First off I want to give my congratulations to all four of the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees—Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin.
All of them were very deserving to be selected, but them each getting in might not have been the top story.
The top story was the fact that, somehow, Brendan Shanahan did not get in. I think I have an idea why.
First, lets compare the career statistics—regular season and playoff—between Shanny and the four inductees:
Joe Sakic: 1,550 Games Played, 709 Goals, 1,120 Assists, 1,829 Points.
Adam Oates: 1,500 Games Played, 383 Goals, 1,193 Assists, 1,576 Points.
Pavel Bure: 766 Games Played, 472 Goals, 377 Assists, 849 Points.
Mats Sundin: 1,437 Games Played, 602 Goals, 829 Assists, 1,431 Points.
Brendan Shanahan: 1,708 Games Played, 716 Goals, 772 Assists, 1,488 Points.
On a high note, Shanahan played more games and had more goals in his career than any of the four players inducted into the Hall of Fame.
On a low note, he had the worst points per game average.
However, Shanahan won three Stanley Cups and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002. Joe Sakic is the only one of the four players inducted that won a Stanley Cup (he won it twice).
Shanahan also redefined the power forward position and is one of the players who changed the game forever. Shanahan was one of the first guys to successfully be a goal scorer, a playmaker and maintain a physical presence on every shift.
In my opinion, the only guy in his era who was eerily similar was Cam Neely.
Here is why I believe he got snubbed: His current position is as the NHL's Chief Player Disciplinarian, or the Senior Vice President for Player Safety and Hockey Operation—whatever he wants to call himself.
It has been awhile, but I wrote an article back in January about why I believed he was ruining the league. I still believe that he is.
This year's playoffs are a perfect example of how his inconsistencies and random suspension lengths are capsizing the credibility he made for himself on the ice.
Raffi Torres, who was a repeat offender, destroyed Marian Hossa and got a 25-game suspension for it. But then, Shea Weber slammed Henrik Zetterberg's face into the glass and didn't even get one game.
I know that these are near opposite ends of the spectrum, but there were multiple plays so much less fierce than Weber's that led to suspensions.
For example, Matt Shaw's hit on Mike Smith led to a three-game suspension. Shaw clipped Smith and the goaltender acted as if he exploded by yard saleing behind the net.
It was an obvious embellishment and should have been a two-minute penalty on the ice for Shaw, but not a three-game suspension. Shanahan can't tell the difference, which is a huge problem.
In my opinion, the biggest problem in the sport today is the problem with embellishment and diving—and Shanahan has yet to take a stance.
On top of it, the face of the league, Sidney Crosby, is one of the biggest offenders. Anyone who watched the playoffs this year could recognize an increase in embellishment until around the Stanley Cup Finals.
How did this affect whether or not Shanahan got into the hall of fame? Here's why.
The committee has 18 members, all of which are veterans of the game. When you look at these guys, they have all either played, coached or were a huge part of "old time hockey," which Shanahan has seemingly taken away ever since he has taken over as Chief Player Disciplinarian.
Look at the names of some of the committee members: Scotty Bowman, Lanny McDonald, James Gregory, Pat Quinn, Brian Burke and Colin Campbell. These guys all represent old time hockey.
You think that they haven't noticed how the game has changed over the years?
Of course they have.
I believe the reason why Shanahan was snubbed from the Hall of Fame is because the committee realized that the game is not what it used to be and wanted to send a message.
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