Hockey Hall of Fame Induction: 10 Best Players Eligible for 2013 Induction
Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin make up a phenomenal class for the 2012 NHL Hall of Fame. But with their positions locked up, it's time to look ahead to 2013.
There are a number of good candidates who will be eligible for the first time in 2013, but the Hall has passed over a few significant other names that will be right in the mix.
It's hard to narrow this list down to 10, and a few players like Phil Housley, Ron Hextall, Eric Lindros, Felix Potvin and Owen Nolan just missed the cut here. There are so many deserving players, but only four can be inducted at a time.
With that in mind, here are the 10 players most deserving of induction in 2013. Good luck picking out four from this group.
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Keith Tkachuk was one of the best wingers in the game from the mid-90s until the mid-2000s. He was scrappy but talented, aggressive but composed.
In his prime, he could be counted on to play 20 hard minutes and register a point or two per night. He finished his career with 1,201 games played, 538 goals, 527 assists, along with 2219 penalty minutes. He may not make it next year, but he'll be in eventually.
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Chris Chelios had one of the longest and most illustrious careers of any defenseman in NHL history. He played from 1983 all the way until 2010, when he spent seven games with the Atlanta Thrashers.
His 26-year-long career is tied with Gordie Howe for the most NHL seasons ever played, and in his last season was the second-oldest active NHL player, behind Howe.
Over the course of his incredible career, Chelios posted some incredible numbers; including a plus-minus of plus-48 in the 1999-00 season and scoring over 70 points in a season three times.
He will almost definitely be inducted into the Hall in 2013.
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Dave Andreychuk has now been passed over in multiple years for the Hall, but he's as deserving a candidate as there could possibly be.
Andreychuk is fifth all-time in games played, 14th in goals scored, and first in power-play goals. He also captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004.
It'll be a big snub if Andreychuk doesn't get inducted next year.
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Paul Kariya was one of the most talented forwards of his generation. He was quick and smart with the puck, and possessed an incredible "feel" for the game.
Over his 17-year career, Kariya was the picture of consistency, and he finished with exactly 989 points in 989 career games.
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Scott Niedermayer is one of the those players who was very skilled, but just had a knack for leading his team to victory. He is the only player to win every major North American and international championship in his career.
The defenseman played 18 total seasons in the NHL after being drafted third overall in 1991. He would go on to win four Stanley Cups with two different teams, three with the New Jersey Devils and one as the captain of the Anaheim Ducks.
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Alexander Mogilny may get overlooked again next year, but he deserves recognition as one of the best forwards in the last couple decades.
The Russian is part of the "Triple Gold Club," meaning he has won a Stanley Cup championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a World Championship Gold Medal.
Mogilny ended his career with 1,032 points in 990 games, scoring 473 goals and tallying 559 assists.
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Rob Blake will forever be remembered as one of the most feared and dominant defensemen in NHL history. Like Mogilny, Blake is part of the exclusive "Triple Gold Club."
Blake won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman in 1998, and was named the Los Angeles Kings' team captain after Wayne Gretzky was traded.
He may not get in next year, but he's a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
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Rod Brind'Amour will forever be revered in Carolina, where he captained the Hurricanes and led them to a Stanley Cup victory in 2006. He is currently an assistant coach for the team.
But he deserves his props from the rest of the league as well. Brind'Amour was a hardworking leader who excelled at both ends of the ice. He scored 452 goals and tallied 732 assists in 1,484 games.
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Roenick is well-known now for his work as an analyst and announcer on television, but his achievements on the ice shouldn't be forgotten.
JR played for five different teams over 18 NHL seasons and brought his locker-room leadership and charismatic, open but occasionally over-the-top personality everywhere he went.
Oh, and he also added 1,216 points in 1,363 career games, which should help his case a bit as well.
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Somehow overlooked this year, Shanahan is almost a shoo-in for next year. Although he may have been hurt a bit by his less-than-perfect reputation as head NHL disciplinarian (which is garbage, but may be true), his numbers speak for themselves.
Shanahan is a member of the "Triple Gold Club." He posted 656 goals and 698 assists in 1524 NHL games, and he is the only player with 600 goals and 2000 penalty minutes.