April 03, 2018

Are Sedins First Ballot Hockey Hall of Famers?

Their resumes speak for themselves. They came one win short of hockey immortality with a Stanley Cup win, but Olympic gold medals, World Championships, Art Ross Trophies, Hart and Lindsay MVP awards make it a no brainer. Add the uniqueness of their careers, and I consider it to be a certainty.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has unintentionally created two unofficial levels of Hall of Fame honour - those who get in right away and those who have to wait several votes to get enshrined.

So the question becomes - Are the Sedin twins first ballot Hall of Famers, or will they have to wait?

Obviously the answer heavily depends on who else will be eligible. There is a three year mandatory waiting period once a player retires, so the Sedins will get their first look in 2021. Who else will be eligible depends on who retires this season.

Two names to watch will be Pavel Datsyuk and Jaromir Jagr. Both have left the NHL but are playing in Europe still. So they are considered active players regardless of the fact that they are gone from the North American scene. They are strong candidates to retire.

The Hall of Fame can only elect a maximum of four male players in any given year. Jagr is undeniably a first ballot guy. Datsyuk, based on the Stanley Cup wins, likely gets the nod before Daniel and Henrik.

Who else is possibly retiring this season who would get strong Hall of Fame consideration?

Henrik Zetterberg? He's already said he's likely to be back next season. Joe Thornton? He's always said he will play beyond his NHL career in Switzerland, so not likely? Patrick Marleau? He has two years left on his contract, for whatever that is worth. Henrik Lundqvist? Will the 36 year old Rangers legend want to carry on through a rebuild in New York? Ilya Kovalchuk? There's been rumors of his return to NHL, and he can likely cash in yet again with another season in Russia. Roberto Luongo? The Sedin's old running mate might actually be the most likely of this bunch to retire, and perhaps it's more on his mind than others due to the Sedin's announcement. That said, he was on record earlier this year that, health willing, "there's more work to be done."

Certainly all these players would make strong cases. Only time will tell if any of these players will retire this off season.

Marian Hossa and Jarome Iginla are strong candidates to announce their retirements soon, but they would actually be eligible for Hall of Fame discussion in 2020. This is because they did not play at all this season, and that would count as one season towards the waiting time period.

Many players will retire. With all due respect to the likes of Matt Cullen, Chris Kunitz, Brian Gionta and Ryan Miller should make no impact on the Sedins Hall of Fame immediate inclusion.

So the answer to the question of whether or not the Sedins will be first ballot Hall of Famers really can not be answered just yet. We need to see who else is first-time eligible in 2021 first.


Anonymous said...

There are several reasons neither one of them belong in the hall. For instance there is nothing special about their offensive numbers. 8 and 9 seasons out of 17 with totals below 60 points. A career peek of 3 seasons. Their Ross trophies were abnormalities not markers of their offensive ability. Bellows, Propp, B. Smith, Hunter 1000 points, 1000 games all way better than the Sedins, no hall. But forget all of that. Forget the press and the fond memories and tell me how Henrick specifically is a HOFer. Look at the stats, averaged 17 goals a year, had 3 decent seasons and nothing else. He was consistently average. I would love an explanation, but there is nothing there, fond memories and a twin gimmick. Plain and simple Henrick is not a HOFer and it isn't even close. Back to the two together, what about their last 7 seasons with next to nothing to show for playoffs, that has to speak volumes. Two HOFers on the same team at the same time should be able to lift a team up a little (I.e. Marleau and Thornton). These two couldn't. First ballot? If they get that, that speaks to the diminishing talent getting in more than their worth.

Anonymous said...

On stats, the twins should be compared to those drafted during the dead puck era. Otherwise half the Hall would be from the 80's. From 1995-2002 how many HOF forwards are there? Thornton, Marleau, Iginla, Hossa, Datsyuk, Zetterberg would be ahead. Kovalchuk, Elias, Doan, Lecavalier belong, but below the twins. Author already explained most of those players wouldn't be eligible the first year or two the Twins are.

The committee also looks at intangibles. Only brothers with 1000 points. Durability - Henrik had a 600 game ironman streak. Well documented philanthropy. Highly respected among their peers. Being twins wasn't a gimmick, they had a unique style that may not be seen again.

Not superstars, so not first ballot unless the competition is poor. But definitely "great" and deserving of the Hall.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think Marleau and Thornton got to within one win of the cup. Only Thornton and jagr have more assists than hank amongst active players. He won the hart, art Ross, Clancy, played in over 600 consecutive games. Olympic gold, world championships, and retires as one of the most respected players amongst his peers. Maybe he should have shot more but he’s a top five playmaker since he came into the league. They are going in.