Hockey Hall of Fame Snubs
By Bob Haynes (@BobHaynesJr)
This is a subject that really bothers me at times. I feel there is too much put into the number of championships that a player won during a career in all sports. I do not look at the stats as much when determining if a player belongs in the Hall of Fame, I simply use the “eyeball test” and watch the player. I also add to that the dominant player effect to see if the player in question was a player that opposing coaches worried about coming into games. I will look at the top Center, Wing, Defenseman, and Goalie in my humble opinion that is missing from the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
I find it nearly impossible to believe that Eric Lindros was not elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. Eric was the most dominant player in the sport for almost a decade and his numbers were amazing. He won a Hart Trophy for NHL MVP and tied for a scoring lead with Jaromir Jagr; during the time that only Wayne, Mario, or Jaromir won the scoring title. Every team that Eric played against had his name on top of the players to watch board. Even in his rookie season he was a force on the ice night after night. A quick look at his stats is embarrassing that he did not make the Hall of Fame this past year. In just his time in Philadelphia while he was the best player in the NHL, he played 486 regular season games, had 290 goals, 369 assists for 659 points while adding 946 penalty minutes. That equals 1.36 points per game and 1.9 PIM per game. Over his entire 760 game career he had 372 goals, 493 assists for 865 points and 1398 PIM. Eric’s numbers and career are very similar to Cam Neeley who played fewer games (also due to injuries), had fewer overall points (694), and penalty minutes than Eric. While Cam Neeley was a force in the NHL, he was nowhere near the talent level of Eric Lindros.
Honorable mention for center: Adam Oates.
The all time playoff leader for points by a left wing is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame. How is this possible? Of course the knock is that he never won a Stanley Cup. However his teams made it to the cup finals 5 times. Brian Propp played 1016 games, had 425 goals, 578 assists for 1003 points. In the playoffs he played 160 games with 64 goals and 84 assists for 148 points. Three times as a Flyer he made the Stanley Cup Finals. He also helped take the North Stars and Boston Bruins to the finals near the end of his career.
Honorable mention for wing: Alex Mogilny.
This one was easy to pick, Phil Housley. Phil played 1495 NHL games and 338 goals, 894 assists for 1232 total points. He was a force as a puck moving offensive defenseman. The only knock I can find about Phil’s game is that he was not Paul Coffee.
Honorable mention for defense: Larry Murphy
Beezer (John Vanbiesbrouck) was one of the best goalies during a very offensive era of the NHL. Beezer won a Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the league and was the major factor in the resurgence of the Rangers in the mid 1980s. His career did not end in New York and was selected by Florida in the expansion draft and took the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1995-96. He also holds the records for most wins and shutouts for an American born goalie.
Honorable mention for goalie: Mike Richter
Also in the coaching category the name of Fred Shero is missing from the Hall of Fame. This is the coach that first hired an assistant, use video to teach, and took an expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. Not only that, but he also directed the Flyers to win back to back championships and took the Flyers in 1976 to the Finals to be beaten by the Canadians. Fred was also a great coach for the New York Rangers after leaving Philadelphia.
Good Night and Good Hockey!