Butch Goring: if Elias gets in HHOF, so should he.
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02-23-2013, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Honestly, the modern player in a situation most similar to Elias is Adam Foote - Foote was the defensive cornerstone of the third or fourth best team of the era (depending on if you include the Penguins as "of the era"). But I think Elias is clearly a step up from Foote - better peak, and more team success. Also, Foote was also overshadowed by Bourque and Blake for a time, while Elias was never really overshadowed by another forward on NJ until he was in his mid 30s, but by then, the team was on the decline. Elias was the clearcut best forward on the team (no matter what you try to claim otherwise) when they went to 3 finals in 4 years. Also, it's tougher for defensemen to get in anyway.
So no, I don't think inducting Elias would open the door for anyone - he would get in for the same reason guys like Steve Shutt, Glenn Anderson, and Joe Nieuwendyk got in - contributions to winning teams.
I've heard that before, Elias being compared to Nieuwendyk which isn't the best compliment. You could argue that the likes of Nieuwendyk - who I thought was a poor inductee - opened the doors for guys like Elias in the future. Shutt is a guy who was a weird choice too but part of a face of a dynasty helped him. The biggest knock on him is that he can pretty much thank Lafleur for getting in there. Anderson did just too much when everything was on the line. 93 playoff goals (5th all-time) 17 game winning goals (5th all-time). Elias has 6 playoff game winning goals. Three less than Sykora and as many as Rafalski. That's fine, but if you would ask anyone who was a face of playoff hockey more between Anderson and Elias I don't think you'd have one vote against Anderson.
Elias just doesn't seem to fit in there. He's comparable to many of his current peers that really don't have much of a shot of getting in. I know you say that Elias wasn't overshadowed by another Devils forward, but there are lots of players that wouldn't have been overshadowed in that situation too. The Devils have yet to even have a 100 point player in a season. This isn't a franchise known for elite forwards. So I think that elevates Elias higher than he should be in the first place.
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