Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Does It Take To Be A Hall Of Famer?

Looking at the Hockey Hall of Fame eligibility list, there's a lot of great players with solid numbers and hardware that could be elected every year. Unfortunately they all can't go in as only a maximum of four male players can go into the Hall in a single year. With so many great players becoming eligible every passing year these Hall of Fame conversations are getting tougher and tougher. So what does it take to get into the Hall of Fame these days? While there is no perfect formula for predicting who the Selection Committee might be electing to the Hall, it can be presumed that greater weight is given to a players individual achievements such as goals/points/awards, and then to team achievements such as Stanley Cups or Olympic gold medals/Canada Cup titles/IIHF World Championship gold medals. With this in mind, I set out to find the average stats/awards/championships of Hockey Hall of Famers who began their playing careers in the Modern Era (1967-present) to see who belongs in their company. 

The first table below will look at Hall of Fame inducted forwards who began their careers in 1967 or later. Gold medals include Canada Cup titles, World Cup of Hockey titles, Olympic games, and men's senior World Championships. For awards, since the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy was introduced in 98-99, if a player led the NHL in goal scoring before its inception then they were credited with having won that trophy.

PLAYER
FROM
TO
GP
G
A
PTS
CUPS
GOLDS
AWARDS
1980
1999
1487
894
1963
2857
4
3
36
1980
2004
1756
694
1193
1887
6
3
5
1982
2004
1731
549
1249
1798
2
0
5
1972
1989
1348
731
1040
1771
0
1
5
1984
2006
1514
692
1063
1755
3
2
4
1985
2006
915
690
1033
1723
2
3
20
1976
1994
1279
524
901
1425
6
0
5
1984
2003
1474
450
964
1414
1
1
1
1982
1997
1188
518
891
1409
0
2
1
1981
1998
1251
601
797
1398
5
0
2
1987
2006
1431
668
726
1394
1
1
1
1987
2006
1269
741
650
1391
2
1
6
1972
1991
1126
560
793
1353
5
1
10
1981
1997
1196
473
865
1338
1
0
0
1980
1998
1432
708
627
1335
0
2
0
1971
1987
1191
512
814
1326
0
2
2
1981
1995
977
450
789
1239
0
3
1
1970
1984
1144
358
852
1210
2
2
6
1981
1999
1232
608
592
1200
0
0
0
1980
1994
1089
548
604
1152
0
2
0
1977
1990
1000
369
761
1130
0
0
0
1978
1987
752
573
553
1126
4
1
7
1987
2007
1257
564
562
1126
3
1
3
1971
1985
1096
484
637
1121
0
1
0
1981
1996
1129
498
601
1099
6
2
0
1982
1997
1062
502
561
1063
3
0
2
1984
1998
865
468
545
1013
0
1
1
1974
1989
1111
500
506
1006
1
1
2
1973
1984
903
420
463
883
2
1
0
1968
1979
853
366
469
835
8
0
0
1973
1985
930
424
393
817
5
1
1
1975
1988
958
319
378
697
4
0
0
1984
1996
726
395
299
694
0
0
1
1990
2004
921
169
475
644
3
7
0
1974
1989
1160
239
262
501
5
1
5
(# OF PLAYERS = 35)
AVERAGES =
1164
522
739
1261
2 1 4
GP
G
A
PTS
CUPS GOLDS AWARDS
  • Average stat line for HHOF forwards during this period is 522 goals and 1261 points. 
  • Inducted players won an average of two Stanley Cups, 1 gold medal, and 4 individual awards. 
  • Only two players (Bernie Federko and Dino Ciccarelli) failed to win a Cup, gold medal, or individual award, but both had impressive scoring to back up their inductions. 
  • The fewest NHL games played by a forward inductee in this time period is Cam Neely with 726 games played. Neely battled knee and hip injuries and was forced to retire far too early.
  • 11 of the 35 players failed to capture an individual award, but they did capture a combined 24 Stanley Cups and 15 gold medals. 
From these numbers, one can assume that you need to have a solid combination of stats/championships/award wins for induction, and if you don't have many championships/awards, you better be among the all-time leaders in scoring to have your name mentioned among the best.

Now lets take a look at the HHOF defenceman from this time period:


PLAYER
FROM TO GP G A PTS CUPS GOLDS AWARDS
1980 2001 1612 410 1169 1579 1 2 7
1981 2001 1409 396 1135 1531 4 3 3
1982 2004 1416 340 934 1274 1 2 2
1981 2001 1615 287 929 1216 4 2 0
1974 1988 1060 310 742 1052 4 1 4
1988 2006 1205 247 781 1028 1 1 4
1973 1992 1384 208 750 958 6 2 3
1967 1979 657 270 645 915 2 1 17
1983 2004 1635 196 712 908 3 1 1
1969 1985 1113 213 683 896 0 1 1
1974 1990 1148 150 637 787 0 0 0
1980 1995 929 197 545 742 0 0 0
1969 1984 884 171 451 622 6 2 0
1967 1983 1040 106 333 439 7 2 2
1979 1993 994 51 278 329 1 0 2
1990 1998 546 36 192 228 2 10 0
(# OF PLAYERS = 16) AVERAGES =  1165 224 682 907 3 2 3
GP G A PTS CUPS GOLDS AWARDS
  • Average stat line for HHOF defencemen in this period is 224 goals and 907 points.
  • Defensive inductees won an average of 3 Stanley Cups, 2 gold medals, and 3 individual awards.
  • Only two defencemen (Borje Salming and Mark Howe) failed to win a Cup, medal, or award, but had strong numbers for their careers.
  • Lowest point total belongs to Slava Fetisov who joined the NHL when he was 31, but still won 2 Stanley Cups and 10 gold medals.
  • Of the 16 defenceman, 10 won a Norris Trophy, a good indicator for election.
It's fairly easy to see why these defencemen are in the HHOF, as even Salming and Howe have strong numbers despite not winning anything. Anything around those averages should get you in the conversation for the Hall. 

Now let's look at the six HHOF goalies from this era:


PLAYER
FROM TO GP W L T/O SO CUPS GOLDS AWARDS
1985 2003 1029 551 315 131 66 4 0 11
1989 2007 963 484 320 125 76 1 2 7
1969 1984 886 423 306 151 76 1 1 4
1982 2000 868 403 295 114 25 4 2 2
1972 1989 680 305 233 105 22 4 0 3
1971 1979 397 258 57 74 46 6 1 7
(# OF PLAYERS = 6) AVERAGES = 804 404 254 117 52 3 1 6
GP W L T SO CUPS GOLDS AWARDS
  • Average record of the HHOF goaltenders in this period is 404-254-117 with 52 shutouts.
  • All six goaltenders have won at least one Stanley Cup.
  • All six goaltenders have won at least one Vezina Trophy.
  • The fewest wins belong to Dryden (258) and Smith (305), but their trophy cases tell it all with a combined 10 Stanley Cups and 6 Vezina Trophies between them.
We'd say the benchmark for a HHOF goaltender in this era is having over 400 wins, 50 shutouts and having won at least the Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy. Probably one of the most important things for a HHOF-seeking goaltender is to have some hardware as with so many great goaltenders you need something to separate the best from the rest.

Judging from the list of eligible players this year, we'd say that Joe Sakic and Brendan Shanahan are locks for 2012 induction, while Mats Sundin, Adam Oates, Dave Andreychuk, Curtis Joseph, and Phil Housley could all go in as well. Thanks to players like Cam Neely and Pat Lafontaine, there is hope for Pavel Bure and Eric Lindros to go in despite their limited number of games due to injuries. Regardless, this is going to be an excellent HHOF class, and that pattern will continue for many years.

3 comments:

  1. The thing I dislike about the HHOF is that there are too many "good" players in there. It should be reserved for "great". From this year, I'd like to see only Sakic and Shanahan go in. They're the only ones with the numbers and championships to back it up.

    The HHOF shouldn't be watered down with Dino Ciccarelli's and and Mark Howe's.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post.
    It just seems like players that were good, but didn't win anything are getting in to the Hall. Should be harder to get into.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rod Langway in the Hall...
    What a joke

    ReplyDelete

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