My NHL Hall of Fame Line

Jon FisherCorrespondent IIMay 17, 2009

DALLAS - JANUARY 22:  Former NHL great Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins attends the Eastern/Western Conference Media Availability at the American Airlines Center on January 22, 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There have been numerous articles and discussions and debates on who should be on the Nhl's Hall of Fame line. 

Almost every person just looks at the stats, but why? 

Statistics are not everything.  One perfect example of that is Rob Scuderi. 

I know, kind of a stretch—but just think about it. 

Okay, fine—here are some other examples:  Phil Borque, Dan Cleary, Ulf Sammuelson, Jamie Langenbrunner, and John Madden.  These players made a living of doing their job, which wasn't points.  They were grit and power that helped their respective teams to cups. 

If you want to go just stats, here is your line:  Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Ron Francis.  That is not a line of supremacy.  That is a line of scoring and leadership, but not a line that would completely dominate. 

A line has to have more than just All Stars.  It has to have depth, consistency, and an attitude to win at every giving second.  Don't get me wrong—this line would do some serious damage if it were ever to happen.  I just think a line needs more than that. 

Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins had their top line going into the playoffs as Sidney Crosby, Marian Hossa, and Pascal Dupuis.  To my recollection, Dupuis isn't even starting in the postseason this year. 

Practically, every person I talked who had a weak sports mind said our best line would have been Crosby, Malkin, and Hossa.  But you just can't have that much fire power on one line. 

I mean, look at the Ottawa Senators.  Were they not one of the worst teams this year?  And don't give me the excuse that they are getting old.  Their first line consisted of three superstars who just couldn't play together.  It is a rather simple concept, really. 

All right, now on to the Hall of Fame line.  Goalies count, do they not? 

My goalie would have to be Patrick Roy.  Martin Brodeur is phenomenal; don't get me wrong.  But Roy just had this swagger about him that I can't see in Brodeur.  Patrick Roy had also more wins if you think about it. 

Shootouts weren't introduced until 2005, I believe.  Brodeur probably had five wins each year due to shootouts.  So just subtract twenty-five wins from Brodeur's record, and that's where it stands.  Patrick Roy is first on the Hall of Fame line. 

Next on the Hall of Fame line, we are going to have the left wing—Mario Lemieux.  This man was the epitome of hockey.  He did everything from defense (except for cherry-picking in his early career) to offense. 

Leadership on and off the ice was his specialty.  When people like Hal Gill, and Adam Graves, and Scott Stevens were pounding him to death, he still rode on and led his team to numerous playoff appearances and two Stanley cups.  He fought off cancer and many injuries to still be arguably the best hockey player to play the game.  Mario Lemieux is second on the Hall of Fame line. 

Third on the Hall of Fame line at center is Wayne Gretzky.  I'm not here to dispute who is better, he or Mario, but Gretzky is very deserving of this role.  He is the all-time leader in points, assists, and goals. 

I know I said before points aren't everything, but he did it through four teams and over twenty years.  He never quit and had outstanding respect for the game. 

He is completely different than Ovechkin.  People compare them, but truly there is no comparison.  Gretzky had the character of an All Star, and Alex does not.  Anyway, Gretzky is third on the Hall of Fame line. 

Fourth on the Hall of Fame line, playing right wing is Brett Hull.  Lemieux and Gretzky were the best overall, but Hull was a pure goal scorer.  He never stopped up to his retirement.  Scoring goals was his specialty.  He ranks third in goals in NHL history. 

This pick might be surprising, since it mean I don't have Howe, Lafleur, Lemaire, or Richard, but it makes sense.  These players have to have chemistry.  They could play with anyone.  Not that the other players don't, it's just these three offensive players have something special that would make them great together.  Hull is the fourth on the Hall of Fame line.

On defense, fifth on the Hall of Fame line is Bobby Orr.  Everyone knows him for his 1970 goal that won the Bruins the Stanley Cup against the Blues, but Bobby won eight Norris trophies for best defenceman and picked up a slew of offensive records.  He played outstanding defense on top of his brilliant offense. 

His accolades seem never-ending: Eight Norris trophies, Two Art Ross trophies, and the all-time leader in points and assists by a defenceman in a single season.  He was a leader by example and made his mark on the ice, not by his mouth.  Orr is fifth on the of Hall of Fame line. 

Last but not least on the Hall of Fame line is defenseman Paul Coffey.  He did everything offensively.  He was no slouch on the defensive side either.  He is on this team primarily for offense. 

He has over seven records—and they astonish all of the hockey historians as well as the fans.  Paul is second in points, assists, and goals by a defenceman all time.  With eight teams, he managed to win four Stanley Cups and went to the Finals seven times.  Coffey is last on the Hall of Fame line. 

There you go folks, the NHL Hall of Fame line.  Gretzky, Lemieux, Brett Hull, Orr, and Coffey.  Again, it's not all about the points and accolades—it's about playing as a team and learning to play with other players. 

A team isn't a team without chemistry. Just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins.