Earlier this week, we saw Alexander Ovechkin call his own number and get his 1000th point on a nifty little snap shot, while passing Rocket Richard with his 545th goal in the process for 29th all-time. By the end of this week, Henrik Sedin will have joined Ovi as the 85th member of this club, while twin brother Daniel sits back at 967 points right now and may still hit that mark later this year. In between the Sedin twins sits Sidney Crosby at 988 points, and he may hit 1000 by the end of next week the way the Penguins have been scoring lately. Yet 1000 points alone doesn’t punch your ticket to the NHL Hall of Fame.
Everyone in the top 29 is in the Hall of Fame except Dave Andreychuk, and he is tied at 29 with Denis Savard, who is in the Hall, at 1338 points. Active players who are up there in the scoring are Joe Thornton at 24th with 1370 points and Jarome Iginla with 1284 points sitting at 34th overall. Will either of them make it to the Hall? Neither has piled up the individual awards and neither of them has won a Stanley Cup yet, but we will see. There are players with much weaker resumes already inducted, while some that are not inducted and have not had their careers shortened by injury and have that much needed hardware. For example, Mark Howe and Scott Niedermayer are in the Hall while Sergei Zubov is not, yet their career numbers are similar.
This whole Hall of Fame diatribe came to mind after Major League Baseball announced this year's inductees, and the final run for Tim Raines, an excellent player but never a Rickey Henderson. But I’m glad Rock is getting in, and maybe one day MLB will smarten up and give Montreal back its Expos.
But, the comparison and argument, not just in hockey but in any sport, is determining a baseline for greatness to get into the Hall. For example, Alexander Ovechkin will be a shoe in for the Hockey Hall of Fame, but will the Sedin twins' efforts merit such consideration?
How about Roberto Luongo, who moved up the win list for goalies over the past week as well by passing Terry Sawchuk for fifth place with his 448th career win. Curtis Joseph is one spot ahead of Luongo and Cujo is not in the Hall of Fame, so will Bobby Lou make it in? He has spent most of his career on mediocre squads, yet led the league in wins a few times. But as with Joseph, I think the Hall will again punish a very good player for longevity and lack of personal awards, which is a shame because Cujo, Luongo, Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon all belong enshrined in Toronto, and that’s not the Red Wing in me talking (Well maybe it is?).
On Wednesday night, Connor McDavid reached the 100-point mark in his 92nd game, third fastest in Oilers history and fourth fastest amongst active players. Ovechkin did it in 77 games, Sidney Crosby in 80 and Evgeni Malkin in 89 games. This is elite company for McDavid, and he is elite. Watching him skate is just a privilege with that speed. He reminds me of Sergei Fedorov with the passing, shooting and speed. Now he just needs three Stanley Cups, one Hart Trophy (which may be this year), and two Selke’s.
I guess it is the age old subjective question we all have about who we like, what we think is great, and how that relates to the opinions of other fans. But, while it might be nice to simply have a formulaic baseline about what qualifies a guy for a Hall of Fame, it is a lot more fun to speculate and argue.
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