After I wrote the "Who Should Get The Call NHL Hall In 2009" piece I started thinking about other players who've had excellent careers who have been left out of the Hall Of Fame and which players could or deserve to one day get the call. Also I made a mistake in calling it the "NHL Hall" as it's not the NHL Hall Of Fame but the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I started looking at previous inductees and noticed some peculiar things.
I was shocked to see that Viktor Tikhonov has not been yet been inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame as a builder. For those of you who don't know, he was a prominent Russian player and the coach of the Soviet national team when it was at its most dominant in hockey. He won 13 straight Soviet titles between 1978-1989, 9 world gold medals in 15 years, 3 Olympic gold medals, the 1979 Challenge Cup and the 1981 Canada Cup. He's accomplished a great deal as a coach and should be inducted one day into the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
Kevin Lowe is one Edmonton player that played during the dynasty years that has been left out. Lowe played for Edmonton during all five of the cup victories. He wasn't a big point producer but Lowe was a very great defenseman. He has only been on one team that has not been in the playoffs. He won a personal six Stanley Cups in his career having five with Edmonton and one with the New York Rangers.
Sean Burke is one goaltender who will probably never be inducted, but should be. Burke hasn't had much success in the playoffs, which may keep him out, but he has never played on good teams. He played for nine NHL teams in his 19 seasons, including New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, to name a few. Of 21 goaltenders, he is the only one to post more than 300 career wins. He has won two World Cups for Canada, and a silver medal in the 1992 Olympics.
Claude Lemieux is one of the best agitators to play the game and was effective on offense too. He won four cups with three different teams including two with New Jersey, and added a Conn Smyth to his resume in 1995. He has 80 playoff goals, which is eighth of all time, and scored 379 goals and 785 points in 1179 games. Every team he played for has been in the playoffs except his first year in 2000-01 with Phoenix. He's been an instrumental part of the success his teams have seen. He and his teams' have won the Stanley Cup each time they have made it.
Mike Vernon will one day be inducted in the Hall. He had a remarkable career, back stopped the Calgary Flames to their only Stanley Cup to date in 1989, and helped end Detroit's 42-year Cup drought. He earned a Conn Smyth in 1997, and in 781 games he won 385 and tied 92. He holds all of Calgary's goaltending records.
The Hall Of Fame has been questioned for making Glenn Anderson wait so long to be inducted. It hurt him that he didn't play the meaningful games but he made it count when it mattered, and that's what makes him Hall Of Fame worthy. He holds six cups and has been an essential part of each win. He was a clutch player.
Pavel Bure is another player who might have problems getting in. For an extensive period of time he was one of the most exciting players in the NHL and was a dominant scorer in the "Dead Puck Era". He led the NHL in goals scored on three different occasions in his career and back to back between 1999 and 2001 with 58 and 59 respectively. Go to Youtube.com and type in his name. Tell me if he wasn't one of the most talented and exciting players you've ever seen. He never won a cup and his career was shortened due to knee injuries. He only played on a quality team when he first came into the NHL and never made it to the playoffs. Gretzky didn't either when he played on terrible teams. Bure created a lot of his own scoring chances and a lot of his points were due to his hard work and not just being in the right place at the right time.
Bure, along with Alexander Moginly and Segei Fedorov, was one of the first Russians to jump into the NHL in their young 20's and has inspired more to do so, such as Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Malkin. They were pioneers in making the NHL what it is, by adding Russian talent. He helped the game a lot and became one of the most accomplished players.
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