If most people are okay with the general framework I described in post #242, then we can start working out the details. If people don't like this approach, then we really should come up with a general framework before going further.
I think we need to have a mix of the chronological approach (method #1) and the committee approach (method #3). There are drawbacks to both methods, but I think a combination of the two will minimize most of the weaknesses.
I propose that we have chronological inductions starting around 1945. We would go year by year, spending perhaps ten days discussing and voting each time. We could fine-tune the voting procedure later, but I’d imagine they’d be relatively straightforward (i.e. player must be retired for three years to be eligible; 75% or 80% of the votes needed; each voter has X number of votes; player not voted in after X number of years is permanently removed from the ballot).
At the same time, an “Early Era Committee” would cover all pre-NHL leagues. We’d need to figure out whether some players (i.e. Lalonde, Malone) go into the EEC or the main draft, but this should be a minor detail. The EEC can have say 10 voting rounds (after all, they should be covered 30-50 of history), after which point it will disband. (It might also make sense to have a second Committee for European players pre-integration with the NHL).
Overall I think this approach makes a lot of sense. The main criticisms of the purely chronological method are answered. First, by setting a start date as late in 1945, and letting the Early Era Committee operate at the same time as the yearly inductions, the project won’t drag on forever. Second, by having a separate Committee, people who don’t have the expertise to vote on hockey’s earliest era won’t be discouraged from joining. Similarly, by still having year by year inductions, we avoid the main weaknesses of the committee-only approach (the potential for a project with no clear logical structure or forward movement).
In the inerests of keeping this thing from dieing, my suggestions on what to do from here:
1. Have someone, or a group of (more likely group), of people volunteer to run this thing. They'll collect votes, tally em, get em posted, and get this thing started (or help get started)
2. Start a sign up thread. Yes, a lot of people expressed interest in here, but I think having a sign up thread will help split the people who are really committed to doing this and the people who just said "I'm in" as a passing fancy. Showing that follow-up is a good indicator of the difference, I think.
On this thread, outline and make sure people know straight off the amount of work involved in this and the coomitment necessary.
On a lesser point up for debate (it was mentioned), at the discretion of the board, interview and potentially deny people from the project if there is questions about commitment and/or character.
3. Once we have all the people who are going to be in this, start a voting process on which method. Everyone sends in their preferred method of conducting this project from the choices made (method 1, method 2, method 3, method 1+3 hybrid, I guess, or something like that, that werre outlined).
4. Once the project method is selected, begin the project straight away, according to the method selected. More planning to be done then.