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June 27, 2012

HHOF Log Jam No More?

Any announcement the Hockey Hall of Fame makes regarding the annual induction class is certain to create great debate. The controversy has been exacerbated in recent years by a flood of worthy candidates. With only four player inductions allowed each year and a flawed and complex voting system, is it any wonder players like Pavel Bure and Adam Oates had to wait years for their rightful inclusion among hockey's all time greats?

But has that log jam finally be broken? The remaining list of holdovers includes only a few Hall worthy players - Eric Lindros, Tom Barrasso and Sergei Makarov. We can add Brendan Shanahan to this list now, too. Of these, only Lindros and Shanny are likely to get in any time soon.

The rest, in my opinion, - and this is sure to stir up the hate mail - are very, very good hockey players. Incredibly good, in fact. But the Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the truly great players, not the very good. I know, a few very good players have found their way in to much dismay. That does not mean we need to include more.

I mean absolutely no slight at all to players like Dave Andreychuk, Steve Larmer, Theo Fleury, Markus Naslund, Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph, Mike Vernon, Phil Housley and John Leclair. I'm sure someone will bring up the names of Guy Carbonneau, Rogie Vachon, Lorne Chabot, and Doug Mohns, too. And others. 

These guys are all incredibly good hockey players, some of them among my all time personal favorites. But I am fine with them not being included in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Even Barrasso and Makarov remain long shots.

Lindros and Shanahan will have to wait another year, but they can rest assured that their turn will come as the log jam has now broken through. At least until the next log jam. 2013's first year eligible class includes Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, Rob Blake, Rod Brind'Amour, Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya and Owen Nolan.


Dirk Hoag said...

One has to wonder if this might also provide a window of opportunity for coaches like Pat Burns & Fred Shero. In a lean year, the committee might be more open to admitting one of them.

Joe Pelletier said...

I'm not sure if I totally understand how voting works. But since the Builders are in their own category, I would assume they'd get their own votes. So regardless if the committee chose 4 players or not, the builders should still have a real chance to get their due in any year.

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