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HOF-level players who got zero accolades

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05-30-2014, 11:41 PM
  #1
Mayor Bee
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HOF-level players who got zero accolades

On the main boards, there's a thread about whether the HHOF is too difficult to get into. I strongly disagree that the HHOF is too difficult, and said that it's too easy.

Among others things, I made the statement that a player who wins no awards, never is named to the first- or second-team All-Star squad after the season, and doesn't crack the top-whatever in any stats at any given point cannot be considered to be meeting of a reasonable HHOF standard. Obviously, the idea of a reasonable standard went out the window a long time ago with some of the baffling inductions of the first 20 years, but I don't believe that the sins of the past compel us to repeat them.

Who are the best players all-time who:
- Never won a major award, and
- Never were awarded a first- or second-team All-Star spot, and
- Never led the league in any category on a regular basis

I'm also not suggesting that any player who received any of this recognition should be an HHOFer, just that someone who receives none of it could not be considered a HHOFer of any reasonable standard.

(NOTE: This obviously excludes the early greats for whom the awards were simply not an option because they didn't exist)

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05-30-2014, 11:54 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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^ the first 14 years of steve yzerman's career. subtract his career year and that's jean ratelle too. i think the first 14 years of yzerman's career and ratelle minus one season are still pretty rightfully hall of famers.

among HHOFers who actually fit this bill: federko, ciccarelli, gartner, anderson... usual targets. george armstrong is an older variation on the theme.

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05-31-2014, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
^ the first 14 years of steve yzerman's career. subtract his career year and that's jean ratelle too. i think the first 14 years of yzerman's career and ratelle minus one season are still pretty rightfully hall of famers.
Let's say that Yzerman retires in 1996 with zero Cups, and with his career year of 1988-89 having never happened at all.

What exactly would separate him from other players in his new category? Instead of being the 3rd-highest scoring player from 1983-84 to 1995-96 (behind Gretzky and Lemieux), he'd be down to 8th in goals (behind Gartner, Hull, Andreychuk, Kurri, and Mullen) and 7th in points (behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Coffey, Hawerchuk, and Messier; barely ahead of Francis, Kurri, Bourque, Nicholls, and Gilmour). And I believe that most of those players had been much more decorated to that point, the exceptions being Nicholls, Mullen, and Gilmour.

He'd also still have the reputation of a historic-level playoff choker that he was never able to shake off.

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05-31-2014, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Who are the best players all-time who:
- Never won a major award, and
- Never were awarded a first- or second-team All-Star spot, and
- Never led the league in any category
Jacques Lemaire is the first player that fits that criteria that comes to mind and he absolutely belongs in the HHOF.

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05-31-2014, 12:54 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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The only award Peter Stastny won was the Calder. The only award Ron Francis won was the Selke. Neither was ever a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star.

Edit: Francis did lead the league in assists a couple of times. Didn't see the "never led the league in a category" bit at first. So even if you don't consider the Selke a major award, Francis is out.

I'd say Peter Stastny has to win this thing, right?

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05-31-2014, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The only award Peter Stastny won was the Calder. The only award Ron Francis won was the Selke. Neither was ever a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star.

Edit: Francis did lead the league in assists a couple of times. Didn't see the "never led the league in a category" bit at first. So even if you don't consider the Selke a major award, Francis is out.

I'd say Peter Stastny has to win this thing, right?
It has to be a center, mainly because of the huge competition most years and depth at that position.

It has to be Francis or Statsny depending if leading the league in assists in 2 years straight constitutes a "regular basis" as set out by the OP, whatever that means.

For me it's Stastny because of his overall resume, if we want to include anyone who ever played in the NHL both Fetisov and Makarov come into the mix as well.

If that's allowed, and why wouldn't it be eh, then Makarov wins, with Peter a close 2nd after that it's a toss up between Francis and Fetisov.

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05-31-2014, 01:24 AM
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Nieuwendyk.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The only award Ron Francis won was the Selke. Neither was ever a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star.
Same with Gilmour.

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05-31-2014, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
On the main boards, there's a thread about whether the HHOF is too difficult to get into. I strongly disagree that the HHOF is too difficult, and said that it's too easy.
Maybe it used to be but it's definitely harder for a player to get into the HHOF now than it has ever been.

Bill James writes some interesting stuff on the baseball HOF, called the Politics of Glory (I think it was reissued under a different title more recently) that discusses various "standards that have been put forth for the baseball HOF.

Those standards don't directly apply to Hockey IMO (but sadly many in hockey lazily copy things from baseball, the "dead puck era" being the worst and laziest) but the ideas presented and thought out in the book do apply to hockey as well and I suggest to anyone with an interest in the HHOF and it's "standards" read the book book.

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05-31-2014, 01:57 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Let's say that Yzerman retires in 1996 with zero Cups, and with his career year of 1988-89 having never happened at all.

What exactly would separate him from other players in his new category? Instead of being the 3rd-highest scoring player from 1983-84 to 1995-96 (behind Gretzky and Lemieux), he'd be down to 8th in goals (behind Gartner, Hull, Andreychuk, Kurri, and Mullen) and 7th in points (behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Coffey, Hawerchuk, and Messier; barely ahead of Francis, Kurri, Bourque, Nicholls, and Gilmour). And I believe that most of those players had been much more decorated to that point, the exceptions being Nicholls, Mullen, and Gilmour.

He'd also still have the reputation of a historic-level playoff choker that he was never able to shake off.
but what if yzerman retires in '97, after captaining the wings to the cup? he doesn't win the smythe in '98, doesn't win the selke or get his first team all-star nod in 2000. retires 16th all-time in points (still 16th by the time he's eligible for the HHOF, would be 28th today), 17th all-time in goals (20th when eligible, 30th today), and 18th all-time in assists (23rd when eligible, 30th today). that's still a first ballot hall of famer right?

nieuwendyk won the conn smythe, so he's out. if we count selkes, then gilmour too.

if we're going to give proper respect to non-NHL accomplishments, then makarov and fetisov have plenty of major awards, as does tretiak.

that leaves, among guys mentioned so far, stastny (i wouldn't count the calder) and lemaire are at the top.

with stastny, it was just bad timing; savard and hawerchuk had career years when trottier had down years and before mario entered the league. stastny had arguably four seasons at peak savard/hawerchuk level, but was behind trottier twice and mario once, and edged out by savard in '83 in a decision that seems fairly arbitrary to me.

so maybe that makes lemaire the guy most appropriate guy to carry the "best player who never..." title, as stastny's empty trophy case was kind of a fluke.


Last edited by vadim sharifijanov: 05-31-2014 at 02:06 AM.
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05-31-2014, 02:56 AM
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Didn't Stastny get plenty of hype for being the first real good European forward? What if he was North American? Does he still get the same first ballot Hall of Fame treatment or does it take him a couple extra years before being voted in?

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05-31-2014, 03:10 AM
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A lot of players' reputations suffer because of the franchise they represented, either because of playing for a losing franchise or because of the politics of the NHL.

Players like Peter Stastny and Marcel Dionne are respected as all-time greats, but they're given about 25% the attention they should. However, if Stastny had played for Toronto and Dionne for Montreal, they'd today be thought of as the equals of Beliveau and Yzerman.

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05-31-2014, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sticks and Pucks View Post
Didn't Stastny get plenty of hype for being the first real good European forward? What if he was North American? Does he still get the same first ballot Hall of Fame treatment or does it take him a couple extra years before being voted in?
If he is N-American, he would have been hyped even more.

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05-31-2014, 10:27 AM
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If he is N-American, he would have been hyped even more.
Not sure about that, Denis Savard and Dale Hawerchuk say hello.

The shadow of Wayne looms large over all 80's centers.

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05-31-2014, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Maybe it used to be but it's definitely harder for a player to get into the HHOF now than it has ever been.

Bill James writes some interesting stuff on the baseball HOF, called the Politics of Glory (I think it was reissued under a different title more recently) that discusses various "standards that have been put forth for the baseball HOF.
My copy is dog-eared.

The re-issued titles was "Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?", which I believe was the subtitle on the original title.

Quote:
Those standards don't directly apply to Hockey IMO (but sadly many in hockey lazily copy things from baseball, the "dead puck era" being the worst and laziest) but the ideas presented and thought out in the book do apply to hockey as well and I suggest to anyone with an interest in the HHOF and it's "standards" read the book book.
For those who haven't read it or are unlikely to, James (a historian and analyst) detailed the following:
- Arguments for and against what makes a player HOF-caliber
- The institutional history of the baseball HOF
- The changes in voting patterns and mechanisms over time
- A fully-justified blasting of the Veterans Committee in the 1940s and 1970s

But he also presented the following new ideas and methods for analyzing any player's HOF case:
- Similarity Scores. Take two players and use a series of methods to compare how similar they are statistically. This is unadjusted and thus does not account for differences in era or conditions; it's a straight comparison. Explained here.
- The Keltner List. A series of yes and no questions to help determine a player's candidacy. Explained here.
- Black Ink. The name comes from the fact that a league leader's stat was noted in bolded ink. Players receive points on a sliding scale for leading the league in a category. Explained here. This also led to the offshoot Gray Ink, in which points are awarded to players who finish in the top 10 of a certain category. Explained here.
- HOF Standards List. A 1-100 scale in which players move up the scale based on their career numbers. Explained here.
- HOF Monitor. An uncapped scale that determines the likelihood of a player being inducted. Although arbitrary, it makes sense simply because it reflects reality in that players with big seasons do better with voters than the so-called "compilers". Explained here.

- Perhaps most important, a comparison between Don Drysdale and Milt Pappas, who score as extremely similar players on the similarity score scale (940/1000). Drysdale outscores Pappas 27-5 on Black Ink, 200-128 in Gray Ink, 134-40 on the HOF Monitor, and 42-34 on HOF Standards, but their career numbers are remarkably similar.

James ran several thousand simulated seasons using pitchers of the caliber of Pappas (or Don Sutton) as compared to Drysdale (or Gaylord Perry). What he found was that, between the guys who had the big seasons compared to those who were unusually consistent (with both ending up in the same spot statistically), the guys with the big seasons won titles a significant number of times more often. This was with all other things being equal and just the one pitcher being changed that made a huge difference, which would seem to indicate that players with the big seasons are substantially more valuable than those who have more good seasons but no enormous peak.

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05-31-2014, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
A lot of players' reputations suffer because of the franchise they represented, either because of playing for a losing franchise or because of the politics of the NHL.

Players like Peter Stastny and Marcel Dionne are respected as all-time greats, but they're given about 25% the attention they should. However, if Stastny had played for Toronto and Dionne for Montreal, they'd today be thought of as the equals of Beliveau and Yzerman.
Dionne would be better-regarded as he would've won more, not because he would've played for Montreal.

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05-31-2014, 11:56 PM
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Dionne would be better-regarded as he would've won more, not because he would've played for Montreal.
I hear this a lot and it seems like too much of an assumption that if Dionne and Lafleur trade spots that Dionne wins the same amount of Cups. You have to remember the impact Lafleur had on those 4. He could have won the Smythe in all of them and just won in 1977. Game 7 1979 is all Lafleur there. To think that Dionne could have duplicated that means that he automatically becomes the clutch player Lafleur was well-known for despite showing zero evidence that he could be that guy.

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06-01-2014, 03:32 AM
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I hear this a lot and it seems like too much of an assumption that if Dionne and Lafleur trade spots that Dionne wins the same amount of Cups. You have to remember the impact Lafleur had on those 4. He could have won the Smythe in all of them and just won in 1977. Game 7 1979 is all Lafleur there. To think that Dionne could have duplicated that means that he automatically becomes the clutch player Lafleur was well-known for despite showing zero evidence that he could be that guy.
I'm too young to remember the Habs in the '70s but I was always under the impression that other than 1979, those Habs teams were good enough to win, Lafleur or not. So would Dionne have gotten at least a couple Cups simply by playing for Montreal?

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06-01-2014, 04:07 AM
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Sundin was a Second Team All Star twice and Modano once, but outside of that those guys never really threatened to win any major awards or lead any offensive categories. I assume Modano gets in of course.

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06-01-2014, 08:59 AM
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Comes down to this

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Originally Posted by double5son10 View Post
Jacques Lemaire is the first player that fits that criteria that comes to mind and he absolutely belongs in the HHOF.
Top Players never on a first or even second all star team...hmm...Lemaire has to lead this category

I guess Gainey may be an exception as he won the Selke a few times


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06-01-2014, 10:04 AM
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If a player has zero accolades, doesn't it mean that he is just a compiler? I mean it comes down to Lemaire, but that's it. True HHOFers had to win something sometimes or were leaders in some categories. Otherwise we're left with Andreychucks...

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06-01-2014, 10:36 AM
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If a player has zero accolades, doesn't it mean that he is just a compiler? I mean it comes down to Lemaire, but that's it. True HHOFers had to win something sometimes or were leaders in some categories. Otherwise we're left with Andreychucks...
I don't think so, especially at center since basically since the 70's (heck even before) there has always been a lot of competition and talent there and in a larger league it becomes even more likely, ie Sundin and Modano.

I think instead of the term true HHOF you mean elite HHOF's.


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06-01-2014, 10:44 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Top Players never on a first or even second all star team...hmm...Lemaire has to lead this category

I guess Gainey may be an exception as he won the Selke a few times
and the conn smythe

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06-01-2014, 10:56 AM
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and the conn smythe
The Conn Smythe can really get over rated at times, especially in years were multiple players could very well win it.

We have had several Conn Smythe winner who were NEVER even close to a Hart in their careers, or a major trophy but had the fortunate of playing for a really great team, thus being in the SC final.

The best example I can think of is Potvin and Fedorov who both had awesome 4 year runs (and also many other great playoffs) yet have zero Conn Smythes.

There is no way that anyone is going to make a real argument that Gainey was a better playoff performer than those 2 guys.

Ironically in the year Gainey won his Conn Smythe Lemaire would have been a great choice as well as several other Habs besides Gainey.

Gainey BTW would not be in my HHOF, sure he was an elite role player but really he wouldn't be in if he hadn't played for a dynsaty, a "true" HHOF talent would shine through on any team, like Dionne or Hawerchuck for example.

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06-01-2014, 01:56 PM
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Mats Sundin. Great player but never won any major award.

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06-01-2014, 03:10 PM
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I'm too young to remember the Habs in the '70s but I was always under the impression that other than 1979, those Habs teams were good enough to win, Lafleur or not. So would Dionne have gotten at least a couple Cups simply by playing for Montreal?
Hard to say, Lafleur was a real Bruins-killer. No doubt somewhere between Lafleur's first Cup (1973) and his last Cup (1979) the Habs substituted with Dionne for Lafleur win a Cup or two. The team still had enough HHOFers. I just don't think Dionne puts up the numbers in the postseason that Lafleur did. So in my opinion that might take away a Cup or two and to be quite honest I don't think Dionne is the best player during that dynasty. Everyone knows Lafleur was the most important cog, but Dionne wouldn't have been in my opinion.

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Gainey BTW would not be in my HHOF, sure he was an elite role player but really he wouldn't be in if he hadn't played for a dynsaty, a "true" HHOF talent would shine through on any team, like Dionne or Hawerchuck for example.
I don't think you can penalize a guy just because he DIDN'T play for the Montreal Canadiens. It is better to judge him on what he did rather than what he might have done in another universe in another world, on another team. I don't believe in that. How did he perform the way the cards were dealt?

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