I think Kariya could have done a lot for his legacy with a better playoff performance in 2003. He's supposed to be the scoring ace, and he only scored 12 points on a team that went to the 7th game of the finals...yikes. His other playoffs have been pretty decent from what I remember, but that was his chance to really make a name for himself in the post-season.
There are not many great LW'ers in the HOF. That's my point.
I think there are, just not guys in recent memory (aside from this current young crop). You have guys like Hull, Lindsay, Mahovlich, Moore, Joliat, Malone, Denneny, Blake, Jackson, Bucyk, S. Howe, Bentley, etc. Plenty of great HOFers. A lot of these guys are forgotten due to era.
RW was clearly better than LW in the 80's and 90's. But I think we've seen a reversal of fortunes post-lockout, and I expect LW to be much stronger over the next decade.
Why the hell does it matters where he ranked season by season? If numbers counts, it's the numbers themselves and not at what position his stats ranked him.
Then Lemieux isn't the next best hockey player all time because he was just 2nd best on Gretzkys time. The current best player should then be better than Lemieux was with that philosophy.
It's like the Lidstrom/Bourque discussion, Bourque had much more competition to win the Norris than Nick has ever had.
Kariya had his prime during times when Forsberg, Lindros, Sundin, Selanne, Modano, Lemieux, Bure, Leclair, Sakic, Yzerman, Hull and others also were great hockey players... Today there's simply not that many good players.
I think you responded to the wrong person or you completely misunderstood my posts.
Pre-Suter, the guy was dominant. I mean dominant. He won the Hobey as a freshman, that's how far ahead of his peers he was. People who saw that guy play remember. After the hit, he was visibly less.
If he were to have a great year and the Blues went on a Cup run, which if a few key guys have great/career years isn't inconceivable, he'd definitely get in. Right now he's borderline. His original talent was clear, no doubt about it HOF. And that hit was so dirty, because that it what it means to have the soul of a Blackhawk.