Some players put up good career numbers but how many of these were while wearing the jersey that is being retired? For instance we know Bourque got almost all his numbers in Boston not in Denver. Mike Vernon got 26 SO but 14 were while playing elsewhere. Mike had a Sv% of over 900 in 3 of 10 years in Calgary and 7 of 7 years elsewhere.
Having said that, each team has to decide for themselves what value they place on a retired sweater. When raising sweaters, you don't raise them to different heights so the value you place on the least of them is the value you place on all of them. When Iginla's sweater goes to the rafters in cowtown, is Vernon's sweater deserving to be his equal? I'll let their fans decide.
I wish the HHOF recognized players for their skills and performance in hockey, and the sweater retirement recognized the leadership, courage, determination, durability, community service, and similar qualities of a player for a particular franchise, as well as his skills/performance. One is more a statement of appreciation; the other a statement of love. It hasn't always been that way, of course.
As far as the length of ceremonies goes, I had to turn off Yzerman's retirement because of its length, hanger-on introductions, and all the trite and politically correct statements made (including those of Stevie).