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Who will be the 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees?

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There are lots of great people who deserve to get in this year.

Paul Kariya talks with Teemu Selanne

Last year was a bit of housekeeping for the Hockey Hall of Fame. No one who was added was in their first year of eligibility: Eric Lindros, Rogie Vachon, Sergei Makarov were inducted as players, and Pat Quinn was added as a builder.

Only three out of four men’s spots were used, and none of the available slots for women were. Now we have a few star players entering their first year of eligibility and the backlog continues. Here are a few of the candidates for the 2017 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame:

Dave Andreychuk
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

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. This was Andreychuk until the penultimate season of his career, when he won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Since he retired, he’s been honoured by the Lightning with a statue of him raising the Stanley Cup that stands outside Amalie Arena.

New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Theo Fleury
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, Fleury roared into the NHL and showed that being an agitator who can score isn't a skillset limited to the bigger guys. Being around for many historical moments is something not many can lay claim to: Playing on the only visiting team to win the Stanley Cup in the Montreal Forum, his spot on the Canadian U20 team during the "Punch Up in Piestany", and playing on the first men’s 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 of fame.


Paul Henderson
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 video clips he looks like any 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, 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, but who predicted Rogie Vachon and Dino Ciccarelli getting in?


Paul Kariya
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 Awards: 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 could be the one 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 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, would the reclusive Kariya, who is not a fan of the NHL in retirement, come to Toronto for the ceremony?


Alex Mogilny
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 who lined up against Theo Fleury 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?


Jeremy Roenick
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 three straight years, and considering who he's up against, talent alone may not be enough to get him in.


Kevin Lowe
Eligible Since: 2001
NHL Stats: 1254GP - 84G - 347A - 431P / 0.34PPG
Team Canada Stats: 16GP - 1G - 5A - 6P / 0.38PPG
Awards: World Championship 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 for his time in the team’s front office.


Daniel Alfredsson
Eligible Since: 2017
NHL Stats: 1246GP - 444G - 713A - 1157P / 0.93PPG
Team Sweden Stats: 190GP - 62G - 99A - 161P / 0.85PPG
Awards: NHL All Rookie team ‘96, Calder Trophy ‘96, NHL All Star Team ‘05, Olympic Gold ‘06, King Clancy Award ‘12, Messier Award ‘13, Olympic Silver ‘14

Ottawa Senators fans will most likely point to Mats Sundin already being in the hall as enough to get Alfredsson in. Sundin was PPG in nearly everything he played in, and was never a Red Wing or Senator, but was a Maple Leaf for life so he has advantages there.

Alfredsson was an excellent hockey player, and he will be in the hall of fame one day. Is he a first year player? It’s a coin toss really. There’s only one first year player this year who is a lock, and the other spots are all up for grabs.


Saku Koivu
Eligible Since: 2017
NHL Stats: 1124GP - 255G - 577A - 832P / 0.74PPG
Team Finland Stats: 172GP - 62G - 124A - 186P / 1.08PPG
Awards: Finnish Player of the Year ‘94/’95, World Championship Silver ‘94/’99, World Championship Gold ‘95, Olympic Bronze ‘94/’98/’10, Bill Masterson Trophy ‘02, King Clancy Award ‘06, Olympic Silver ‘06, World Championship Bronze ‘08, Finnish HHoF ‘16, IIHF HoF ‘17

The majority of Montreal Canadiens fans who will read this will have an emotional reaction to asking if Koivu should be in the Hall of Fame at first. He was the heart and soul of the Canadiens for over a decade. Coming onto the team after the mid 90’s purge of talent, Koivu played his way to the captaincy and he held onto it for nine years. Missing the majority of the 2001-2002 season recovering from cancer, his comeback for the final games of the season remains one of the most touching moments in Canadiens history.

Koivu is already in the Finnish hall of fame, and the IIHF hall of fame, his NHL stats are on par with some members of the HHoF. Will he get in on the first try? I don’t feel he will, but you never know what this committee will do.


Teemu Selanne
Eligible Since: 2017
NHL Stats: 1451GP - 684G - 773A - 1457P / 1.00PPG
Team Finland Stats: 131GP - 75G - 71A - 146P / 1.12PPG
Awards: NHL All Rookie team ‘93, NHL All Star Team ‘93/‘97, Rocket Richard Trophy ‘93/’98/’99, Calder Trophy ‘93, Olympic Bronze ‘98/’10/’14, World Championship MVP ‘99, World Championship Silver ‘99, Olympic Silver ‘06, Bill Masterson Trophy ‘06, Stanley Cup ‘07, World Championship Bronze ‘08, Olympic MVP ‘14, Finnish HHoF ‘16, IIHF HoF ‘17

The only lock this year for the Hall, Selanne is one of the most decorated players on this list. There’s not much else to say about Selanne that hasn’t already been said.

He’s in.


Ryan Smyth
Eligible Since: 2017
NHL Stats: 1270GP - 386G - 456A - 842P / 0.66PPG
Team Canada Stats: 90GP - 23G - 24A - 47P / 0.52PPG
Awards: World Juniors Gold Medal ‘95, Olympic Gold ‘02, World Championship Gold ‘03/’04, World Cup ‘04, Spengler Cup ‘13

Known as “Captain Canada” because the Oilers were always bad enough that he could play for Team Canada in the World Championships, Smyth was talked up as a great player, and if you weren’t watching closely, you may have thought him something hall of fame worthy.

However, emotion/patriotism aside, he was a very good player, but not one that will get into the HHoF any time soon. He’ll always be brought up, and his place in the hearts of the good ol’ boys who make up the voting committee could help, but Smyth will have to wait for most of the people on this list to get in first.

Except Kevin Lowe.


Jennifer Botterill
Eligible Since: 2014
NCAA Stats: 113GP - 157G - 183A - 340P / 3.01PPG
Team Canada Stats: 61GP - 30G - 44A - 74P / 1.21PPG
N/CWHL Stats: 164GP - 128G - 144A - 308P / 1.88PPG
Awards: Olympic Silver ‘98, Olympic Gold ‘02/’06/’10, World Championship Gold ‘99/’00/’01/’04/’07, World Championship Silver ‘05/’08/’09

3 points per game in the NCAA, almost 2 points per game in league play, and over a point in international play, and according to Wikipedia, she was a CAA School Safety Patroller in grade 5 and 6 in Winnipeg. Jennifer Botterill was a key member of every team she played on and was always an offensive leader. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Manitoba, the highest honour anyone could achieve in Manitoba, aside from leaving.


Jayna Hefford
Eligible Since: 2017
CIS Stats: 12GP - 23G - 11A - 34P / 2.83PPG
Team Canada Stats: 86GP - 53G - 60A - 113P / 1.31PPG
N/CWHL Stats: 329GP - 352G - 284A - 636P / 1.93PPG
Awards: World Championship Gold ‘97/’99/’00/’01/’04/’07/’12, Olympic Silver ‘98, Olympic Gold ‘02/’06/’10/’14, World Championship Silver ‘05/’08/’09/’11/’13

A player for the Brampton Thunder since 1998, Hefford has been a mainstay in the original NWHL, the CWHL and Hockey Canada. She has more medals than a foundry and has had the CWHL’s MVP award named after her. She still holds the CWHL all-time goal record, tied with Caroline Ouellette.


Vicky Sunohara
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

Sunohara has 9 gold medals and 2 silver hanging around her neck, 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.


Karyn Bye-Dietz
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, USA Hockey Hall of Fame ‘14

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.


Manon Rheaume
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.


Danielle Goyette
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.


Just a few of the eligible players for the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. Did I leave anyone off the list? Let me know in the comments.

My final choices for 2017 would be: Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Theo Fluery, Alex Mogilny, Vicky Sunohara, and Jayna Hefford.

Post your class of 2017 in the comments as well.

Poll

Who would be your top pick to get into the HHoF in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Dave Andreychuk
    (33 votes)
  • 3%
    Theo Fleury
    (15 votes)
  • 3%
    Paul Henderson
    (17 votes)
  • 10%
    Paul Kariya
    (49 votes)
  • 5%
    Alex Mogilny
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Jeremy Roenick
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Lowe
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Daniel Alfredsson
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Saku Koivu
    (2 votes)
  • 59%
    Teemu Selanne
    (273 votes)
  • 0%
    Ryan Smyth
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Jennifer Botterill
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Jayna Hefford
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Vicky Sunohara
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Karyn Bye-Dietz
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Manon Rheaume
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Danielle Goyette
    (5 votes)
458 votes total Vote Now