Do these guys make the HHOF if their career ends (insert year)
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12-03-2012, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
This is a great set of questions. Puts a lot of different things into perspective.
Selanne - I don't think he makes it. There's been a pretty vivid increase in respect for him since the lockout, especially since 2007. Not many players get such a large end-of-career boost. In 2004 he was just another 90s player who had a huge rookie year and gradually faded away. Bure might have nudged the door open for him, but I think Bure would have been seen as a better candidate if not for Selanne's post lockout surge. At most he would be one of those 5th-ballot guys that everyone complains about.
Pronger - the playoffs are a huge part of his legacy, but he still had a pretty solid career compared to nearly everyone else in his cohort (especially if we count the career-shortened version of Niedermayer). The Hart win would be played up, as would his general dominance in the early 2000s. I think he'd make it for lack of better peer candidates, and be received as a Sundin type induction with some people ranting about watering down the standards and others raving about how much he deserves it.
Niedermayer - I lol'ed. But no, he would have been a one-Norris guy who happened to win some team awards. It wasn't till 2007 that the media really started riding his jock.
Yzerman - Yes, easily, and in much the same manner that Thornton will have no problem getting in. Cup rings or not, he was one of the very best players in the league for a while and put up huge career numbers even just through 1996. Don't forget he scored that iconic goal against the Blues that spring. Compared to some of his generation's compilers who were inducted, Yzerman is a shoo-in. You couldn't look at the Hall with a straight face if it had Andreychuk and Dino but not Yzerman.
Francis - I dunno. Phil, as you said it wasn't until later that he was really seen as a stand-alone legend rather than a bad-team star and a supporting player with the Pens. It's a little like how I think of Jordan Staal (which is pretty ironic now that I think of it). What has he done by himself? I think his argument would honestly be based almost entirely around stats, which suggests he'd get in eventually and we'd all hate it.
Murphy - This is probably the trickiest. All I know is I would have laughed at the thought of it in 1996. Murphy got a whole lot more respect after he won those Cups and continued to be a solid player into his twilight. I mean, if HF were around in 1996 and someone put up a "Murphy for HOF" poll, would it even remain unlocked for a whole day?
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