Breaking Down the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Candidates

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJuly 9, 2013

Breaking Down the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Candidates

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    The 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class will be announced on Tuesday. Four players will get a call they have been dreaming of for a long time.

    Joining the Hall of Fame and being associated with the most prestigious men in the history of the sport, names such as Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mark Messier, is a real honor.

    There are at least 15 guys worthy of consideration for this year's class, which will give the voting committee several difficult decisions to make when choosing a collection of four players.

    Let's take a look at the locks, bubble guys, dark horses and long shots to make the 2013 class.

    For a full list of the players on the 2013 ballot, click here.


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    Scott Niedermayer, Defenseman

    The New Jersey Devils would not have won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003) without the amazing two-way performance of Scott Niedermayer, who would log 20-plus minutes per game and shut down opposing teams' best forwards, while also tallying 35-60 points consistently. His career total in points is 740 (172 goals, 568 assists).

    After winning his first and only Norris Trophy in 2003-04, he joined the Anaheim Ducks after the 2004-05 lockout and played a major role in the team's run to the 2006-07 Stanley Cup title.

    In addition to his four Stanley Cup rings, Niedermayer won Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in 2002 and 2010. As one of the best defensemen of all time, Niedermayer is a lock for the 2013 class.

    Brendan Shanahan, Forward

    The NHL's face of player safety played for five different teams in his legendary career from 1987-88 through 2008-09, but he didn't become a Hall of Fame-caliber player until he joined the Detroit Red Wings during the 1996-97 season.

    As a premier power forward, Shanahan played an important role on three Stanley Cup-winning teams  in Detroit (1997, 1998 and 2002). He tallied 134 points in 184 career playoff games while posting 1,354 points (656 goals, 698 assists) in 1,524 regular-season games.

    Shanahan is one of 18 players in the history of the NHL to score 600 goals, and after wrongly getting snubbed last year, expect him to be voted in the 2013 class.

    Chris Chelios, Defenseman

    Chris Chelios played his first full NHL season with the Montreal Canadiens in 1984-85, and few could have predicted that he would not retire until the 2009-10 season. In that time, the All-Star defenseman played 1,651 games, which ranks fifth on the all-time list.

    He also has an impressive trophy case that includes three Stanley Cup rings (1986, 2002 and 2008) and three Norris Trophies. Chelios ranks 10th in scoring among defenseman with 948 points. He consistently played exceptional defense and excelled on special teams.

    As one of the best defensemen and American-born players of all time, Chelios should get the call from the Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

On the Bubble

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    Rod Brind’Amour, Forward

    The longtime Carolina Hurricanes star was an excellent two-way player who tallied 1,184 (454 goals, 732 assists) points and won two Frank J. Selke Trophies as the best defensive forward.

    He also captained the Hurricanes to the franchise's only Stanley Cup title during the 2005-06 season. Brind'Amour finished his playoff career with 111 points in 159 games. He's eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year and would be deserving of a first-ballot selection.

    Keith Tkachuk, Forward

    Massachusetts native Keith Tkachuk didn't play on many great teams, which often prevented him from achieving playoff success.

    But from an individual standpoint, he was one of the best offensive players of his era with 538 goals, including nine seasons of 30-plus goals. Tkachuk also played an important role on the American team that won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. In 2011, he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

    As one of the best power forwards of the 1990s, expect Tkachuk to get the Hall of Fame call very soon.

    Dave Andreychuk, Forward

    As a 600-goal scorer and a Stanley Cup champion, it's time for Dave Andreychuk to get serious consideration for the Hall of Fame.

    The Hamilton native tallied 1,338 points (640 goals, 698 assists) in 1,639 career games. In addition to his impressive offensive numbers, he was a model of consistency with 19 seasons of 20-plus goals.

    After waiting 20 years to win hockey's ultimate prize, Andreychuk captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2003-04.

    Rob Blake, Defenseman

    Rob Blake had a remarkable career with the Los Angeles Kings from 1990 through 2001, which included the 1998 Norris Trophy. Blake became the final piece to the 2001 Colorado Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup when he was acquired before the trade deadline.

    Blake was one of the most impressive two-way defensemen of his era, totaling 777 points in 1,270 regular-season games and another 73 points in 146 postseason games. No one should be surprised if Blake is part of this year's class.

    Jeremy Roenick, Forward

    Boston native Jeremy Roenick was a fantastic power forward who played a physical game and scored a ton of goals.

    He finished his career with 513 goals, including 13 seasons of 20-plus goals. He also tallied 100-plus points in three consecutive seasons from 1991-92 through 1993-94 with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The one knock on Roenick's resume is a lack of playoff success, including zero Stanley Cup titles. With that said, he did play his part in the postseason with 122 points in 154 career playoff games.

Dark Horses

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    Eric Lindros, Forward

    One of the toughest kinds of players to judge when voting for the Hall of Fame are the guys who dominated the league but didn't do it over an ideal amount of time.

    One of the best examples is Boston Bruins Hall of Famer Cam Neely, who put up great numbers throughout his career but only played in 70-plus games five times because of injuries.

    Lindros was one of the best players of his generation with a rare combination of incredible skill, size and strength as a premier power forward. He scored an average of 37 goals from 1992-93 through 1998-99 with the Philadelphia Flyers. In that time, he also won the 1995 Hart Trophy and led the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.

    Despite the impressive resume, there are too many eligible players with a better chance to be selected to think that the former No. 1 overall pick will be part of this year's class.

    Alexander Mogilny, Forward

    The Russian forward totaled 1,032 points in 990 games during a remarkable career that began in 1990 and ended in 2006. He was also a quality playoff performer with 86 points in 124 career postseason games, including a key role on the New Jersey Devils' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2000.

    Mogilny and current Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne are the last players to score 70-plus goals in a single season. Both players accomplished the feat in 1992-93.

    Paul Kariya, Forward

    Paul Kariya was one of the most exciting players in the 1990s and early 2000s. He finished his career with seven 30-goal seasons and 989 points in 989 career games.

    Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from reaching the 1,000-point mark late in his career.

    Theoren Fleury, Forward

    The former Calgary Flames star was a brilliant offensive player (1,088 points in 1,084 career games) who achieved remarkable success despite his lack of size (5'6" and 180 pounds). He was also a seven-time All-Star, a Stanley Cup champion (1989) and an Olympic gold medalist with Canada in 2002.

Long Shots

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    Tom Barrasso, Goaltender

    One goaltender who deserves to be in the discussion for the 2013 class is Tom Barrasso.

    He successfully made the jump from high school to the NHL and led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992. The Boston native is also the youngest Vezina Trophy winner (1984) in league history.

    Barrasso isn't likely to be part of the 2013 class, but he deserves to be enshrined at some point.

    Sergei Zubov, Defenseman

    The Russian defenseman was a solid two-way player and an important member of the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers. He is making his ballot debut in 2013.

    Guy Carbonneau, Forward

    The former Montreal Canadiens captain and two-time Stanley Cup winner was a great leader and one of the best defensive forwards of his era. However, he tallied only 663 points in 1,318 career games.

    Other NHLers who may receive some Hall of Fame votes in 2013:

    • Sergei Makarov
    • John LeClair
    • Phil Housley
    • Kevin Lowe

    Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Final, as well as the 2013 NHL draft. Salary information via CapGeek.