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.