- Neil Greenberg, NHL
Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday, and each took a different path to their enshrinement. Sakic and Sundin were each first-time eligible candidates. Bure retired in 2003 and has been eligible for induction since 2006, with Oates just a year behind, retiring in 2004 and becoming eligible in 2007.
Since there is no set formula for Hockey Hall of Fame voting, the inductions don't always go as one would think. Brendan Shanahan, considered by many to be a first-year shoo-in thanks to the 656 goals he scored over his 21-year career, will instead have to wait at least another year. Same for Jeremy Roenick, Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Curtis Joseph and Phil Housley -- all eligible but still not in the Hall.
What about today's active players? If we weigh individual stats (fancy and conventional), end-of-season awards, championships and longevity to determine who are worthy of enshrinement in Toronto, who would make the cut? And how many of the league's young stars project as future Hall of Famers?
The only thing separating these players from enshrinement is retirement.
Jagr (two Stanley Cups and ranked 11th all time with 665 goals), Selanne (one Cup, 12th in goals with 663) and Brodeur (NHL all-time wins leader with 656, four Vezina Trophies, three Cups) can all expect to pencil in "Hall of Famer" on their résumés without any debate. But so should Iginla, who has scored 516 goals and 1,073 points in 15 NHL seasons. Plus the Flames forward has collected some serious hardware, winning the Art Ross Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award and the Rocket Richard Trophy (twice) during his career. Of the 34 players scoring more than 500 goals and recording 1,000 or more points eligible for the Hall of Fame, 29 (85 percent) are in.
Neil Greenberg compares the historical bar for entry into the Hockey Hall of Fame with the production of current NHL players to see which are worthy of lock status going forward.