November 07, 2005

MacInnis, Francis, Messier, Larionov and Stevens. Pick 4.: Who will be the odd man out in the 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductions? The idea of increasing the class of 2007 beyond the bylaw-mandated limit of four has been nixed.

posted by gspm to hockey at 02:09 PM - 33 comments

Career numbers for each playa: - Al MacInnis: He's in. - Ron Francis: He's in. - Mark Messier: He's in. - Scott Stevens: He's probably in over Igor Larionov. - Igor Larionov: Just based on the the numbers, he's got to be the odd man out for this particular year's class. In fact, are Larionov's numbers good enough to get him into the HHoF in any year?

posted by NoMich at 02:35 PM on November 07

Larionov has got to go in on his legacy to the game. He spent many of his best years in the Russian leagues, before things opened up here. He (along with Alexander Mogilny) was instrumental in opening up the NHL to Russian talent, and he's been one of the most effective ambassadors the game has ever seen. All that and he was a sick player internationally and, at the tail end of his career, in the NHL. It would be a diplomatic mistake to not include Larionov. It's not the NHL Hall of Fame. Messier & Larionov are the two non-negotiables on that list. I think Stevens is the odd man out, if only because of his dirty reputation in some circles. He'll go in cleanly the next year, along with Pavel Bure & Brett Hull. You could make a case for MacInnis, but he was the best defenseman in the game for the better part of a decade. They're all worthy, though. Someone's going to lose out undeservingly. In fact, there might be a logjam the next year too.

posted by chicobangs at 02:42 PM on November 07

I'm never any good at these HoF discussions, so I'll just say Stevens should miss out, if I had to choose. His PPG is the lowest of the bunch.

posted by garfield at 02:56 PM on November 07

Gotta agree with chico It's the hockey hall of fame not the NHL. Larionov had a great international career. He was also one of the early Ruskies to defect and thats gotta count for something. Stevens benefitted from the clutch and grab era (only Ken Danekyo benifitted more) I don't think of him as dirty I just think of him as vastly over rated (should that be hyphenated) Niedermayer was the lynchpin in that D and people are finally starting to realize. PS I am very, very bias as a Flyers fan anyone remember the 2000 Stanley Cup playoffs?

posted by HATER 187 at 03:05 PM on November 07

Stevens played a long career, captained his team to three Cups, and is one of the nastiest hardmen the game has ever seen. Peter King, the chief football writer at Sports Illustrated, a couple years ago called him the least appreciated and most under-valued superstar in all of American team sports. Maybe he'll be the odd man out here, but he will make the Hall shortly enough. The comment that his PPG is the lowest of the bunch is meaningless, he is a blue-line defenseman, not a forward. Personally, having seen MacInnis and Stevens play Junior A hockey together, I'd love to see them get inducted together.

posted by the red terror at 03:34 PM on November 07

It would be a diplomatic mistake to not include Larionov. It's not the NHL Hall of Fame. It's the hockey hall of fame not the NHL. Aha! I see it all so clearly now. Thanks for that very important clarification guys.

posted by NoMich at 03:34 PM on November 07

all the bluster for Larionov blazing a trail into the NHL - how about some love for Sergei Priakin! /Flames fan

posted by gspm at 03:35 PM on November 07

The other thing I see happening is that there's going to be a wave of Europeans getting inducted, especially for the next decade or so. There are a few worthy players who never got to play in the NHL for various reasons (like Valery Kharlamov, who goes in this year; Alexander Yakushev & Boris Mikhailov are two others off the top of my head) that deserve to be in. And that first wave of Russians may not all be automatic ins, but they'll get a little extra consideration for their contributions. I think Mogilny, for example, is a borderline Hall candidate who goes in because of his first-wave status. Priakin, unfortunately, may not have done enough.

posted by chicobangs at 03:51 PM on November 07

He was also one of the early Ruskies to defect and thats gotta count for something. Actually, the premier Soviet line (Fetisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Makarov and Fatsov (or whatever that other guy's name was...he was so damn overweight!..KRUTOV!)) didn't defect. They were allowed by the slowly crumbling USSR to leave and join the NHL in the 1989-90 season. Priakin was the first one, allowed to join late in the previous season. However, younger stars like Bure and Mogilny still had to "defect" to have a chance in the NHL. If you get a chance, check out the 1988-89 CSKA Moscow team. I count 5 HOF players (Makarov, Larionov, Fetisov, Mogilny, Bure) and a slew of great NHL players (like Kamensky, Federov, Malakhov, Kovalenko, Zubov). If I have to choose which player of the 5 listed doesn't make the HOF in the first try, it's Stevens. As much as he may deserve to be there, he's the weakest of the picks.

posted by grum@work at 03:56 PM on November 07

Yeah, among those five, it's not enough to have been really good and won a few cups. The other four were pioneers who changed the game in some way. (Without Ron Francis, there's no Carolina Hurricanes and maybe two or three other franchises too.) Stevens goes in the next year, though, and with ease.

posted by chicobangs at 04:04 PM on November 07

I'm not a huge MacInnis fan, but I agree, maybe next time around for Stevens. He certainly belongs there, just not this year.

posted by willthrill72 at 04:07 PM on November 07

....he is a blue-line defenseman.... By choice. Early in Stevens' career, he was a point hungry blue liner. And MacInnis wasn't a forward either, but I digress. Try not to attack an opinion as pointless, when you don't have one yourself.

posted by garfield at 04:24 PM on November 07

Stevens should be in, but not with this group. And hats off to my all-time favorite hockey player Cam Neely being inducted tonight, (sorry Yzerman, Sakic & Modano, 2nd place will have to be good enough). To me he epitomized guts/love of the game. Though he was a Bruin, I always respected him.

posted by RedStrike at 04:34 PM on November 07

"Without Ron Francis, there's no Carolina Hurricanes" Yeah, that's be a huge shame.

posted by the red terror at 04:38 PM on November 07

Don't forget the Whale

posted by HATER 187 at 04:39 PM on November 07

"Early in Stevens' career, he was a point hungry blue liner." It doesn't change the fact that he is a defenseman. His job is not to score points, his job is to stop opponents forwards from scoring. You seem to misunderstand: comparing defencemen's ppg to a forward's is like comparing trucks and trailers, they compliment one another, but their purposes are entirely different. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I am willing to bet that Scott Stevens played more minutes per game than most forwards, yes? Again, it is meaningless to compare a forward's ppg vs a defenseman's. Even a journeyman third-line center is likely to have a higher ppg average than most HOF defensemen that aren't name Orr.

posted by the red terror at 04:48 PM on November 07

The only things Al MacInnis has on Scott Stevens are a Norris trohpy, a higher PPG ratio and a harder slapshot. Stevens, on the other hand, won two more Stanley Cups and was a leader and a captain for years on a level MacInnis never really achieved. Plus, Stevens had a an uncomparable physical game. The stats which matter point to Stevens being better, and so do the intangibles. Don't get me wrong, I'd take MacInnis on my team any day - right after Stevens. As for chicobangs' proposition that MacInnis was the best defenseman in the game for the better part of a decade, I wonder which decade that was. It wasn't one in which Raymond Bourque played, that's for sure, as Bourque retired 2nd all-time for assists in the NHL and had a superior defensive game than MacInnis had. Finally, for your consideration, may I also remind gspm (and everyone else) that Vincent Damphousse will also be eligible in 2007? He did retire as the 38th best scorer in NHL history. . .

posted by Judas at 05:24 PM on November 07

When Scott Stevens stepped on the ice, he was one of the most feared players in the history of the game. You could see it in the way forwards tip-toed onto the ice and hesitated when they approached the blueline carrying the puck. Intangibles like that don't show up on the scoresheet of great defensemen, but Hall voters remember players like Stevens because they pick their games up in the post-season and their names are engraved in silverware. Stevens played almost two decades, he won three Stanley Cups, he captained his team to those Cups, proved himself to be one of the most effective leaders of his generation, and was a bedrock player on that team. He and Brodeur have always been shoo-ins for the hall. No matter, if Stevens doesn't get in on a first ballot, there's no shame in that, but the fact is he's getting in.

posted by the red terror at 06:10 PM on November 07

MacInnis, Francis, Messier, Larionov and Stevens. Pick 4. Who? Realistically, you put Messier aside, he's automatically in. That's a no-brainer. So you're left with four. Pick three.

posted by the red terror at 06:17 PM on November 07

red terror, voters will also remember the cheap shots and the chippy play in the latter stages of his career. I'm not saying it's necessarily fair, I'm merely saying it will bump his induction back a year.

posted by chicobangs at 06:55 PM on November 07

again, red, who was comparing forwards and defenseman? Certainly not I. I was comparing the PPGs of all five players in question = 2 D & 3 F. Bueller? Cheap shots? Stevens? nah. I've wondered who initiated Stevens' dramatic change of style after 1993-4. Was it himself, his coach, his wife? Anybody have insight into his paradigm shift?

posted by garfield at 10:12 PM on November 07

I'm going to side with Judas here (nice company!) and put Stevens ahead of Macinnis. Hell, I may even put him ahead of Ron Francis. Blasphemy! And what's with the cheap shots accusations? Those are reserved for players like Claude Lemieux, please.

posted by qbert72 at 08:04 AM on November 08

Realistically, you put Messier aside, he's automatically in. That's a no-brainer. So is Ronnie F. If they ever give out a trophy for most assists in a season it should be named after him (or Adam Oates) The choice basically comes down to MacInnis or Stevens. MacInnis has the tangable advantage he's up there on most of the offensive catagories for D-men plus a cup plus a Norris plus a Conn Smythe. Stevens has the cup advantage but thats where it ends. He didn't win those cups by himself Lemieux and Marty and Neidermayer had a lot to do with his hardware collection. I guess my point is that Macinnis achieved more individually then Stevens.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:51 AM on November 08

Stevens is a cheap-shot artist? I have followed Stevens career, I have drank at pubs and press clubs with hockey beat reporters for years and discussed Stevens, but I can't recall anybody concluding he had a rep as a cheap-shot artist. Yes, he cleaned Lindros' clock, but most concede that Lindros should've had his head up and that Stevens' hit was entirely legit.

posted by the red terror at 10:25 AM on November 08

Stevens is one of the nastiest hitters ever to play (I give Rob Blake a slight advantage in that department) but he is no cheap shot guy (like kasperitis) I just think his importence to especially to the dev's is vastly overrated. He became a one dimensonal player with the dev's. He was one guy who could really rip the puck when he wanted to but later in his career he changed his offensive game for the worst. He seemed almost afraid to shoot the puck. PS cry baby nacy-boys who have their daddies negotiate their contracts and have to look at the puck through the neutral zone deserve concussions, perhaps even castration. Fuck you #88.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:04 AM on November 08

nancy boys i say nancy boys

posted by HATER 187 at 11:06 AM on November 08

You don't get a fearsome reputuation by playing nice. If the term 'cheap shot' doesn't suit your fancy, how about dirty? The hit on Lindros wasn't a cheap shot. Nor was the hit on Kariya. But both were dirty hits. Legal, but dirty. Yes, he was effective, but he was effective because of his dirty play.

posted by garfield at 11:26 AM on November 08

importence to especially to the dev's is vastly overrated To further emphasize this point, look at the Devils this year, sans Neidermayer. The Devils held up just fine without Stevens last season. But not this year without Neidermayer. Yes there are other mitigating factors, but Brodeur is seeing alot more chances directly because Neidermayer isn't there to move the puck out of the zone. And this is why I think Stevens' Norris trophies belong to Neidermayer, the real backbone of the Devils' D.

posted by garfield at 11:31 AM on November 08

Stevens never won a Norris although Neidermayer did in 03-04. Stevens did win a Conn Smythe in 2000 which he was deserving of (if he didn't knock out #88 they did not win that series down 3-1) Other than that Garfield is right on point.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:39 AM on November 08

no shit? ooops. He was in contention a few years(and Niedermayer was never mentioned), but I guess Lidstrom, Pronger, Blake, and MacInnis won. my bad

posted by garfield at 12:16 PM on November 08

Somebody brought up Vinny Damphousse. Obviously he is not going in his first year but does he have the numbers to make? I say yes especially with the '93 cup that those Habs had no business winning. Thow in 1200 points I think he's in.

posted by HATER 187 at 01:58 PM on November 08

Sorry guys - I don't think Steven's status is even remotely related to his point totals. He's absolutely ahead of Al MacInnis on this list. And I hate the guy. It goes: Messier Francis Stevens MacInnis And Stevens may even be number 2. He changed hockey games in ways McInnis couldn't. Larianov can go in later - the Kharlamov deal this year will pacify for another year.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:59 PM on November 08

Somebody brought up Vinny Damphousse. Obviously he is not going in his first year but does he have the numbers to make? I say yes especially with the '93 cup that those Habs had no business winning. Thow in 1200 points I think he's in. If the voting committee loses their mind and let's Damphousse in, I hope they put him right beside Clark Gillies in the Hall of Fame. It'll make it easier for me to ignore them as a group when I go by their section. (and this comes from a Leaf fan who cheered him on for 5 years) Damphousse's only claim for making the hall of fame is that he's the only player in NHL history to lead 3 different teams in scoring in 3 consecutive seasons (1990-91 to 1992-93).

posted by grum@work at 07:43 AM on November 09

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