A couple weeks ago, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced the inductees for the class of 2005. Needless to say, many people were talking about who DIDN'T get in, rather than who did get in. Which made me think-- what other great players should be in the Hall. So, being the inventive person that I am, I decided to make a list of the players who I would like to see in the Hall of Fame, who is not in there already. So, this is going to be by position with no set limit-- and away we go:
Ron Hextall: Now, I was never one for rooting for the Flyers, but Hextall was in a class by himself. He had the skills of a great goaltender, he was the franchise of the Flyers for the better part of the '80's, and he was the first "third defenseman", as he ushered in a new breed of goaltenders who could be a rock in net and an offensive threat at the same time.
Rogie Vachon: It's a shame that one of the key cogs in putting Los Angeles on the NHL is not in the Hall of Fame. In a time where "firewagon hockey" was the norm, Vachon maintained a GAA of under 3.00 for his career (2.99 to be exact). Plus, he had only three losing seasons in 17 NHL seasons. Add that to his participation in the first Canada Cup, helping the Canucks win the tournament should be more than enough to get him into the Hall.
Kevin Lowe: The man who anchored the Oilers back line for the better part of 15 years, defined the way "stay-at-home" defensemen should play. He was the perfect contrast to the free-wheeling Paul Coffey and gave the needed help out to Grant Fuhr, Bill Ranford, and Mike Richter get Stanley Cup rings in the process. The Hall of Fame is chocked full of defenseman, but Lowe is one who's contribution to the game still goes overlooked.
Dale Hunter: He could score, he could hit, he could fight, but most importantly, he could lead. Hunter was always someone that the youngers could look up to, ask for help and imitate, but you could never dupicate what he could do out there on the ice. With over 1,000 points in his career and over 3,500 PIM's, the Hall needs to give the devil his due-- Hunter was one of the dominate face-off men in the business, he was never a flashy player, but he got the job done.
Brian Propp: Probably most remembered for getting his skull cracked by a Chris Chelios hit, the style of play that Propp possessed is almost a lost art-form. He was a grinder to the max and that helped him get over 1,000 points in his career and helped the Flyers maintain their "Broadstreet Bullies" mentality after the 1970's. But, like Hunter, he was never a flashy player, but got the job done just the same.
Steve Larmer: Another grinding forward who had over 1,000 points in his career. Best known for being with the Blackhawks, Larmer and Jeremy Roenick could have been considered one of the best "1-2" punches in the league at the time. His ability to see the ice and amazing passing skill, let him flourish in Chicago and New York.
Dino Ciccarelli: Here's a guy who you could considered to be a "black listed" player. He has 1,200 career points, he's 12th on the All-Time Goals list with 608, but he's not in the Hall. Sure, he's had some off-ice problems, but it should be overshadowed by the remarkable career he had in the NHL. There are very few right-wingers who were as effective as Ciccarelli in his hay-day, but because of the debacles off-ice; he's not in.
Glenn Anderson: Here's another guy, who like Ciccarelli, is a "black-listed" player because of off-ice issues. He has six Stanley Cup rings, he has 498 career goal and is one point shy of 1,100 for his career. He helped out the Oilers in their dynasty years and was one of the main players in the Rangers '94 Stanley Cup. He got the job done, helped who he needed to, but still cannot get any respect.
I know there are some others I'm leaving out, but this is my main list that I have put out there for the time being. Now, looking at this list, there are some pretty impressive people who have been overlooked. This means one of two things: (1) these players got lost in the shuffle of the whole voting process or (2) the Hall of Fame needs to look at maybe expanding the number of players who could be voted in.
I'm sure many people would choose the latter than the former. The fact of the matter is that sometime, four inductions is often not enough. At least have the ability to carry five or six at a time. That's not to say they need to be used up all the time, but to consider that would be key in the grand scheme of things. Until that happens, we will just have to sit around and bicker about who got overlooked, rather than who gets the great honor of being the next in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!