Is length of career a legitimate obstacle when it comes to the the HoF?
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12-06-2012, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Good post. Just came to post the bolded.
Thomas for HOF is laughable. The guy basically has two great seasons, and a couple other decent ones playing behind the best defensive team in the league. Credit to Thomas for seizing the opportunity and being a key piece in Boston winning the Cup in 2011, but that's basically what he'd be getting elected for. If that's all it takes, we may as well ask the same question about Cam Ward if he retired today.
If Patrick Roy had retired in the fall of 1989, would he have made the HOF?
I think this is why the 3 year waiting period is important. We'll need to sit back and observe Thomas' career. Let it simmer a bit. If you asked me when the Bruins won the Cup in 2011 if he is a future HHOFer I would have said he was on the right track. But then a Game 7 overtime loss in 2012, nothing more than an above average season in 2012 has made me pause. We'll see how we envision him in later years if he never plays again. Hey, he could win another Vezina. Three would be too much too ignore. Let's wait and see. I don't think Roy is a HHOFer if he retired in 1989 however. But you might be shortchanging Thomas a bit. He was spectacular in 2010-'11. Could have easily won the Hart trophy. Was so much more important than any other Bruin in the 2011 playoffs that it wasn't even funny. He won with very acrobatic goaltending that I wish we would see more, so I've never bought this whole "he was on a good defense" theory.
Originally Posted by
Agreed that Thomas is a weird case. Though it seems like just about
goalie in the 2000s is a weird case.
Apart from Brodeur, I don't think there’s a single clear-cut HOF-worthy goalie from the past decade. Luongo is a no unless he overcomes his playoff reputation. Kiprusoff has flaws. Thomas has flaws. Giguere has flaws. Miller has flaws. Osgood has flaws. Maybe Lundqvist is on track, but who knows? He could fall off too.
Is there any other decade in history that has had only one HOF goalie?
And if so, that raises a few questions: Was this just a fluke? Or is Mike Farkas right that we’ve entered a new era where coaches and teams are more important than goalies, which means that we won’t see very many more HOF goalies unless they're either Hasek-level exceptional or happen to find themselves in a particularly beneficial situation, ala Brodeur in New Jersey?
I think it might be more of a cycle. In the 1980s it was the same case. Think of the goalies who made their mark in the 1980s. How many are in the HHOF? Smith, Fuhr and to a much lesser extent Roy. Vernon and Barrasso have their moments in that decade but they aren't in yet. Neither is Liut, and he may never be. The 1970s had enough good ones and we are still waiting for Rogie Vachon to get in there which tells you something. The 1990s are the opposite of the 1980s and post 2000. We've got Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, Hasek. To a lesser extent there's Richter, Joseph, Osgood, etc. Lots of talent there.
So I wouldn't worry too much. These things go in cycles. And goalies are NOT inducted very often to begin with. Since 1989 when Tretiak was inducted we've seen Smith, Fuhr, Roy and Belfour. That's it.
In all honesty, I know people knock on Luongo but the guy has got to be getting awfully close to a HHOFer even as a goalie with those lofty standards. I mean, two Hart worthy seasons (2004, 2007), two 2nd team all-stars, one trip to the final in 2011 and one game away from a probable Smythe. An Olympic Gold in 2010 and helping with the World Cup win in 2004. Sure he had some shaky goaltending in international play (which I have personally criticized) but he still won. All of that plus the fact that he's been in the league since 1999 and has a ton of wins/shutouts sort of ties into the fact that he has some good longevity. Honestly, the guy has his critics but he's got more hockey in him.
I am not sure what to make of Lundqvist. Very good results in with the Vezina but so far a substandard postseason resume. Same with Miller. Kipper is a no for me, and Ward has got to get his team into the postseason more than twice.
I guess that leaves Fleury. Already won a Cup, is only 28, been to another Cup final, was the 3rd stringer on the Olympic team. Finished as high as 9th in Hart voting. He's had some good years and there have been times in the postseason where he's been stellar (was the best Penguin behind Malkin and Crosby in 2009). The knock on him is that he is very much like Mike Vernon. When the Pens win he is a big part of it. When they lose (and they've lost badly) he has been a huge cause - if not the biggest cause - of it. He has some huge "Sportscenter moments" like saving Lidstrom's shot in the waning seconds in 2009, but he's also got that World Junior fiasco in 2004. I don't know how much of that could factor in, but if he wants people to forget his bluffs, he needs more memorable playoff runs.
But who knows, we could be looking at a normal amount of HHOF goalies in the future. Or not. We'll see, but it goes in cycles.
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