The Hockey Hall of Fame has announced the next four players to be inducted into its hallowed halls on Nov 12, in Toronto. Two first time eligible players, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin, got the call today. Pavel Bure and Adam Oats round out the 2012 class. The two biggest snubs this year has to be Brendan Shanahan and former Blackhawks great Jeremy Roenick.
Joe Sakic was a shoo in to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and deserves every bit of this honor. Sakic is one of my favorite players of all time and one of the best players I have ever seen play in person. Sakic played all 1378 of his NHL career games with the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise where he put up 1641 points (625 G, 1016 A). He also added 188 points (84G, 104A) in 172 playoff games. Sakic won the Conn Smythe in 1996 and the Hart Trophy in 2001, the same seasons in which Colorado won the Stanley Cup. His 625 goals is 15th, his 1016 is 11th and his 1641 points is 9th best all time in NHL history. Sakic, a 12 time All Star, was a no brainer.
The other first ballot Hall of Famer this year is Mats Sundin. Sudin and Sakic spent four seasons together in Quebec from 1990-1994. Sundin moved on to Toronto where he played 13 years with the Maple Leafs before playing one year with Vancouver in 2008-09. Sundin scored 1349 points (564 G, 785 A) in 1346 career games. Sundin represented the Leafs at 9 All Star games. He will forever be a Maple Leaf and is their all time leader in goals, assists and points.
Pavel Bure was an elite goal scorer in his prime. He had two 60 goal seasons with Vancouver. He lead the league in goals three times; in 1993-94 with Vancouver (60) and in back to back years with the Florida Panthers in 1999-00 (58) and 2000-01 (59). He had five seasons of at least 51 goals. He finished his career with 437 goals. Bure had a brilliant playoff run, leading the Canucks to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final (insert riot joke here), with 16 goals and 15 assists in 24 games. He won the 1992 Calder Trophy after scoring 34 goals in his rookie season. Bure was deadly on the penalty kill, he finished his career with 34 short handed goals, which is 11th most all time.
Adam Oates has had himself one hell of a Tuesday! He was not only named to the Hall of Fame but he was also named the new head coach of the Washington Capitals today. Oates will go down as one of the best set up men to ever play the game. Oates had 1079 career assists in 1337 games with Detroit, St Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton. Only five players in the history of the game had more assists than Oates. He had nine season with at least 70 assists including 97 in 1993 and 90 in 1990. He had his best season by far in 1992-93 with Boston where he scored 45 goals to with 97 assists. He had four seasons with over 100 points.
Brendan Shanahan and Jeremy Roenick will have to wait at least one more year to get into the Hall, but they will be get in very soon. Shanahan’s 658 goals and 698 assists are good enough to put him in the Hall. He was a key member on three Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit. Roenick is one of two numbers that need to being hanging from the rafters at the United Center, along with Steve Larmer’s number 28. His 513 career goals makes him one of the best US born players to ever play in the NHL. Roenick was one of the best clutch players I have ever seen. His 92 career game winning goals in 11th best in league history. It is only a matter of time before both of these players get the call into the Hall of Fame.