Hockey Hall of Fame 2012: Who Was Snubbed for the Class of 2012?

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Hockey Hall of Fame 2012: Who Was Snubbed for the Class of 2012?
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

The NHL announced the four players that will be inducted into this year’s class; Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates. 

Sakic was a no-brainer and a lock to make it.  Oates should have already been in as one of the best playmakers of all time.  In Bure and Sundin there can be some debate, especially after seeing who was left out.

The NHL ties their own hands by only allowing a maximum of four players into the hall each year. There are four players who also could have made it in this time but will have to wait for another year.  While three of them can be debated, one should have been a lock to make it.

Curtis Joseph, Dave Andreychuk and Eric Lindros each have a solid case for being included in this year’s class.  The snub list really comes down to one name, as his omission is such an obvious mistake.  Brendan Shanahan should have been in the Hall this year.

Shanahan seemed to be a lock to make it.  The committee is often the target of criticism for behind-the-scenes politics, but apparently it is even worse than we thought.

Shanahan is the only player in league history to rank in the top 25 in goals, points and penalty minutes.  Unlike many of the top scorers who needed an enforcer, Shanahan was his own.  He topped 40 goals six times, including the 50-goal mark twice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32T4zKeqjTc

He had amazing scoring consistency over his career. Only twice did he fail to top 20 goals and they were his first and last seasons; he only played 34 game sin the latter.  In the other seasons, he averaged over 33 goals.

He ranks 13th all-time in goals, which is ahead of all of the other players that made the Hall this year.

Looking at his stats and all-time rankings, it is hard to figure how he was left out.

 

Goals

Rank

Assist

Rank

Points

Rank

Shanahan

656

13

698

51

1354

25

Sakic

625

15

1016

11

1641

9

Sundin

564

21

785

33

1349

27

Bure

437

63

342

335

779

154

Oates

340

141

1079

6

1420

16

 

The 12 players ahead of Shanahan on the all-time goals scored list that are eligible (Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are still active) have been elected to the Hall.  There are many players behind him that have made it in.

Only Sakic has been selected to more All-Star games than Shanahan.  To top it off, Shanny has more Stanley Cup titles than the other four players combined.

Some will say that he played in more games than Sundin and that explains his 92-goal advantage.  That does not hold any weight as Shanahan’s goals per game average beats Sundin’s .430 to .419.

In the case of Bure, he truly is one the most amazing scorers the game has ever seen.  However, he did not have the longevity that is needed.  He did have two 60-goal seasons and three more above 50 but the rest of his career saw many games lost to injury and lower scoring seasons.  

In his five best seasons, he averaged an astounding 57.6 goals.  Over the rest his career, though, he only averaged 21.8.

While I agree that Bure and Sundin deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, they do not deserve that spot over Shanahan.  It is hard not to wonder if Shanahan’s snub was due to his position with the league.  It is hard to imagine that he would get snubbed again next year. 

It appears the committee allowed their pettiness to get in the way of their hockey sense.  Delaying Shanahan’s selection was the only power these people still had over him.  It’s sad that they were childish enough to pull such an act.

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