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05-17-2005, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
the Hockey Hall of Fame meets June 8th to decide on this year's selectees. The list of first time eligible players is not that impressive. One Canadien writer was promoting Mike Vernon. Well, Mark Howe is a few years past his first eligibility should be inducted this year. I am not the most eloquent writer but I wish I could do justice to the argument that Mark Howe deserves to be in the H of F.
There are many people who feel he has been excluded because he began his pro career in the WHA. But since the Hockey Hall of Fame is not necessarily limited to NHL players and stats Howe's total numbers and accomplishments deserve to be looked at closely. And when done so, I think you would see that he should be in the Hall.
In the mid-80s, I was living in the DC area and saw Rod Langway play
quite a bit. They are two different types of player but Howe was clearly a
better all around defensemen. He was consistently among the league leaders in
the plus/minus including a league best +85 in 1985. (More on that later.)
> His combined WHA and NHL stats are impressive: 1,246 points in 1,355 games;
Silver medalist at the 1972 Olympics as a 16 year old (this might be an
additional source of prejudice against him, that the son of Gordie Howe played
for the US Olympic team). But to me the most impressive statistic regarding
Mark Howe is not even his. In the early 80's while paired with Howe, Glen
Cochrane was a +48. No offense to Cochrane but that is an amazing statistic.
As a avid fan and youth hockey coach, one of the things I appreciate most is a
player who makes the players he skates with better. And that may have been
Howe's biggest contribution. Every flyers defensemen during Howe's time in
Philadelphia became a better blueliner after being paired with Howe. McCrimmon
was given up as a stiff by Boston, the Rangers gladly sent Samuelsson to Philly
and Marsh and Crossman had mediocre careers before improving in Orange and
Black. Mark Howe should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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