The number of former NHL stars eligible for the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class is quite impressive, which means a few great players will be forced to wait another year to be inducted.
Here is a list of the best players who could make up the 2013 HHOF class:
- Brendan Shanahan
- Eric Lindros
- Chris Chelios
- Rob Blake
- Paul Kariya
- Scott Niedermayer
- Jeremy Roenick
- Keith Tkachuk
- Dave Andreychuk
- Curtis Joseph
- Rod Brind'Amour
Selecting four players from this group of NHL legends will be very difficult for the Hall of Fame's selection committee.
Let's look at three players sure to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013 (up to four players can be selected every year).
Feel free to share your class of four players in the comments section below.
Shanahan was arguably the biggest snub from this year's class, and it's highly unlikely that the committee will not select him for the 2013 group.
After nine quality seasons with the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers, Shanahan was traded from Hartford to the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, where he would really start to build a Hall of Fame resume.
Shanahan had seven 30-plus goal seasons with the Red Wings, and played a major role on three Stanley Cup championship teams in Hockeytown (1997, 1998 and 2002).
He was one of the best power forwards of his era and racked up 1,354 points (656 goals and 698 assists) in 1,524 games from 1987 through 2009. Shanahan is also the sole member of the 600-goal, 2,000 PIM club.
Shanahan is currently the head disciplinarian for the NHL's Department of Player Safety, and should receive the recognition he deserves next year.
Scott Niedermayer is one of the best defenseman of the last 25 years and was a model of consistency for the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion (three with the Devils, one with the Ducks) was an elite two-way defenseman who scored a lot of points while also playing strong defense.
Niedermayer scored 740 points (172 goals, 568 assists) in 1,263 games from 1991 through 2010. He was also a fantastic leader, and in 2004 he became the first and only Devils defenseman to win the Norris Trophy.
There are a few players entering their first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame in 2013, and Niedermayer is probably the one with the best chance to be inducted.
There are two great defensemen worthy of being in the 2013 HHOF class, and I would give a slight edge to Chris Chelios over Rob Blake.
The American star played 26 seasons in the NHL (he played in just seven games for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009-10) and scored 948 points (185 goals and 763 assists) in 1,651 games.
He won the 1986 Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens and won two more championships later in his career with the Detroit Red Wings (2002 and 2008).
From 1989 through 1996, Chelios won three Norris Trophies, one with Montreal and two with the Chicago Blackhawks.
As a true No. 1 defenseman, Chelios defended the opposing team's best goal scorers and was a very good offensive player, too.
Chelios was a remarkable player for more than 20 years, and deserves to be inducted into the HHOF in 2013.