic Silver '02
An IIHF Hall of Fame member since 2011, Bye-Dietz was an early star for USA Hockey's women's team, sharing the scoring lead with Cammie Granto in 1998 as they won the gold medal. After her playing career she's worked with the Minnesota Wild on their grassroots hockey campaigns and has done colour commentary for Minnesota high school hockey tournaments.
Eligible Since: 2012
IIHF Stats: 30GP - 1.65GAA - .903sv%
Awards: World Championship Gold '92/94, Olympic Silver '98
Most well known for playing pre-season games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992/93, Rheaume spent her life trying to play at the highest tier possible. She became the first woman to play Major Junior hockey, playing a game with the QMJHL's Trois-Rivières Draveurs. After exhibition games with the Lightning Rheaume played 24 games for several IHL teams, and stopped playing in minor men's leagues in 1997, but continued to play in exhibition games and tended net for women's teams, going to the Clarkson Cup with Minnesota in 2009 before falling to the Montreal Stars.
Eligible Since: 2010
IIHF Stats: 172GP - 114G - 105A - 219P / 1.27PPG
Awards: World Championship Gold '92/94/97/99-01/04/07, World Championship Silver '05, Olympic Gold '02/06, Olympic Silver '98
A well decorated star for Team Canada, Goyette holds the Team Canada record for points at world championships, with 29 goals, 24 assists (53 points) over eight tournaments. Goyette has now branched out into coaching, being the head coach of the University of Calgary Dino's since 2007, and won the CIS national title in 2012.
There are many, many players who are ready to enter the hall this year, but only 4 men and 2 women can have that honour. Here's my list:
Lindros, Mogilny, Kariya, and Makarov have the skills and the trophy cases to make their arguments clear enough. While I'm not as up on the women's game, Goyette and Sunohara are my picks based on their past work and their present dedication to continuing to make women's hockey better and better.
\What about 2017?
Teemu Selanne, Daniel Alfredsson, Saku Koivu, Nikolai Khabibulin, & Ryan Smyth highlight a large class of first time eligible inductees, and could give some of those overlooked this year a push to the back of the line.