This past Monday the Hockey Hall Of Fame inducted it’s 2014 class: Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano, head coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary. All are deserving inductees and, from all accounts, all Hall of Fame people in addition to players. Congrats to all five and thank you for the great hockey memories you provided. But with all that being said, it’s time to look ahead to next year who should be enshrined on the walls of the hallowed grounds in Toronto.
Over the past two days there have been plenty of suggestions of who should go into the Hall in 2015 as well as who will be eligible. Former Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is a no-brainer and according to Pierre Lebrun of ESPN.com, TSN, and RDS, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger could very well become eligible despite the fact he is and will still technically be on the Flyers roster for the next two seasons after this current season. If Pronger is eligible then he too likely gets the nod to be inducted.
But who else could get the call from the Hall? There has been plenty of chatter and promotion for players that will be in their first year of eligibility like Eric Lindros, Sergei Fedorov and Jeremy Roenick. And others have even suggested first year eligibles like Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk and Chris Osgood. But there haven’t been many hockey scribes or broadcast analysts suggesting one of the most consistent players and leaders of the last two-plus decades. In the eyes of this scribe, three-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi should’ve gotten more consideration and buzz this year and he should be a lock for the class of 2015.
Besides helping lead three different teams to a Stanley Cup, Recchi compiled 1,533 points in more than two decades. He is 12th all-time in points. Of the top 27 scorers in NHL history, Recchi is the only one who has been eligible for the Hall who is not in yet and it will be inexcusable should he be passed by again next year. The Hockey Hall of Fame has admittedly made some glaring oversights, most notably waiting until this year to induct Burns, just two days before the four-year mark of his passing away from cancer. Like Burns, Recchi wasn’t just great statistically, he helped those around him be better and become winners through his leadership. He epitomizes not just what you want in a pro hockey player but all athletes.
There’s a very strong argument for Fedorov considering he won two Stanley Cups, is a two-time Selke Trophy winner and the 1994 Hart Trophy winner as League MVP. In addition to his accolades he was a trail-blazer for the sport in his native Russia and an inspiration for the Russian stars of today. Count him in. But as for the other players and specifically Lindros who seems to be getting plenty of support from the hockey media, none of them brought and achieved as much as Recchi. He defined longevity and was still one of the best on his team when he hoisted the Cup with Boston in 2011. If the Hall of Fame has truly changed their ways, they will allow the ‘Wrecking Ball’ to enter the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 2015.