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My knock on the Neely thing

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06-10-2005, 01:35 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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My knock on the Neely thing

First off I agree with Kharlamov being in there that's for sure, its long overdue. Now onto Neely. To me it was always touch and go with Neely. I wouldnt argue anyway with him personally, but only when people would kill their first born son in protest that he wasnt in is when it bothered me. He was a very good player. And was the kind of guy that you wanted on your team. But this is my knock against him being in the Hall.

First off, he had only 4 GOOD seasons with one of them being great ('94). He was second team all-star in '88, '90, '91 and '94. Not bad. He's slightly under a point per game, in regular and postseason. He never got more than 92 points. Only 91 another time. His next high was 75. I cant understand how it was a MUST for him to be in the Hall. He never had eye popping numbers, and was very good for too short of time. Mike Bossy, Bernie Parent both had spectacular short careers. Dickie Moore too. But Bossy had 8 postseason all-star selections, 4 Cups, one Conn Smythe Trophy and led the league in goals twice. Parent had two Vezinas, Two Cups and two Conn Smythes. Moore had six Cups and won two Art Ross Trophies (one with a broken wrist). You see in order to have your career cut short you need to have been a very dominant player who won a major award at least once or twice. Neely didnt.

Compare Neely to Cournoyer. Both were second team all-stars four times. But Cournoyer played 16 years, and won ten Cups in his career. He did stuff that made the selection commitee be impossible to neglect him. He was also on the ice for the most famous goal in Hockey history. Neely didnt do somehting so big like a couple of major awards or Cups that made people think "Yeah we have to let this guy in."

Yeah he's a sentimental choice. We all loved him. And we all hate Ulfie for what he did to him as well. And a guy like Cam played just the prototypical game. And in respnse to an earlier thread, he wasnt the best power forward of all time. Whoever mentioned that let me bring up a name: Gordie Howe. Or even Eric Lindros. Even Lindros and Forsberg have very borderline HOF credentials. And I would put them ahead of Neely. But Lindros has a Hart Trophy, was recognized at one time as the best player in the game. Forsberg had won an Art Ross, Hart and two Cups. They were at least dominant, dominant players at one time. But Neely was never even the best right winger in the game.

This may surprise people but Rick Martin has a better goals per game and points per gae average as Neely. But he never gets a sniff of the Hall. And I hate the argument that if Gilles, Federko and etc. are in then Neely is in. No way. That isnt enough credentials to get in. I think it should be truly reserved for the greats. Someone with four good seasons and an appearance on "Dumb and Dumber" is far from a Hall of Famer. Neely is a sentimental choice, his numbers and his longevity just arent quite there.

For the record, I think Rogie Vachon, Glenn Anderson and Sergei Makarov should have been in there before Neely. Sorry Sea Bass but I got to look at both sides.

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06-10-2005, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
First off I agree with Kharlamov being in there that's for sure, its long overdue. Now onto Neely. To me it was always touch and go with Neely. I wouldnt argue anyway with him personally, but only when people would kill their first born son in protest that he wasnt in is when it bothered me. He was a very good player. And was the kind of guy that you wanted on your team. But this is my knock against him being in the Hall.

First off, he had only 4 GOOD seasons with one of them being great ('94). He was second team all-star in '88, '90, '91 and '94. Not bad. He's slightly under a point per game, in regular and postseason. He never got more than 92 points. Only 91 another time. His next high was 75. I cant understand how it was a MUST for him to be in the Hall. He never had eye popping numbers, and was very good for too short of time. Mike Bossy, Bernie Parent both had spectacular short careers. Dickie Moore too. But Bossy had 8 postseason all-star selections, 4 Cups, one Conn Smythe Trophy and led the league in goals twice. Parent had two Vezinas, Two Cups and two Conn Smythes. Moore had six Cups and won two Art Ross Trophies (one with a broken wrist). You see in order to have your career cut short you need to have been a very dominant player who won a major award at least once or twice. Neely didnt.

Compare Neely to Cournoyer. Both were second team all-stars four times. But Cournoyer played 16 years, and won ten Cups in his career. He did stuff that made the selection commitee be impossible to neglect him. He was also on the ice for the most famous goal in Hockey history. Neely didnt do somehting so big like a couple of major awards or Cups that made people think "Yeah we have to let this guy in."

Yeah he's a sentimental choice. We all loved him. And we all hate Ulfie for what he did to him as well. And a guy like Cam played just the prototypical game. And in respnse to an earlier thread, he wasnt the best power forward of all time. Whoever mentioned that let me bring up a name: Gordie Howe. Or even Eric Lindros. Even Lindros and Forsberg have very borderline HOF credentials. And I would put them ahead of Neely. But Lindros has a Hart Trophy, was recognized at one time as the best player in the game. Forsberg had won an Art Ross, Hart and two Cups. They were at least dominant, dominant players at one time. But Neely was never even the best right winger in the game.

This may surprise people but Rick Martin has a better goals per game and points per gae average as Neely. But he never gets a sniff of the Hall. And I hate the argument that if Gilles, Federko and etc. are in then Neely is in. No way. That isnt enough credentials to get in. I think it should be truly reserved for the greats. Someone with four good seasons and an appearance on "Dumb and Dumber" is far from a Hall of Famer. Neely is a sentimental choice, his numbers and his longevity just arent quite there.

For the record, I think Rogie Vachon, Glenn Anderson and Sergei Makarov should have been in there before Neely. Sorry Sea Bass but I got to look at both sides.
Neely is a fan favorite and that colors people's opinion of him. Most people think he should be in when, if you really look at his career, he should not be. That is why I take the HOF with a grain of salt.

Forsberg has had a significantly greater career than Lindros, IMO.

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06-10-2005, 01:47 PM
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As I said earlier, he wouldn't make my Hall of Fame, but it ain't my Hall of Fame. From a production standpoint, whomever compared him to Rick Martin on these boards was right on the money.

He exemplified the kind of player that fans love, and if that's what the Hall is about, fair enough.

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06-10-2005, 02:18 PM
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He had a long enough career and was not Hall of Fame material based on his totals.

...lets compare him to Rick Vaive who is also not a hall of famer, nor is he hall of fame material in my eyes.

Cam Neely NHL Totals 726 395 299 694 1241
Rick Vaive NHL Totals 876 441 347 788 1445

each had 3 50 goal seasons, Neely's best pts total was 92, Vaive 93 ...Neely was on a much better team and surrounded by better players.

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06-10-2005, 02:26 PM
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Good comparison (Neely and Vaive). I would not vote either in the hall, though I respected the way each player played. I think the Gillies selection has opened the door for others. Will Dale Hunter be next?

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06-10-2005, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chili
Good comparison (Neely and Vaive). I would not vote either in the hall, though I respected the way each player played. I think the Gillies selection has opened the door for others. Will Dale Hunter be next?
Oh no I hope God strikes me by lightning before Dale Hunter gets in. That would really lower the standards even more. Even more than the Gilles thing. Hunters 21 game suspension in '93 for the Turgeon thing will keep him out for good.

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06-10-2005, 05:08 PM
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Cam Neely was an honourable mention for THN's top 50 players in NHL history poll in 1998. That's proof right there of how truly great he was. He was a four-time post-season all-star (back when there was very strong talent on right wing), had one of the greatest seasons I've ever seen, finished 12th in career goals per game, 4th in playoff goals per game, and was one of the top five or 10 players on the planet in his prime.

He's under a point per game for his career, but a closer look will reveal the truth: he was well over a point-per-game after his 20th birthday, despite losing two seasons to injury and playing his last few seasons on a one leg. He was better on one leg than a lot of the current stable of HHOFers were on two.

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06-10-2005, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Cam Neely was an honourable mention for THN's top 50 players in NHL history poll in 1998. That's proof right there of how truly great he was.
Actually, I think that is proof that the THN pollsters were very confused.

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06-10-2005, 05:24 PM
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Neely doesnt deserve that honor, not even close. Maybe the Boston HOF

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06-10-2005, 05:46 PM
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As I said on another thread, if Cam Neely had exactly the same career in Los Angeles he doesn't even get looked at for the Hall.

He's a media pick plain and simple. How he gets in ahead of a guy with 6 Cups and 200 playoff points when defense is at its tightest is beyond me.

It's the Hockey Hall of Fame, performance on the ice should override all factors! IMO the selection committee chickened out on Anderson because they don't want any more bad publicity right now. And Anderson's off-ice life was colorful to say the least. Same goes for Ciccarelli but racking up points in the playoffs is so much harder than the regular season so Anderson before Dino.

So reward the nice guy, the woulda-shoulda-coulda guy and play it safe.

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06-10-2005, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Cam Neely was an honourable mention for THN's top 50 players in NHL history poll in 1998.
Then why wasn't he in the top 100? I don't get it... how could be be an honourable mention for the top 50, but not make the top 100.

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06-10-2005, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Malefic74
He's a media pick plain and simple. How he gets in ahead of a guy with 6 Cups and 200 playoff points when defense is at its tightest is beyond me.
What do Cups have to do with anything? Neely was a great playoff player too, but arguing for Anderson by claiming that his Cups should get him in is ridiculous, considering the teams he played on compared to Neely's. Who probably has more cups, the guy who played with Gretzky and Kurri, or the one with Adam Oates and Dmitri Kvartalnov? Oates was great, and very very underrated, but he's no Gretzky.

It's like saying Doug Williams should be in the Football Hall of Fame over Dan Marino.

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06-10-2005, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsaholic
Neely doesnt deserve that honor, not even close. Maybe the Boston HOF

Neely was unstoppable when he played the Habs in the playoffs. He deserves to be in. The HoF isnt as important as you may think; its not cooperstown or Canton.

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06-10-2005, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acr
What do Cups have to do with anything? Neely was a great playoff player too, but arguing for Anderson by claiming that his Cups should get him in is ridiculous, considering the teams he played on compared to Neely's. Who probably has more cups, the guy who played with Gretzky and Kurri, or the one with Adam Oates and Dmitri Kvartalnov? Oates was great, and very very underrated, but he's no Gretzky.

It's like saying Doug Williams should be in the Football Hall of Fame over Dan Marino.

If Anderson is Doug Williams, Neely would be more like Jake Plummer.

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06-10-2005, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
This may surprise people but Rick Martin has a better goals per game and points per gae average as Neely.
Tim Kerr as well.

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06-10-2005, 11:36 PM
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The difference between the careers of Neely, Martin, and Vaive is that miracle 50 goals in 49 games performance.

If there was a Hall of Fame for single season performances, Neely would be a first-ballot inductee. But, in my eyes, he just doesn't have the HoF career. Just like the other two players.

He's a good guy though, so I won't complain that much.

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06-10-2005, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Oh no I hope God strikes me by lightning before Dale Hunter gets in. That would really lower the standards even more. Even more than the Gilles thing. Hunters 21 game suspension in '93 for the Turgeon thing will keep him out for good.
I think that's the only thing keeping him out - - for now . . . . . . but still, I think being the only member of the 1000/3000 club will get him in the door (one day).

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06-10-2005, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acr
What do Cups have to do with anything? Neely was a great playoff player too, but arguing for Anderson by claiming that his Cups should get him in is ridiculous, considering the teams he played on compared to Neely's. Who probably has more cups, the guy who played with Gretzky and Kurri, or the one with Adam Oates and Dmitri Kvartalnov? Oates was great, and very very underrated, but he's no Gretzky.

It's like saying Doug Williams should be in the Football Hall of Fame over Dan Marino.
Because he played a very large role in 5 of the 6 Cups. The playoffs are where defensive hockey really comes to the fore. Defensive players get away with more clutching and grabbing, over the course of a series snipers become marked men. Yet it is in these situations that Anderson excelled. 214 pts in 225 playoff games.

With Edmonton
82-83 16GP, 10G, 10A, 20Pts
83-84 19GP, 6G, 11A, 17Pts
84-85 18GP, 10G, 16A, 26Pts
85-86 10GP, 8G, 3A, 11Pts
86-87 22GP, 10G, 12A, 22Pts

Without Gretzky
87-88 19GP, 9G, 16A, 25Pts
88-89 7GP, 1G, 2A, 3Pts
89-90 22GP, 10G, 22A, 22Pts
90-91 18GP, 6G, 7A, 13Pts

With Toronto
92-93 21GP, 7G, 11A, 18Pts

More than 10 goals in the playoffs 4 times. Point-per-game or better 6 out of 10 seasons in the playoffs. The guy was as clutch as it gets. 17 playoff game winning goals.

He rarely played with Gretz, usually paired with Messier and created at lot of his own goals by driving the net like few before him and even fewer after. 3 of his Cups came WITHOUT Gretzky on his team, and in the 88 and 90 Cup runs it was Anderson and Messier that drew the best checkers the opposition had. In both cases he was better than a point per game.

I don't see how you can just attribute numbers like that to "luck" or better teammates, Anderson was a big, big part of what the Oilers were; he didn't ride anybody's coattails. pointing the finger at a guys linemates is a cop out. No one said Ted Lindsay was just the beneficiary of Howe. No one says Trottier was just riding shotgun with Bossy. They made one another better.

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06-11-2005, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74
Because he played a very large role in 5 of the 6 Cups. The playoffs are where defensive hockey really comes to the fore. Defensive players get away with more clutching and grabbing, over the course of a series snipers become marked men. Yet it is in these situations that Anderson excelled. 214 pts in 225 playoff games.

With Edmonton
82-83 16GP, 10G, 10A, 20Pts
83-84 19GP, 6G, 11A, 17Pts
84-85 18GP, 10G, 16A, 26Pts
85-86 10GP, 8G, 3A, 11Pts
86-87 22GP, 10G, 12A, 22Pts

Without Gretzky
87-88 19GP, 9G, 16A, 25Pts
88-89 7GP, 1G, 2A, 3Pts
89-90 22GP, 10G, 22A, 22Pts
90-91 18GP, 6G, 7A, 13Pts

With Toronto
92-93 21GP, 7G, 11A, 18Pts

More than 10 goals in the playoffs 4 times. Point-per-game or better 6 out of 10 seasons in the playoffs. The guy was as clutch as it gets. 17 playoff game winning goals.

He rarely played with Gretz, usually paired with Messier and created at lot of his own goals by driving the net like few before him and even fewer after. 3 of his Cups came WITHOUT Gretzky on his team, and in the 88 and 90 Cup runs it was Anderson and Messier that drew the best checkers the opposition had. In both cases he was better than a point per game.

I don't see how you can just attribute numbers like that to "luck" or better teammates, Anderson was a big, big part of what the Oilers were; he didn't ride anybody's coattails. pointing the finger at a guys linemates is a cop out. No one said Ted Lindsay was just the beneficiary of Howe. No one says Trottier was just riding shotgun with Bossy. They made one another better.

Powerful numbers... I find it amazing that Anderson gets the "made better by" tag.. How the Hell does he get it and not Gillies? It's a cheap way to discount a great career of a guy who was anything but a passenger on anybody else's bus..

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06-11-2005, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_servo
The difference between the careers of Neely, Martin, and Vaive is that miracle 50 goals in 49 games performance.

If there was a Hall of Fame for single season performances, Neely would be a first-ballot inductee. But, in my eyes, he just doesn't have the HoF career. Just like the other two players.

He's a good guy though, so I won't complain that much.
I agree with every word. Good post.

I have a video that edits all of those 50 goals together with the original Boston play-by play (no weepy "look-back" narration). If I new nothing about Cam and you showed me the video my reaction would be "I didn't know Boston had a hall of famer back then outside of Bourque. Cool. Why didn't they win the Cup?"

As far as being a sentimental fave, that's what makes the hall special. If it's just stats, then those could be set, and there's no need for ballots or opinion. Just crunch the numbers and let a computer do the rest. It would be like college football rankings!

I've had the pleasure of interviewing Cam a few times, and he's definitely way way way deep into the "good guy" camp. So yes, he's in, and it's not the worst thing that has happened to the HOF. I understand and appreciate Big Phil's critique all the same. It's an unusual choice, but then again, Cam had an extremely unusual career. I guess that at a time where NHL part deux is trying to come back to life, Cam is a decent enough poster-boy for the sport.

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06-11-2005, 02:13 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74
Because he played a very large role in 5 of the 6 Cups. The playoffs are where defensive hockey really comes to the fore. Defensive players get away with more clutching and grabbing, over the course of a series snipers become marked men. Yet it is in these situations that Anderson excelled. 214 pts in 225 playoff games.

With Edmonton
82-83 16GP, 10G, 10A, 20Pts
83-84 19GP, 6G, 11A, 17Pts
84-85 18GP, 10G, 16A, 26Pts
85-86 10GP, 8G, 3A, 11Pts
86-87 22GP, 10G, 12A, 22Pts

Without Gretzky
87-88 19GP, 9G, 16A, 25Pts
88-89 7GP, 1G, 2A, 3Pts
89-90 22GP, 10G, 22A, 22Pts
90-91 18GP, 6G, 7A, 13Pts

With Toronto
92-93 21GP, 7G, 11A, 18Pts

More than 10 goals in the playoffs 4 times. Point-per-game or better 6 out of 10 seasons in the playoffs. The guy was as clutch as it gets. 17 playoff game winning goals.

He rarely played with Gretz, usually paired with Messier and created at lot of his own goals by driving the net like few before him and even fewer after. 3 of his Cups came WITHOUT Gretzky on his team, and in the 88 and 90 Cup runs it was Anderson and Messier that drew the best checkers the opposition had. In both cases he was better than a point per game.

I don't see how you can just attribute numbers like that to "luck" or better teammates, Anderson was a big, big part of what the Oilers were; he didn't ride anybody's coattails. pointing the finger at a guys linemates is a cop out. No one said Ted Lindsay was just the beneficiary of Howe. No one says Trottier was just riding shotgun with Bossy. They made one another better.
I agree that Anderson should be in the hall but naysayers make similar claims about Neely's (and many others') supposedly bloated supporting cast as well. It's a lazy argument and one that would quickly turn into a "he never won anything" if Anderson played on a less successful team. I saw it earlier in another thread in regards to Doug Gilmour and how he won a cup in Calgary "but on a stacked team". Well, someone has to be helping to hold that stack up--Gilmour had 22 points in 22 playoff games. With Anderson it's a similar thing, the Oilers may have been stacked but a team is a sum of it's parts and Anderson was not a bit player he a big part was a top 4 forward.

Also, not to nitpick but since it was the B's he hammered i'll have to mention that Gretzky was not only still on the 1988 Oilers but he won the Conn Smythe that year. He was then traded to LA in August.

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06-11-2005, 04:18 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_servo
The difference between the careers of Neely, Martin, and Vaive is that miracle 50 goals in 49 games performance.

If there was a Hall of Fame for single season performances, Neely would be a first-ballot inductee. But, in my eyes, he just doesn't have the HoF career. Just like the other two players.

He's a good guy though, so I won't complain that much.

In the comparison with Vaive and Martin I think the main difference is long term impact. As an example; whether it's fair or not, Cam Neely was much more universally known and spoken of long after he left the NHL than was Vaive or Martin. Five, six, seven, eight years after Vaive retired I never heard anyone say on draft day "I want to be the next Rick Vaive" or "He could be the next Rick Vaive". You still hear that every year about Neely though. Certainly there would be nothing bad about hearing that about Vaive though because he was very, very good.
But Neely's impact is just greater, or actually, more "Fame-ous".

Cam Neely's numbers on their own are not quite hall-worthy but rather a very good ingredient in what amounted to a great broth. Neely benefits from being the powerful rare bird of his generation. Cam is a big beneficiary of the glorification of violence in the sport--even amongst many abolishonists--simply because he was the only guy in a certain period of time that, in the same game, could conceivably flatten Chelios twice with big hits, beat up the likes of Corson and Kordic and score a pair of goals on the likes of Roy--and do it on a regular basis. Whereas the best of the time in each of the other spectrums would usually only have one set of those. Stevens or Tinordi would have the two big hits, Bob Probert would usually only have the fight wins and Brett Hull would only have the two tallies. But Cam could/would have all six resulting in many more rounds of applause, accolades and individual attention per game/season and over the course of his years in Boston. Take away Cam's hits and fights and you might cut his attention in half right down to just his point total. Then he's Tim Kerr and he's seldom revisited. But he's not Tim Kerr or any other guy with similar or even marginally better goal totals because Neely had the ability to affect the game in several different ways and all of them were to the extreme and demanded camera time. His shot was powerful and accurate, his checks bonecrushing, his left hand devastating. That's allowing for more forms of entertainment if nothing else, and that's the name of the game.
In history he is certainly not alone or the inventor in this category of talented scorer/all-star-pugilist. There was Howe before him and the supremely talented Lindros in Cam's latter years. But the category is so small that you know everyone in it is pretty special and going to live on in hockey lore. Cam's personal attributes, his selflessness and dedication to the sport and to his fellow man only pushed him further along and almost certainly pushed him over the top with the committee---and coincidentally that may be all that pushes Lindros back the other way someday.

Bob McKenzie said it quite well with the "if it sounds right" bit.

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06-11-2005, 04:49 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
Neely was unstoppable when he played the Habs in the playoffs. He deserves to be in. The HoF isnt as important as you may think; its not cooperstown or Canton.

John Druce was unstoppable in the playoffs to, so does he deserve it?

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06-11-2005, 08:56 AM
  #24
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Bernie Nicholls belongs in the HHOF now!

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06-11-2005, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyp
He exemplified the kind of player that fans love, and if that's what the Hall is about, fair enough.
If this were true, guys like Linden and Cujo deserve a spot as well...which would be completely BOGUS!!

As I said on another thread, by having Neely in the Hall, it opens up the door for 3rd tier guys like Wendel Clarke who's had a very comparable career to Neely. Loved by fans, esp. in their own cities but never really got the job done when everything was on the line.

IMO, Hockey Hall of Fame did itself a great injustice this week and will forever be paying for this mistake!


Last edited by David: 06-11-2005 at 10:11 AM.
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