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12-01-2012, 12:21 AM
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I Hate Chris Butler
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Is length of career a legitimate obstacle when it comes to the the HoF?

I've been browsing the boards for a while now and, for the most part, the level of dominance is the most important factor in whether or not a player should be able to get into the Hall of Fame. However, dominance is not the only factor as some people value longevity and stats just as much as dominance which is why you see guys like Recchi or Alfredsson brought up as possible inductions. Granted, I'm guilty of this myself; I made an Osgood thread in this forum a few years back which some of you may remember as to whether or not his stats alone were good enough to get him into the Hall, but that's not what I'm starting this thread about.

What I want to know is when does longevity matter more than longevity, particularly in the case of Tim Thomas or Alex Ovechkin. Current issues aside, Tim Thomas and Ovechkin have arguably had the best careers post lockout. Aside from Brodeur, Thomas is the only goalie to win two Vezinas post lockout, but Thomas also has a Conn Smythe. Ovechkin is the only player since Gretzky to threepeat the Lindsay, and the first since Hasek to repeat the Hart. The problem with these two is their dominance is short lived. Ovechkin's was from 05-06, to 09-10. Thomas' dominant play was from 08-11.

Compare that to guys like Mike Gartner, Curtis Joseph, or Ron Francis who were never the best players in the NHL at any point, but were extremely good players for long periods of time. In each case, all three rank particularly high in specific categories, Gartner: goals, Francis: points, and Joseph: wins. Thomas and Ovechkin, by comparison, have only 10 combined years of dominant play between them. However, in that time Thomas and Ovechkin have combined for 12 individual awards. Gartner, Joseph, and Francis have combined for 6.

I've seen people argue that Thomas shouldn't be in the Hall because he hasn't played long enough and the same for Ovechkin if he were to retire today. On the flip side, I've seen people argue for guys like Joseph who say "top 5 all time in wins" or Recchi (1500 points) as to why they should make the Hall.

Is length of career a legitimate hurdle, or is it overstated?

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