The Hockey Hall of Fame is set to announce its 2012 inductees today at 3 p.m. ET. The inductees will officially enter the hall in a ceremony that will take place on November 22nd.
Last year’s inductees were Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Joe Nieuwendyk and Mark Howe.
This year there are a number of players in their first year of eligibility, including Curtis Joseph, Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Jeremy Roenick, Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts, Michael Peca and Claude Lemieux.
Other players that still garner consideration for the hall include Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, Adam Oates and Dave Andreychuk.
However, only four players can be inducted each year.
With that in mind, here are the four players most likely to enter the Hall of Fame this year, along with some other players who deserve strong consideration.
Joe Sakic is a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. Sakic won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche and was the Conn Smythe winner in 1996. Sakic has also won the Hart Trophy, the Lady Byng Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) and was the MVP of the 2002 Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament.
Sakic sits 14th all time with 625 goals, 11th all time with 1,016 assists and ninth all time with 1,641 points.
Sakic reached the 100-point plateau six times in his career and currently holds the NHL record for the most playoff overtime goals with eight.
In addition to his two Stanley Cups, Sakic has won gold at the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup and World Junior Championships.
Sakic is remembered as one of the great captains in NHL history, having spent his entire career with the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise and serving as captain from 1992 until his retirement in 2009.
Brendan Shanahan won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He also won gold at the Olympics, World Championships and Canada Cup.
Shanahan currently sits 13th all time with 656 goals and 25th in points with 1,354. He scored 109 game-winning goals, good enough for fourth of all time.
Shanny had a knack for finding the back of the net. He had 19 consecutive 20-plus goal seasons, a dozen 30-plus goal seasons and six 40-plus goal seasons.
Shanahan is the only player in NHL history to score over 600 goals and accumulate over 2,000 penalty minutes.
Mats Sundin is one of the great Toronto Maple Leafs of all time. In fact, he is the franchise leader in goals with 420 and points with 984. Sundin served as captain of the Maple Leafs for 11 seasons.
It was the Quebec Nordiques, not the Leafs, that made Sundin the first European-born player to be drafted first overall in 1989.
Sundin sits tied with Joe Nieuwendyk for 21st in career goals with 564 and is 27th all-time with 1,349 points. Sundin scored 96 game winning goals, 31 short-handed goals and had 82 points in 91 playoff games.
Although Sundin played in the postseason on 10 occasions, he never came close to winning the Stanley Cup.
Sundin did win six medals at the World Championships with Sweden and won a gold medal in 2006 at the Turin Olympics.
Jeremy Roenick is one of the best American-born players ever. Roenick's career started in Chicago and included stops in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Jose.
Roenick only missed the playoffs three times, but like Sundin, he never hoisted the Stanley Cup. However, Roenick was a consistent performer in the postseason, notching 122 points in 154 career playoff games.
Roenick retired with 513 goals, 703 assists, 1,216 points and 1,263 penalty minutes. He had two 50-plus goal seasons and tallied 100-plus points in three consecutive seasons. Roenick currently sits 11th all time with 92 game-winning goals.
Roenick represented the United States at two World Junior Championships, two Olympic Games, one World Championship and one Canada Cup. Roenick is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Joseph has the fourth-most career wins and the most by a goaltender that hasn't won the Stanley Cup. He has a career goal-against average of 2.79, a save percentage of .906 and 51 shutouts. These are solid numbers for a goaltender who spent most of his career playing on average hockey teams.
Bure only played 702 games, but he posted great numbers in that span. Bure notched 437 goals and 342 assists for 779 points. He also had 70 points in 64 playoff games. He was one of the fastest players in the game during his era and was appropriately nicknamed "The Russian Rocket".
Oates is one of the best playmakers in recent NHL history and he wasn't even drafted. In 1993, Oates had his best season, registering 45 goals and 97 assists for 142 points. Oates retired with 341 goals, 1,079 assists for 1,420 points in 1,337 games.
Lindros may be remembered more for his arrogance and his concussions, rather than his on-ice performance. Lindros was one of the most highly regarded prospects of the last 25 years, but when the Quebec Noridiques drafted him first overall in 1991, he refused to play for the team. Although he failed to live up to expectations, Lindros still posted impressive career numbers, finishing with 372 goals and 493 assists for 865 points in 760 games.
These four players had great careers, however, none of them won the Stanley Cup.