Tuesday, June 26, 2012

HHOF: Sakic, Bure, Oates and Sundin elected

Today, the league announced its newest Hockey Hall Of Fame members. Included in the list are Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin. Let me just preface by saying all are deserving. Sakic being the slam dunk, playing with one franchise (Quebec/Colorado) where he led them to two Stanley Cups while winning a Conn Smythe and Hart.

I have been a big proponent of Bure for years. It took the Russian Rocket seven tries to finally get the phone call that he'll be going to Toronto. The induction ceremony will be on November 12. According to Steve Lepore, there'll be no games for the first time. The Battle originator is hoping NBC Network picks it up, which would make sense. We'll have to wait and see.

Joining Sakic and Bure is Oates, who was one of the game's greatest passers. Ironically, it was his set ups for then Blue teammate Brendan Shanahan that helped turn him into one of the game's best power forwards. Of course, Oates was also there to find Brett Hull, who once scored 86 goals to capture the Hart. Hard to believe Shanahan didn't get in on his first try. I have no problem with putting Oates in as he had longevity and was also an instrumental part of those Boston, Washington and Anaheim teams that challenged for Cups.

It's a bit mystifying how Sundin made it over Shanahan. Nothing against Mats. The big Swede was a great player but he's not in Shanny's class. I don't know if maybe him serving his first year as League VP worked against him. But it's ridiculous that he's not in.

Equally as baffling is the continued oversights of Fred Shero and Pat Burns. Both great coaches who led teams to Cups and had big influences. Especially Shero, who time and again is passed over, prompting Larry Brooks' justified criticism of the selection process. As for Burns, he should've made it two years ago. It is incredulous that they still haven't put him in. But then again, look at Shero. Led the Flyers to their only Cups back-to-back while introducing different coaching methods.

Here are the newest four members outlined:

                Teams                     Years   Goals    Assists     Pts        Honors
Joe Sakic  Que/Col                  20       625       1,016      1,641    Conn Smythe Hart Pearson Byng

Pavel Bure Van/Fla/NYR         12       437       342         779       Calder Rocket Richard (2) All-Star MVP

Adam Oates Det/Stl/Bos          20       341      1,079       1,420    5 All-Star Appearances 2nd All-Star Team           Wsh/Phi/Ana

Mats Sundin  Que/Tor/Van       18       564        785        1,349    9 All-Star Appearances Olympic Gold Medal

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