In our recent reviewing of players who have retired in the off season of 2022, one thing has become readily apparent - the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2025 will face some hard decisions.
Now to be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame a player must be retired from active professional participation for 3 seasons. Hence why these most recent retirees must wait.
But the first year eligible class of 2025 will include forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Jason Spezza, Dustin Brown, Patrick Marleau; defensemen Duncan Keith, Zdeno Chara and PK Subban; and goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Those are the players likely to be nominated at some stage for discussion, all with good merit. Though it is unlikely the Hockey Hall of Fame will ever be asked to look at the careers of the other 2022 retirees, technically eligible names will include Keith Yandle, Kurtis Gabriel, Nathan Gerbe, Mathieu Perreault, Kyle Turris, Greg Pateryn, Ian Scott, Andrej Sekera, Carter Hutton, Franz Nielsen, Samuel Morin, and Nate Prosser. And we might see other names to be added to this list in the next few weeks and months.
And of course there is always an impressive list of backlogged players passed over from previous inductions who are still waiting for their inclusion, further clouding the picture.
If I had to make a guess three years out, I would suggest that Keith, Chara and Getzlaf will all get the first year call. But it depends heavily on the passed over ballot. Alexander Mogilny is still waiting. Pierre Turgeon is a very comparable player to Getzlaf and especially Spezza. The 2023 first year draft class appears to be weak and presents a prime opportunity for the Hall to make some corrections, especially ahead of the stacked 2024 (Patrick Marleau, Pavel Datsyuk, Mikko Koivu, Pekka Rinne, Ryan Miller) and 2025 classes.