April 25, 2013

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013

The Hockey Hall of Fame updated their website this week with loads of information pertaining to the 2013 Inductions. 

Mark these dates on your calendar: 
  • The annual meeting of the Selection Committee will be held in Toronto on July 9 to select and announce the 2013 inductees. 
  •  The 2013 Induction Weekend festivities will run from Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 10th, 2013 culminating with the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 11th, 2013.
There is also a full list of first-year-eligible players and top carry-overs from previous years. Let's take a look at the task facing the 18 member selection committee.



Defensemen:

HHOF Locks: Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Rob Blake - three strong candidates that will all likely make the Hall one day. Niedermayer and/or Chelios are more likely than Blake to make the cut on the first try. But one may be bumped for a forward/previous candidate.

Hold-overs: Phil Housley

Other notables: Mathieu Dandenault, Mathieu Schneider, Darryl Sydor, Brendan Witt, Alexei Zhitnik, Sergei Zubov. Some very nice defensemen on this list - in fact I'd be happy with that sextet if I were a coach. Only Zubov has a shot, one day, at the Hall. But it won't be this year, if ever.


Forwards:

HHOF Locks: None, in my opinion.

One Day? Rod Brind'Amour, Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya, Markus Naslund - Some tough calls here. Personally, I don't think any of them should get in - this year or ever.

I think the bar should be set higher than all of them. That is in no way meant to be disrespectful to any of these wonderful players, but I believe the standards should be just a bit higher than that. Naslund is the only one who won a major award - the Pearson (now Lindsay) Award in 2003.  Brind'Amour did win back to back Selke trophies as the league's best defensive forward late in his career, and won the Stanley Cup, but he was never on the same level as peers like Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Peter Forsberg, Mario Lemieux or Eric Lindros. Kariya's career was cut short due to injury. Guerin and Tkachuk were great power forwards with, in Tkachuk's case in particular, impressive numbers. But, seriously, were they ever at the upper echelon of the NHL's elite during their career? Probably a notch below, I say.

That being said, I suspect at least a couple of them will - one day, but not in 2013.

Hold-overs: There's a few too many hold-overs for any of these guys to make it in 2013. Names like Brendan Shanahan and Eric Lindros headline the list of carry-overs, with Dave Andreychuk, Jeremy Roenick, Theoren Fleury, John LeClair, Sergei Makarov and Guy Carbonneau also waiting.

If I had a vote in the HHOF proceedings, I would be voting for Eric Lindros, Brendan Shanahan and Sergei Makarov only.

Other Notables: Shean Donovan, Mike Keane, Robert Lang, Jere Lehtinen, Kirk Maltby, Brad May, Dean McAmmond, Miroslav Satan, Bryan Smolinski, Darcy Tucker, Stephane Yelle.  All good, long-time warriors, but none will ever make the Hockey Hall of Fame. Special shout-out to Mike Keane - a real hockey player's hockey player.


Goalies:

HHOF Locks: None.

Newly Eligible: Roman Turek, Dan Cloutier - Very weak year for goalies. There will be no first year goaltenders inducted this year. In fact, these two will never get into the Hall.

Holdovers - Curtis Joseph, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon, Ron Hextall - I really like where the bar is set for goaltenders - far higher than it is for forwards. If I had a vote, I would take a close look at Barrasso and maybe Hextall, but I doubt we will see any goaltenders inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.



Women:

The Hockey Hall of Fame's updated page makes no mention of women. Sadly, they have failed to induct any female players in the last two classes. There are a number of worthy candidates, most notably Geraldine Heaney, Danielle Goyette and Cassie Campbell-Pascall.

The HHOF Class of 2013?

My guess: The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2013 consists of Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Eric Lindros and Brendan Shanahan. Geraldine Heaney will be added in the women's category.

1 comment:

Oh Referee said...

Having been part of an effort a few years back to have Lorne Chabot finally receiving the accolades he so justly deserved by being inducted into the HOF, I found your piece both interesting and enlightening. Indeed, very few hockey pundits are willing to recognize that the sport goes beyond the NHL. And while I disagree with your choice of Lindros as a vote for a forward (I would vote for Andrychuk), your choices of Shanahan and particularly Makorov speaks volumes as to the scope of your knowledge of the game.

There are many issues with the HOF selection process. From the secrecy vote to not publishing the results of any vote, leaves open so many questions as to the integrity of the process that one must question the "why". Yet that is for a discussion on another day. What I find very disturbing was the decision the Hall took to eliminate the Veteran's Committee a number of years back stating that they completed their evaluation and felt that all players were given their due. While I fundamentally disagree with that premise, the reasons a veteran's commitee should be reinstated are obvious: (i) As time goes by a player's record is diminsihed in the eyes of the public over the years; or, as the old adage says "out of sight, out of mind". (ii) More importantly, the context of a players ability from one generation to the next cannot be compared. (iii) The obvious lack of knowledge or even disdain the selection commitee had for non-NHL, primarily European players until the last twenty years. (iv) Overcoming a bias a selection committee member may hold against another player... I trust everyone knows how Conn Smythe felt about Ted Lindsey

I could go on but you get my drift. I would be interested in your comments. Thank you

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