This afternoon the Hockey Hall of Fame announced it’s inductees for 2016. Out of the maximum four men and two women for players, they chose to only use three out of the possible six spots.
On the men’s side they used this year to make up for lost time, some players became eligible but were overlooked or someone had to lose out (Vachon), or perhaps personal issues (Lindros) or perhaps it just could have been their nationality (Makarov).
The women’s game is only in it’s third year of inductees and this year no one was voted into the Hall for reasons we will never know, as the process is kept secret.
Eric Lindros - Player:
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
Seasons as a Maple Leaf: One. 2005-2006
After seven years of waiting, and much ink, both real and not, spilled on the issue, Eric Lindros has been inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The big winger‘s career began with controversy when he refused to report to the Quebec Nordiques who draft him, and ended with a season in Dallas cut short by the effects of the many concussions he suffered in his career.
Lindros was annotated the "Next One" as he racked up the points in scoring, and came close to hitting those highs early in his career, especially when he won the Hart Trophy in 1995. Sadly, he shared a division with Scott Stevens, and the injuries piled up while he was with the Flyers.
After a few years in New York with the Rangers after Philadelphia GM Bobby Clarke refused to trade him to his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, he made the jump after the lost season and he was an unrestricted free agent.
His year with the Maple Leafs was, like many others, cut short by injury, but he was given the captains "C" temporarily when Mats Sundin was out of the line up.
Sergei Makarov - Player
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
Never a Maple Leaf, Makarov spent his best years with CSKA Moscow, only coming over to the NHL when he was 31 years old. With a trophy case larger than most airplane hangers, Makarov is probably the most overdue player in this years induction ceremony.
A PPG player with CKSA Moskow and the Russian international team, Makarov was a player that was near impossible to knock off the puck. In his international games against Canada he would rival Gretzky and Lemieux on the ice and on the score sheet, and now he joins them in the hall.
Rogie Vachon - Player
Eligible Since: 1985
NHL Stats: 795GP - 2.99GAA - 51SO
Awards: Vezina Trophy ‘68, Stanley Cup ‘68 & ‘69, Canada Cup ‘76
Vachon broke into the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens playing back up to Gump Worsley. He’d take the reigns in the playoffs in 1967 but would lose i nthe Stanley Cup Finals to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would take over the starters role and would win back to back Stanley Cups with them in his second and third years. He would win the Vezina Trophy in his second NHL season as well.
When his role as starter was lost to Ken Dryden, Vachon would be dealt at his request to Los Angeles where he’d spend the majority of his career, followed by two seasons in Detroit and two in Boston.
Vachon would win the Canada Cup in 1976 going 6-1 with two shutouts in the tournament.
After his playing career, he’d work as general manager of the Los Angeles Kings from 1984-1992.
Pat Quinn - Builder
NHL Coaching Record: 1400 Games - 684W - 528L - 154T - 34OT/SOL
Awards: Jack Adams Award ‘80 & ‘92, Olympic Gold ‘02
Seasons as a Maple Leaf: Seven - 1998-2006
Pat Quinn began his NHL coaching career after his professional career ended in 1977. As a player he was known for his physical play, and was an enemy of Bruins fans after knocking Bobby Orr out of a game in 1969 and a dummy with his name was hung from the upper bowl of Boston Gardens the next game.
Quinn’s first head coaching job came in Philadelphia in 1979 filling in near the end of the season as head coach, after coaching the AHL club Maine Mariners. Quinn’s career would take him to Los Angeles and then Vancouver, where he would coach the Canucks to the Stanley Cup final in 1994, but would lose to the New York Rangers.
Pat Quinn would come to Toronto in 1998. Quinn in Toronto would eventually take over the GM role as well, molding the team to his tastes and would take them to the playoffs every year but one, and getting as far as the conference finals twice (1999 & 2002).
Quinn made one final NHL stop, coaching the Edmonton Oilers in the 2009-10 season.
Quinn would be the coach to break Canada’s 50 year gold medal drought in the Olympics, defeating the Americans in the 2002 Salt Lake City games.
Who lost out?
You can check out my pre-announcement column for many deserving people (plus Kevin Lowe) who missed out on being entered:
Women lost out the most out of anyone, two spots were available, and none were used. None. This is very odd, considering how few have been inducted so far and there are many deserving women waiting for their chance to get in.
The disappointing part of not all spots being used is that next year there are some amazing players who will be first year eligible (and Daniel Alfredsson):
Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Ryan Smyth, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Nikolai Khabibulin, Petr Nedved, Ed Jovanovski, Ray Whitney, Tim Thomas, and Tomas Kaberle are all eligible to go in next year, making the competition harder for those left out this year.
What’s your call? Who would your picks have been? Who should have been left out?