A notable Hall of Fame omission, plus Friday mailbag and NHL notes

Reuters/Chris Wattie

This summer there were a series of stories on ESPN.com in which we debated whether certain players were worthy of Hall of Fame induction. It was a fun summer hockey debate to keep us talking hockey as we patiently waited for the season to start.

The list of players included the usual suspects -- guys like Eric Lindros, Don Cherry and Doug Wilson are always good for a debate.

But in retrospect, one name was missing from the package: Clare Drake.

If you’re an American hockey fan and not familiar with that name, it’s forgivable. Drake was the longtime coach of the University of Alberta, where he won nearly 700 games and six national championships. He coached Team Canada to a gold medal in the 1984 Spengler Cup tournament.

More importantly for NHL fans, he’s the "godfather" of some of the best coaches in the league.