Each year, the Hockey Hall of Fame opens its doors for induction, and retired greats are honored for their accomplishments and contributions to the game. According to the Hockey Hall of Fame's website, eligible players are judged by their "playing ability, sportsmanship, character and their contribution to the team or teams and to the game of hockey in general."
According to the criteria, it seems that a player's place in the Hall of Fame isn't determined simply by what awards they've won or what numbers they've put up, but rather what kind of lasting impression they left on the hockey world. For this reason, many players who have had statistically outstanding careers have been left on the outside looking in, especially those who failed to win a Stanley Cup.
There have been some recent inductions that have caused debates within the hockey community and some omissions that have been downright mind-boggling, but that's the beauty of the Hall of Fame. The selection committee, comprised of former players, coaches and members of the media, determine who makes the cut and who doesn't, so the lasting impression each player left on the members of the committee is often the determining factor of a player's induction.
With that being said, I believe a player should meet one of two criteria in order to be considered a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. First of all, a player who is among the top five players in the world for at least a three-year period, should be a Hall of Famer. The second reason for which a player should be considered a Hall of Famer is if they produce at an All-Star level for a long period of time, such as the case of Mike Gartner.
Since the induction process is largely subjective, it's impossible to predict who will and won't make it come induction time, but here are the top 10 players eligible for induction in 2011.