Thanks for the memories, Jared

Thanks for the memories, Jared

 

In the happy glow surrounding Marian Hossa’s 1,000th NHL point, we should really have been bracing ourselves for the Hot Takes on his HOF candidacy from the Hockey Meeja. Sure enough, The Hockey News’ Blowhard-In-Chief, Ken Campbell, was quick to get the crayons out today to let us know that he has his doubts.

 

I was tempted to Fisk the whole damn thing, but life is too short. Instead I want to take a look at Ken’s main “point” (and the inverted commas are very much called for here), that just scoring a shitload of points isn’t enough. He tells us that there are

“..currently 19 Hall of Fame eligible players who scored 1,000 points during their careers and who are not in the hall. With 466 career goals so far, Hossa is a shoo-in for the 500 mark and that’s where it starts to get a little more interesting. There are only seven players who have scored 500 who are eligible for the Hall of Fame and are not in there.”

 

Great point, Ken. Wow, those must be some serious errors and omissions by the HOF. let’s have a look, shall we?

Of the nineteen 1,000+ point scorers currently not in the HOF, nine of them failed to win a Stanley Cup in their careers.  Justly or not, that lack of a ring is not going to help with your application. Of the guys who also have 500 goals, only poor old Pierre Turgeon didn’t win a Cup, but that’s what you get when you spend all those years with the Sabres, Islanders and Blues. Last time I looked, Marian Hossa has two cups and got damn close to three more. So far, that is.

It’s probably worth adding that this list also contains Dale Hunter, Pat Verbeek, Vincent Damphousse and Theo Fleury all of whom aren’t going in for a whole variety of reasons, some good, some not so. Three Cup winners in that lot, too.  Of the guys with a Cup, you feel that Steve Larmer and Dave Andreychuk are the only really hard-done by players here. Mark Recchi (with three, the only person on this list with more than one Cup ring), Alex Moligny and Rob Brind’amour are only recently eligible and will likely go in soon. The Cupless Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk, too (although far from certain with JR, after a couple of snubs)

 

The main crux of Ken’s argument seems to hinge on the fact that, unlike Pavel Datsyuk, who is Hossa’s nearest comparison as a player, #81 has failed to win a whole bunch of Selke and Lady Byng awards. Now don’t get me wrong: I think Datsyuk goes in on the first try, and deservedly so. But, there’s a big difference between the HOF selection committee and the chuckleheads who make up 80% of the PHWA and won’t give the Selke to wingers: the HOF selection commitee isn’t made up of tired hacks and their endless search for narratives.  And, despite Ken whining about them not seeking his wisdom, that isn’t going to change any time soon. I really don’t think they’re going to care about the meaningless hardware when Hossa drops his Cup rings on the table

Of course, you can take nothing for granted with the HOF, the time it took them to induct Pat Burns is evidence of that. Hossa will be in some pretty stellar company as and when he hangs them up, if you look at some of the names who are in and around his age.  But, if he doesn’t get in with his points, goals and Cups, then it won’t be because he didn’t win the Lady Byng.

Ken then blithers on about cap recapture and the spectacle of Hossa tarnishing his career by hanging on too long (because that’s really going to hurt Selanne, Brodeur and Jagr’s chances) and fails to mention that a guy with Hossa’s injury and concussion history can go on LTIR any damn time he feels like calling it quits.

But that’s Ken.. he is Hockey’s resident Hossa expert