Written by WJWhite30
I usually keep my posts focused around either gambling or the Panthers; however, while watching the Stanley Cup finals and seeing names like Stamkos, Staal, Perry, Price, and Weber; it made me think, “are they Hall of Fame caliber players”? I wanted to dedicate this piece to guys in the league who may be great players, but are the Hall of Famers?
- Steven Stamkos – This second Stanley Cup victory may help push Stammer to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, especially since his playoff success is happening later in his career and giving the voting board a bit of recency bias. While Stamkos now has two Cups, he also has won the Rocket Richard Trophy twice (2009-2010 & 2011-2012) and finished in the top 5 for the MVP voting once. Additionally, he is just one of 16 players to have 400 goals and 400 assists by the end of his 29-year-old season. Stammer is over a point per game player having notched 866 points in 841 games. I believe Stamkos will end up in the Hall of Fame without much trouble.
- Eric Staal – Staalsy had great success early in his career having won the Cup in his second NHL season. Staal went on to be the Captain of the Hurricanes and the face of the franchise for about 12 years; however, playing his best years of hockey in a small market may have hurt his chances at being another HOF caliber player. Besides a cup of coffee for the Rangers and then being a trade deadline pick up for the Habs, he never played for a big market team. Staal does have over 1,000 points and is number 77 in all time scoring so it would not be far fetched to think he will be inducted in to the HOF. This being said, he does not have any personal trophies or awards to solidify his case to be inducted to the HOF. Hopefully, this late playoff push with Montreal helped make his name relevant again because many of the voters may have forgotten what he did as Captain of the Canes.
- Corey Perry – The Worm, as he is affectionately called, is now known more for his rat-like tendencies and being a thorn in the side of his opponents; however, everyone forgot about the goal scoring and offensive production he had early in his career with the Ducks. Perry had 50 goals in the 2010-2011 season and scored over 30 goals in 6 seasons. The Worm has played over 1,000 games scoring 386 goals and 432 assists. While these numbers are not incredible, he does have a Stanley Cup from the 2006-2007 Duck and also won the Hart and Rocket Richard trophies in 2010-2011. Hopefully his pain-in-the-ass style of play will not affect the voting committee’s opinion when it comes Perry’s turn to be selected. He did have one heck of a career and I would put him above Staal and others who may get in to the HOF with a bit more ease.
- Shea Weber – Webs has over 1,000 games played accumulating 224 goals and 365 assists. He also has won the NHL’s hardest shot recording a 106.5 mph clap bomb in the 2020 All Star Game. He only falls second to Big Z who rips it around the 109 mph mark. If he can accumulate 100 more points before retiring (very feasible), he will be in the top 30 in all time defense scoring which is impressive considering he is more known more for his shutdown defensive style of play and toughness. Weber is also a 7-time NHL All Star and won Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014 with Team Canada. All of this is great, but until this season, Weber had never led a team past the 2nd round of playoffs. While being a Norris Trophy finalist 3 times, he has never won it. The only personal award Webs has won is the Mark Messier Leadership Award with Nashville in 2015-2016. While I would rank him as a better defenseman than say Brent Burns, he does not have the hardware to backup that claim. While I would love to have a player like Shea Weber on my team, I do not think his resume will put him in the HOF. Let’s see what Montreal can do these next few seasons because a Stanley Cup Ring surely can persuade the voting committee.
- Nicklas Backstrom – He is a player that has put together a solid career on his own with over 1,000 games played, 258 goals scored, 722 assists, and 980 points. The 33-year-old Swede will definitely finish his career with over 1,000 points and at least 1 Stanley Cup. But as a guy who has been playing in the shadow of his Hall of Fame teammate, Alexander Ovechkin, will his personal contributions and stats go unnoticed by the HOF committee? Much like Stamkos, Backstrom does not have any individual awards to go along with his Stanley Cup ring.
- Carey Price – While Price’s career is not over and he has certainly shown that he is still an elite goalie in this league, the 33-year-old is on the back 9 of his career. Unlike many of the players on my list, Price does have a Vezina and Hart trophy to his name. In international play, Price also has an Olympic gold medal, a World Junior gold medal, and a World Cup of Hockey gold medal as well. So far, the only missing piece is the 35-pounds of silver known as Lord Stanley. Price has over 700 games played with 360 wins in his career. I think Price is one of the few guys on this list to get in with or without a Stanley Cup victory.
- Joe Thorton – Jumbo won the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross trophy in 2005-2006 and is the only player in NHL history to win the awards in a season where he was traded. Besides the fact that he was playing in the NHL before most of his teammates were born, Jumbo has 1,680 games played and 1,529 points. I think it is very easy to say that Jumbo will be a Hall of Fame player; however, the biggest deterrent is the fact that he has not won a Cup. Furthermore, besides the 2005-2006 season, he has not won any individual awards either. While I think Jumbo gets in to the HOF, I do not think it will be as easy as people may think.
- Jason Spezza – If career longevity was enough to get you in to the Hall of Fame then of course Spezza would be in it; however, it takes more than a long career to secure your name among hockey’s elite. Spezza has played in 1,177 games socring 351 goals and 619 assists for 970 points. Spezza was named to 2 All Star games, 2008 and 2012, while playing for the Senators. Spezza has no NHL awards and has been unable to capture hockey’s most iconic trophy. Factoring in all of this information, I do not think Spezza makes it in to hockey’s eternal shrine.
- Brent Burns – Burnsy was a late bloomer and never really became a household name until he was almost 10 years in to his NHL career. Burns did not break the 50-point marker until the 2014-2015 season with the San Jose Sharks and many people forget that he actually started his career in Minnesota. This being said, he did win the Norris trophy once and was voted in the top 10 for Norris finalist 5 years in a row, with 3 of those years being in the top 3. Will not having a Cup hurt his bid for the HOF? If the Sharks continue to struggle, will that impact the public and committee’s view on Burns? I do not think Burnsy will make it in unless something drastic happens and the Sharks can win a Cup or he gets traded to a Cup contender.
- Corey Crawford – Crow is a tough one to think about as he does have 2 Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. In my opinion, he was always a very good goalie, but he was never elite. Look at the teams Chicago had when they were winning the Cup with Crawford. Besides an incredible defense including Keith and Seabrook in their prime, the team was loaded and very rarely did Crow have to steal a series for them. Crawford finishes his career with 488 games played, 260 wins, and 162 losses. He had a career 2.45 GAA and a .918 SV%. He was a two-time NHL All Star as well. However, this is not the Hockey Hall of Very Good Players, but the Hockey Hall of Fame. Would you put Crow in the mix with guys like Patty Roy or Marty Brodeur? I do not think so and I do not think Crow gets in.
- Patrick Marleau – This one is easy; you can’t break a Gordie Howe record and not expect to get in to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Marleau holds the NHL record for most regular season games played at 1,779 as of the end of the 2020-2021 season. So I guess to an extent, I take back or contradict what I said about Spezza not getting in on career longevity alone because Marleau will get in on career longevity. So yes, I am a hypocrite, but this is different. Passing any record of Mr. Hockey’s will automatically get you in to the HOF. Despite not having won the Stanley Cup, Patty has won 2 Olympic Gold Medals with Team Canada, a World Championship with Team Canada, is a 3-time NHL All Star, and won a World Cup championship. Besides the record for most games played, he does not have many personal achievements.
- Sergei Bobrovsky – HELL NO. GOD NO. F*CK NO!!! Unless he figures something out quick, the two-time Vezina winner will hopefully be quickly forgotten. The $10-million health bomb will be nothing more than a bad memory of a terrible contract thanks to Dale Tallon. I just hope as a Panthers fan that I do not have to watch this sieve play for 5 more years.
There are certain players I did not include, for example Marc-Andre Fluery, Sydney Crosby, Zdeno Chara, or Alex Ovechkin; as I believe they are a lock for the Hall of Fame. But I would be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on some of the guys I have listed above and who else you would put on that HOF career bubble.