Over-35 NHL Stars Who Are Certain Hall of Famers
Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (pictured above) continues to defy Father Time. The Panthers' leading scorer this season recently moved into third on the NHL's all-time goal list with 742, further burnishing the 44-year-old's resume for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jagr is among several active 35-and-older NHL players destined for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Some, such as Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla, continue to add to their impressive offensive stats. Others, like Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, have proved themselves among the best at their position.
Here's a look at the over-35 NHL stars who are certain Hall of Famers. Current and past performance factored into this ranking. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion in the comments section below.
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa has never won an individual award in his NHL career. Over 18 NHL seasons, however, his offensive consistency and two-way skills are worthy of consideration for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 1,226 regular-season games with five NHL teams, the 37-year-old Hossa has 496 goals and 588 assists for 1,084 points. He's reached or exceeded 50 points in 14 seasons. As his career has progressed, Hossa has improved his defensive game, becoming a strong two-way winger.
After playing in two Stanley Cup Finals with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2008) and Detroit Red Wings (2009), Hossa has helped the Chicago Blackhawks win three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. He remains a valuable member of their roster. Well respected throughout the league, Hossa has earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Few NHL defensemen can match the size (6'9", 250 pounds), skill and physical two-way style of Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. Now in his 18th NHL season, Chara has established himself among the league's dominant defensemen for over a decade and captained the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Chara blossomed into a top defenseman during his four seasons with the Ottawa Senators. However, he became a superstar with the Bruins, winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2008-09. He was also a finalist in 2007-08 and 2013-14 and named to the First All-Star Team in 2009 and 2014.
Now in the twilight of his NHL career, Chara remains an effective and respected top-four blueliner. His accomplishments will ensure his eventual place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
The NHL has seen its share of brother acts throughout its history. None, however, have been as important to a single team as Henrik and Daniel Sedin for the Vancouver Canucks. Since 2006-07, Henrik has led the club in scoring five times. Daniel's done it four times and could do it again this season.
Henrik holds Canucks records for career games played (1,145), assists (740) and points (961), while Daniel has the franchise goal record (349). Henrik won the Hart Memorial Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2010, while Daniel followed up the next season with the Art Ross and Ted Lindsay Award.
The Sedin twins have also been models of offensive consistency, with Henrik exceeding 70 points eight times and Daniel reaching that mark seven times. They are the greatest players in Canucks history. Considering how well they've played together over 15 NHL seasons, it'll be fitting to see them inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame together.
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has dazzled NHL fans with his impressive two-way skills throughout his 14 NHL seasons. Between 2005-06 and 2009-10, he was the NHL's best all-around forward. During that period, he had two consecutive 87-point seasons followed by two straight 97-point campaigns.
The NHL rewarded Datsyuk for his disciplined play with four straight Lady Byng Memorial Trophies, while his defensive prowess earned him three consecutive Frank J. Selke Trophies. He was also a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2009 and has won two Stanley Cups (2002, 2008) with the Red Wings.
While injuries have taken a toll on Datsyuk in recent years, he remains a valuable veteran forward for the Red Wings. He will one day take his place among the long list of Red Wings greats in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche
For most of his 19 NHL seasons, Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla has been among the most consistent goal scorers in league history. At his current rate of production this season, the 38-year-old should reach the 20-goal mark for the 17th time in his career.
Iginla's 606 goals rank 18th on the all-time goal-scoring list. Among active players, only Jaromir Jagr has more. He has two 50-goal seasons, two 40-goal seasons and eight 30-goal campaigns on his resume. Iginla's a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy, and he won the Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in 2002. His 1,262 points are third most among active NHL players.
Having spent over 16 seasons with the Calgary Flames, Iginla holds the franchise records for games played (1,219), goals (525) and points (1,095). Combine these with his overall career numbers, and Iglina is on the path to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Now in his 18th NHL season, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is still one of the league's top playmakers. Among active players, only Jaromir Jagr has more assists and points. Though he rose to stardom with the Boston Bruins, it was with the Sharks that he truly came into his own as an NHL superstar.
Thornton's 125-point performance in 2005-06 earned him the Hart and Art Ross Trophies. He followed up with a 90-point season, two 80-plus point campaigns and three with over 70 points. Thornton also had a 101-point season and two 70-point efforts with the Bruins. His 942 assists rank 15th among the all-time leaders.
The addition of Thornton turned the Sharks into a regular-season powerhouse. From 2007-08 to 2010-11, the Sharks topped the Pacific Division four times and won the Presidents' Trophy in 2008-09. Thornton's playmaking prowess and his role in improving the Sharks paves the way to his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is more than just his club's leading scorer this season—he's also a living legend. At age 44, Jagr recently moved into third place on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list with 742 goals. That accomplishment alone should ensure Jagr's place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but there's many other reasons why he's a certainty for the Hall.
In 22 NHL seasons with eight teams, Jagr has won five Art Ross Trophies, three Ted Lindsay Awards and the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1999. He also won two Stanley Cups (1991, 1992) with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 1,845 points puts him within range of overtaking Gordie Howe (1,850) and Mark Messier (1,887) to move into second place on the all-time list.
Jagr's accomplishments over his long career ensure his place in the Hall of Fame. That he continues playing well at an age when most NHL players are long retired is a testament to his greatness.