There are some familiar names. There are some newcomers, too.
But what the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class won’t be lacking is room for debate, as there isn’t a consensus, slam-dunk foursome to induct this time around.
Instead, there is just one shoo-in (Scott Niedermayer) and a group of players who were certainly stars but not always superstars in the NHL.
Then, there are the overlooked types such as Brendan Shanahan, who was surprisingly snubbed a year ago, and coach Pat Burns, who has been a controversial non-selection for years going back to before he died of cancer in November of 2010.
The Hall’s clandestine committee will reveal its choices Tuesday, and the induction ceremony will be conducted on Remembrance Day in Toronto.
Here’s a closer look at the top contenders to have their names called:
One of the most-decorated players in history is a lock to go in on his first ballot. The long-time New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks defenceman won four Stanley Cups, a James Norris Memorial Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy, the Memorial Cup, two Olympic gold medals, world championship gold, world junior championship and World Cup of Hockey. He is already in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey retired by the Kamloops Blazers and Devils. No debate here.
The NHL’s head of discipline is unlikely to be passed over a second year. In his lengthy career, Shanahan finished 13th in NHL games played, 13th in goals, 25th in points and 22nd in penalty minutes. One of the all-time great power forwards, he won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, but had his two most-productive years in St. Louis with back-to-back 50 goal campaigns for the Blues. Not a lock, but pretty close.
Shanahan was around for a while, but his longevity can’t touch Chelios’s, who played until 48 and played more games than any other defenceman in league history. At his peak, however, he was more than just a steady defensive presence, as he won three Norris Trophies , and had 60 points or more seven times while playing in Montreal and Chicago. He sits 10th in scoring by a blueliner, and the only non-Hall of Famer ahead of him is Phil Housley. Hard to imagine the Hall says no.
A sentimental choice, to be sure, but his credentials as a head coach are also unmatched by most in the game. Burns coached more than 1,000 games in the NHL, won three Jack Adams Awards as coach of the year and the Stanley Cup in 2003. His health robbed him of more accolades as he had to step down at just 53. By then, however, the former Gatineau, Que., police officer had hit 501 regular-season wins, a mark reached by only 15 other men. At some point, he’ll get in.
The Big E was one of the most polarizing players even before he made the NHL, and he remains one of the most polarizing Hall of Fame candidates year after year. Before concussions wiped out his effectiveness, Lindros was the game’s most dominant player with the Philadelphia Flyers, winning a Hart Memorial Trophy, two world junior golds and Olympic silver and gold in 1992 and 2002. He only played 760 NHL games, but that hasn’t stopped other players such as Cam Neely and Pavel Bure from being inducted.
Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Fred Shero, Geraldine Heaney, Rob Blake
Keith Tkachuk, Sergei Makarov, John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Vernon, Theo Fleury, Tom Barrasso, Jeremy Roenick, Phil Housley, Rod Brind’Amour, Alexander MogilnyReport Typo/Error