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Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2018: Who gets in this year?

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Two locks, one should be, and one with nice hair.

St Louis Blues v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

This year there are two solid locks for the men, and one woman who should be a guarantee but may not be unless we edit her Wikipedia page to say so, since that’s probably what the voters do right before they don their cloaks and paddle each other or whatever this skull and bones society does.

Willie O’Ree
Eligible Since: 1962
NHL Stats: 45GP - 4G - 10A - 14Pts / 0.31 PPG
Team Canada Stats: N/A
Awards: N/A

O’Ree wasn’t an impact player on the score sheet, but he made history in the NHL as the first black player to play for an NHL team. Momentum has been growing in a campaign to have him inducted into the hall of fame for his legacy in the NHL; and with the league naming him their ‘diversity ambassador’ as well as debuting the ‘Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award’ in his honour this year the campaign has become even stronger.

Martin Brodeur
Eligible Since: 2018
NHL Stats: 1266GP - .912sv% - 2.24GAA - 125SO
Team Canada Stats: 28GP - 2.20GAA
Awards: Calder Trophy (1994), Stanley Cup x3 (1995, 2000, 2003), Jennings Trophy x5 (1997, 98, 2003, 04, 10), Vezina x4 (2003, 04, 07, 08), World Championship Silver (1996, 2005), Olympic Gold Medal (2002, 10)

Martin Broduer has been as slam dunk first ballot hall of famer since 200, perhaps earlier. He shares the record for most Jennings trophies with Patrick Roy, holds the record for most regular goals by a goaltender (2), shares most playoff goals by a goaltender (1) with Ron Hextall, most regular season wins (691), most wins total (804), shares most wins in a single season (48) with Brayden Holtby, most regular season shutouts (125), most playoff shutouts (24), total shutouts (149), most shutouts in one playoff (7), most games appeared in by a goaltender (1,470), most minutes played by a goaltender (74,380), and a dozen others I”m not typing out. He’s in.

Martin St. Louis
Eligible Since: 2018
NHL Stats: 1135GP - 391G - 642A - 1033Pts / .91 PPG
Team Canada Stats: 35GP - 10G - 22A - 32Pts / .92 PPG
Awards: NCAA All Rookie Team (1994), NCAA Player of the Year (1995), Stanley Cup (2004), Lady Byng Trophy x3 (2010, 11, 13), Hart Trophy (2004), Lester B. Pearson Trophy (now Ted Lindsay) (2004), Hart Trophy (2004), Art Ross Trophy (2004, 13), World Championship Silver Medal (2008, 09), Olympic Gold Medal (2014)

Martin St. Louis, owner of some of the biggest legs in hockey, is another player who will most likely get into the hall of fame on his first try. An all-star in the NCCA and the NHL, St. Louis was a leader in Tampa and even though his departure from the Lightning was less than amicable, his number has been retired and the fans have embraced him once again.

Mike Richter
Eligible Since: 2003
NHL Stats: 666GP - .904sv% - 2.89GAA - 24SO
Team USA Stats: 68GP - 4.05GAA
Awards: NCAA Rookie of the Year (1986), Stanley Cup (1994), Olympic Silver Medal (2002), USA Hockey Lester Patrick Trophy (2009), USA Hockey Hall of Fame (2009)

Mike Richter was the USA’s goaltender for a decade. He was the goalie who ended the New York Rangers never ending Stanley Cup drought. He was the first New York Ranger to win 300 games before having to retire in 2003 due to injuries. For a generation Mike Richter was the goalie to look up to and emulate, and after having his #35 retired by the New York Rangers and being inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame, perhaps it’s time to get into the one in Toronto.

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 (1988), U20 Gold (1988), IHL Champion (1988), Stanley Cup (1989), World Championship Silver (1991), Olympic Gold (2002), EIHL Champion (2006)

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 (1962), OHA Most Goals (1963), Summit Series Championship (1972)

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?

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 (1988), U20 Silver (1988), U20 Gold (1989), World Championship Gold (1989), Stanley Cup (2000), Lady Byng Trophy (2003)

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 (2002)

A very, very good player, an excellent video game character, and on-camera weeper, Roenick has been passed over for five straight years, and considering who he’s up against, talent alone may not be enough to get him in.

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 (1996), Calder Trophy (1996), Olympic Gold (2006), King Clancy Award (2012), Messier Award (2013), Olympic Silver Medal (2014), IIHF Hall of Fame (2018)

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. With St. Louis and Broduer getting the spotlight this year, Alfie’s best bet may be to wait until a year he has a chance to be the star to get in.

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 (1994, 95), World Championship Silver (1994, 99), World Championship Gold (1995), Olympic Bronze (1994, 98, 2010), Bill Masterson Trophy (2002), King Clancy Award (2006), Olympic Silver (2006), World Championship Bronze (2008), Finnish HHoF (2016), IIHF Hall of Fame (2017)

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. His impact outside of Montreal wasn’t as large as other players have had, but on the international stage, few were more dedicated to their country than him.

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 (1995), Olympic Gold (2002), World Championship Gold (2003, 04), Spengler Cup (2013)

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.

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 (1998), Olympic Gold (2002, 06, 10) World Championship Gold (1999, 200, 1, 04, 07), World Championship Silver (2005, 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. As a star player for Harvard University, she was the only player to win the Patty Kazmaier Award, NCAA women’s hockey MVP, twice. 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 (1997, 99, 2000, 01, 04, 07, 12), Olympic Silver (1998), Olympic Gold (2002, 06, 10, 14), World Championship Silver (2005, 08, 09, 11, 13)

Jayna Hefford should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer last year and it‘s a crime that she wasn‘t. A player for the Brampton Thunder since 1998, Hefford has been a mainstay in the original NWHL the CWHL and Hockey Canada. Her all-time points total in the original NWHL is almost 300 points above her nearest competitor. She has more medals than a foundry and set CWHL scoring records that have only just been broken (by players who started in the league the year after she did). The CWHL’s equivalent of the Ted Lindsay award (MVP as voted by the players) is the Jayna Hefford award. That really speaks for itself.

Vicky Sunohara
Eligible Since: 2010
Team Canada Stats: 164GP - 56G - 62A - 118P / 0.72 PPG
N/CWHL Stats: 30GP - 13G - 25A - 38Pts / 1.27 PPG
Awards: World Championship Gold (1990, 97, 99, 2000, 01, 04, 07), World Championship Silver (2005), Olympic Silver (1998), Olympic Gold (2002, 06) ECAC Championship, ECAC Rookie of the Year, NWHL Championship 2007, CWHL Championship (2008)

Sunohara has 9 gold medals and 2 silver hanging around her neck, helped Northeastern University to an ECAC championship (she’s still the program’s points-per-game leader), 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 2007.

Karyn Bye-Dietz
Eligible Since: 2005
Team USA Stats: 51GP - 47G - 37A - 84P / 1.65PPG
Awards: World Championships Silver (1992, 94, 97, 99, 2000, 01), Olympic Gold (1998), Olympic Silver (2002), IIHF Hall of Fame (2011), USA Hockey Hall of Fame (2014)

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 Hall of Famer Cammi Granato 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 (1992, 94), Olympic Silver (1998)

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.

Kim St-Pierre
Eligible Since: 2016
Team Canada Stats: 32GP - 0.70GAA - 0.957sv%
CWHL Stats: 28GP - 2.48GAA - .903sv%
Awards: CIS Rookie of the Year (1999), World Championship Gold (1999, 2000, 01, 04, 07), World Championship Silver (2005, 08, 09, 11), Olympic Gold (2002, 06, 10), Clarkson Cup (2011)

Kim St-Pierre is a well decorated goalie for Team Canada and holds some of the best stats internationally for Canada of any player. Her Olympic career record of eight wins (and no losses) was only broken this year by goalies who had played more than double the amount of games. Also an excellent university player in Montreal, she would help the Montreal Stars win the Clarkson Cup in 2011 while posting a 1.50 GAA and .958sv%. St-Pierre would make history twice in Montreal as well, becoming the first woman to win a men’s CIS hockey game with McGill in 2003 and the first woman to tend net for the Montreal Canadiens - even if it was in practice - in 2008.

Natalie Darwitz
Eligible Since: 2013
NCAA Stats: 99GP - 102G - 144A - 201Pts / 2.03 PPG
Team USA Stats: 55GP - 43G - 40A - 83Pts / 1.51 PPG
Awards: World Championship Silver Medal (1999, 2000, 01, 04, 07), Olympic Silver Medal (2002, 10), Olympic Bronze Medal (2006), World Championship Gold Medal (2005, 08, 09) NCAA Championship (2004)

Darwitz was a historic NCAA player for Minnesota, and did her best to try and get Team USA to Olympic gold. After her career ended, she went on to become a high school coach and is currently the head coach of NCAA Div III Hamline University’s hockey team.

Kim Martin Hasson
Eligible Since: 2018
NCAA Stats: 99GP - 1.53GAA - 0.942sv%
Team Sweden Stats: 129GP - 2.65GAA - 0.917sv%
Awards: Olympic Bronze (2002), World Championship Bronze (2005, 07), Swedish player of the year (2004), Olympic Silver (2006), Olympic Best Goaltender (2006), NCAA Championship (2008), SDHL Champion (2014, 2015)

Kim Martin Hasson was the goalie for the Swedish women’s Olympic team that won silver in 2006, the only European women‘s hockey team to win an Olympic medal better than bronze. Four years earlier, at the age of 16, she led Sweden to their first bronze medal. No matter what other stats she amassed in her impressive, 15 year career, that should be enough to put her in the Hall by itself.

Maria Rooth
Eligible Since: 2013
NCAA Stats: 124GP - 119G - 113A - 132Pts / 1.07 PPG
Team Sweden Stats: 181GP - 80G - 83A - 166Pts / 0.92 PPG
Awards: NCAA Championship (2001, 02, 03), Olympic Bronze (2002), World Championship Bronze (2005, 07), Swedish player of the year (2005), Olympic Silver (2006), SDHL Champion (2009)

Maria Rooth was the top scorer for Sweden’s “Mirakel” team in 2006, leading her team in both goals and assists. She still holds the University of Minnesota-Duluth‘s all-time record for goals scored. She’s already a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame, she should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame as well.

Zuzana Tomčíková
Eligible Since: 2018
NCAA Stats: 118GP - 2.31GAA - .930sv%
Team Slovakia Stats: 53GP - 2.27GAA - .934sv%
Awards: World Championship MVP (2011)

Zuzana Tomčíková has everything needed to become the first non-North American woman to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame. An all-star goalie for Slovakia internationally in Divisions 1 and 2 and a top NCAA goalie with Bemidji State, Tomčíková rarely let anything past her. She is currently working as the General Manager for Slovakia’s women’s team, and hopes to help them advance to the top division for the first time.

Kerry Fraser
1,904 regular season games
261 Playoff games
13 Stanley Cup Finals

For a Leafs blog this is a controversial inclusion, but one that will probably happen someday. Kerry Fraser was an on-ice official for 30 years, from debuting in 1980 and calling his final game in 2010. One of the most famous referees to ever skate with the orange armband, Fraser made a name for himself with his perfectly coiffed hair acting as his helmet until the league forced all referees to sacrifice beauty for protection.

His hair was his signature until May 27th, 1993 when he must have also been blinded by Wayne Gretzky, missed a bleeding Doug Gilmour and gave us the ol’ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

After being named enemy #1 in Leafs Nation for what some would call far too long, and others would say hasn’t been long enough, Fraser continued to be the go to name in NHL officiating until his final game in Philadelphia in 2010.

His game worked matches those of other officials in the hall and there is probably no other referees name (aside from Tim “Oh no, not him tonight” Peel) more famous. There’s always room for a builder or official, is this Kerry’s year?


Did I go to far off the rails with some picks? Well, here’s your chance to let me know. Below you’ll see six polls to make your picks and then we’ll find out the PPP HHoF ballot.

Poll

Men’s ballot #1

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Willie O’Ree
    (40 votes)
  • 67%
    Martin Brodeur
    (184 votes)
  • 1%
    Martin St. Louis
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Richter
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Theo Fleury
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Paul Henderson
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Alex Mogilny
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeremy Roenick
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Daniel Alfredsson
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Saku Koivu
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Ryan Smyth
    (5 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Men’s Ballot #2

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Willie O’Ree
    (37 votes)
  • 18%
    Martin Brodeur
    (46 votes)
  • 34%
    Martin St. Louis
    (86 votes)
  • 2%
    Mike Richter
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    Theo Fleury
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    Paul Henderson
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    Alex Mogilny
    (19 votes)
  • 1%
    Jeremy Roenick
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Daniel Alfredsson
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Saku Koivu
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Ryan Smyth
    (2 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Men’s Ballot #3

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Willie O’Ree
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Martin Brodeur
    (7 votes)
  • 28%
    Martin St. Louis
    (68 votes)
  • 5%
    Mike Richter
    (13 votes)
  • 14%
    Theo Fleury
    (35 votes)
  • 6%
    Paul Henderson
    (16 votes)
  • 15%
    Alex Mogilny
    (38 votes)
  • 7%
    Jeremy Roenick
    (17 votes)
  • 6%
    Daniel Alfredsson
    (16 votes)
  • 2%
    Saku Koivu
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Ryan Smyth
    (2 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Men’s Ballot #4

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Willie O’Ree
    (24 votes)
  • 1%
    Martin Brodeur
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    Martin St. Louis
    (32 votes)
  • 6%
    Mike Richter
    (14 votes)
  • 20%
    Theo Fleury
    (45 votes)
  • 10%
    Paul Henderson
    (23 votes)
  • 21%
    Alex Mogilny
    (47 votes)
  • 3%
    Jeremy Roenick
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    Daniel Alfredsson
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    Saku Koivu
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    Ryan Smyth
    (3 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Women’s Ballot #1

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Jennifer Botterill
    (64 votes)
  • 32%
    Jayna Hefford
    (52 votes)
  • 1%
    Vicky Sunohara
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Karyn Bye-Dietz
    (0 votes)
  • 19%
    Manon Rheaume
    (32 votes)
  • 4%
    Kim St-Pierre
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Natalie Darwitz
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Kim Martin Hasson
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Maria Rooth
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Zuzana Tomčíková
    (2 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Women’s Ballot #2

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Jennifer Botterill
    (58 votes)
  • 33%
    Jayna Hefford
    (51 votes)
  • 3%
    Vicky Sunohara
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Karyn Bye-Dietz
    (2 votes)
  • 9%
    Manon Rheaume
    (15 votes)
  • 7%
    Kim St-Pierre
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Natalie Darwitz
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Kim Martin Hasson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Maria Rooth
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Zuzana Tomčíková
    (6 votes)
151 votes total Vote Now