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12-06-2012, 03:46 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
I don't know about HOF eligibility but the two lockouts basically cost Patrick Marleau the opportunity to break the all time games played mark.
He stands at 1117 games played. Howe is the all-time leader with 1767. For the heck of it let's add 160 games (if this season is wiped out). That means Marleau could have been at 1277 at the end of 2013 in a year he turns 34. Hard to say, but even then does he play 490 more games just to tie Howe? This is 6 full seasons which would take Marleau to 40 years old. I guess you never know, but there is no chance for it to happen now.

Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I can't believe you have resorted to labeling NHL players as "scabs" for continuing to play hockey at a high level. Seems like they're damned if they do, damned if they don't, in your eyes. Yes, some are just staying in shape, but others are playing in their home countries and even hometowns (Jagr, Malkin, etc.).
Playing in your home country is one thing (I have no issue when Jagr did that) and playing overseas because you and your peers share part of the blame in being unable to share $3.3 billion is another thing. With a little elbow grease we have a full NHL season. Instead, someone's job is taken away over in Europe. Greed rolls downhill everytime which is why I choose the word "scabs". Hey, the players would say the same thing about replacement players in the NHL wouldn't they? But that's another story. Back on topic.

I also can't agree with you saying it's just "nickel and diming" when some players may miss two full seasons if the current lockout isn't resolved soon. I agree that the players collectively share the responsibility, at least to some degree, for shortened/canceled seasons. However, I don't agree that they should be penalized as individual players for this. I know it's an absurd situation to most of us, but to me it's irrelevant to evaluating a hockey player's greatness.

As far as chances at the HOF, the lockouts may affect the most those players which aren't near-locks anyway, and who either A) lost more than one good season or B) lost at least one peak season when they or their team may have contended for hardware. That would seem to include:

Thomas- only if one believes his declared absence from hockey was affected by the impending lockout

Kiprusoff- he loses two good seasons, a "peak" season in '05 and what still may have been a very good season currently.

Hossa & Alfredsson- they would have been dark horses for individual hardware, but combined with Ottawa's chance for a deep playoff run, the '05 lockout may have hurt them significantly.

Elias- more of a longshot to contend for hardware, but may lose two prime seasons (plus part of '06 indirectly), which significantly hurts his career totals.

Naslund- if not for Bertuzzi incident already happening before end of '04, I would see him as more of a victim of lockout, since he really needed another strong season to give him a good chance.

Datsyuk- may miss two prime seasons, and his team would have been a strong contender in '05.

I believe Iginla, Thornton, St. Louis and Kovalchuk should all be near-locks by the end of their careers. If not, then the lockouts substantially hurt their chances.

I understand the theory that a really HOF-worthy player will get in anyways, but the NHL is on the verge of a second canceled season and one just never knows what would have happened. It's not so much the career totals, where the affects can be roughly estimated. It's the unknown "what would have been?" While I think St. Louis will probably be inducted, what if the lockout had been in '04 instead of '05? His case looks a lot shakier without a Ross, Hart and Cup included in his record. Same with Thornton: a lockout in '06 turns a highly probable induction into a more questionable one. I would guess Daniel Sedin is glad the lockout wasn't in 2011, as a Ross and SCF appearance actually give him a a decent chance, instead of a very slim one. I'm sure there must be other less recent examples of HOFers, which if you deducted their best (or one of their very best) seasons, would have been much less likely to be inducted... and we're looking at possibly two missed seasons out of nine now. It might be a Norris... or a Cup... or a top 3 finish in goals/points... we will never know who would have been helped substantially if they played the 2005 season (let's just hope this one isn't canceled as well).
I understand what you are saying, but I don't like to penalize players as much as just not rewarding them for lost time. That is where I am going with this. If Alfredsson never plays again and Elias for that matter since both are getting old, then I think neither are HHOF caliber. Close, but no cigar in my opinion. Should sentiment prevail and we let them in anyway? I don't like that because we then start lowering the bar and playing favourites. I don't want guys in the HHOF who are there just because we more or less feel sorry for them. It cheapens the Hall.

The names you mentioned may not have a shot anyway. Kipper is no better than a career Mike Liut with or without a lockout. He had one truly elite full season and one wonderful playoff run. Heck, maybe he's Mike Richter. Either way, if he were a HHOFer at his age, we'd know it by now. Thomas is a very strange case and he was just one year removed from the best goalie in the game, so who knows what more he can do.

Hossa, Elias and Alfredsson would be better served with a full 2005 season under their belt but it didn't happen so the important thing is to look at the rest of their career. All of these players lack a certain degree of "eliteness" that we usually like to see in a HHOFer. Look at the 4 inductees in 2012. All of them hit very high levels of play reserved for the greats (Sundin was more or less very, very good for a long time that it's too hard to ignore). I think Hossa has enough left in the tank to change my mind but the other two who knows? Does Elias have one of his hot and cold seasons that he had plenty of in 2004-'05? We don't know.

I don't know if Naslund gets in either way. A 4th season like the previous three definitely puts him more in the conversation but was he a guy who just flamed out rather fast? Who knows, but if he weren't such a late bloomer and a player who aged so horribly we wouldn't even have to ask whether or not he's a HHOFer.

That leaves Datsyuk. Good call on him. Throw in Zetterberg as well. Both players have some miles left in the tank and we'll see where that leaves them. However, Zetterberg just seems to be too great of a playoff performer especially to be left out of the HHOF when all is said and done regardless of the lockouts. He has a well deserved reputation as a clutch performer and he has the Conn Smythe with another very deep run. Considering he is a great two-way player as well as being able to pad some stats in the coming years, I can see him in there anyway. Datsyuk is a bit older with a worse playoff record. He has come around in the latter half of his career after having a poor playoff reputation. He's won the Cups, he has one Smythe worthy run, he won three Selkes already, he's won 4 Lady Byngs (I don't think it helps a whole lot though) and has averaged a point a game in his career all the while finishing 4th in points twice. Throw in being one of the best talents we've ever seen in NHL history and I can't see him being left out when all is said and done.

I mean, as of right now we're looking at some players that even without a lockout would be marginal selections. We also don't know if they require season ending surgery 10 games into the season either. We just don't have the crystal ball to predict that. You can be a guy like Alfredsson who desperately needed the chance to play that one extra season or you can be a legit future HHOFer like Datsyuk who really doesn't need it. Either way I don't think the HHOF is worse without them.

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