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A Case For the Hall Part 1

The first set of names for my case for the Hall series.

Daniel Alfredsson Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Keith Acton - Centre - 1979/80-1993/94

Drafted in the sixth round, 103rd overall, in the 1978 Amateur Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Acton debuted during the 1979/80 season. Acton scored 584 points (226G, 358A) in 1023 games, as well as 33 points in 66 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1979/80-partway through 1983/84), Minnesota North Stars (partway through 1983/84-partway through 1987/88), Edmonton Oilers (partway through 1987/88-partway through 1988/89), Philadelphia Flyers (partway through 1988/89-1992/93), Washington Capitals (part of 1993/94), and New York Islanders (part of 1993/94).

Acton won the Stanley Cup in 1988 with the Edmonton Oilers. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Montreal in 1982. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Bronze at the 1986 World Championships.

Heck of a way to start the list eh? A forward from the 80s without even so much as 600 career points. Acton, at least by reputation was a defensive leaning forward in his career, earning Selke votes four times in his career. He did have some offensive chops though, having reached the 50-point mark five times, including two 60-point and one 80-point season. That latter season, 1981/82, saw him reach career highs of 36 goals (his only 30-goal season) and 88 points and represent Montreal in that year’s All-Star Game. He would go on to join Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers during the 1987/88 season and win a Stanley Cup with them. As an cup-winning Oiler and All-Star Game participant, he gets on this list.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Daniel Alfredsson - Right Wing - 1995/96-2013/14

Drafted in the sixth round, 133rd overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, Alfredsson debuted during the 1995/96 season. Alfredsson scored 1157 points (444G, 713A) in 1246 games, as well as 100 points (51G, 49A) in 124 playoff games, playing for the Ottawa Senators (1995/96-2012/13), and Detroit Red Wings (2013/14).

Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in 1996, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions in 2012, and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2013. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1996 and Second-Team All-Star honours in 2006. He played in six All-Star Games, representing Ottawa in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Internationally, he represented Sweden, and won Bronze at the 1999 and 2001 World Championships, Silver at the 1995 and 2004 World Championships and the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and Gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

Alfredsson is probably the most iconic player in the history of the Ottawa Senators. From the beginning of his rookie season in 1995 until his last game with them in 2013, Alfredsson established himself as a consistent star for the Senators. Alfredsson combined with the flashier snipers and top-line centres the Senators boasted, especially in the late 2000s, to form a competitive team that made some surprisingly deep playoff runs, such as their 2007 Cup Final appearance or the 2013 playoff run that lacked the contributions of Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson. Alfredsson is a member of the 1000 point club, and his international track record, iconic status, and longevity certainly give him a leg up on other similarly decorated NHLers, but the fact remains that he didn’t win any championships or scoring titles, and aside from his Calder Trophy, his NHL case is pretty barren. He is definitely someone I’d be voting for if I had a vote, but he may be a textbook case of “Hall of Very Good.”

Pittsburgh Penguins v Ottawa Senators - Game Three Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Tony Amonte - Right Wing - 1990/91-2006/07

Drafted in the fourth round, 68th overall, in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Amonte debuted during the 1991 playoffs. Amonte scored 900 points (416G, 484A) in 1174 games, as well as 55 points (22G, 33A) in 99 playoff games, for the New York Rangers (1990/91-partway through 1993/94), Chicago Blackhawks (partway through 1993/94-2001/02), Phoenix Coyotes (part of 2002/03), Philadelphia Flyers (partway through 2002/03-2003/04), and Calgary Flames (2005/06-2006/07).

Amonte earned All-Rookie honours in 1992. He played in five All-Star Games, representing Chicago in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Amonte came very close to winning a Stanley Cup fairly early in his career, playing for the Rangers during the 1993/94 season. However, in what was a somewhat down season, he wound up a casualty of the Rangers’ efforts that year, led by coach “Iron” Mike Keenan to dump skill in favour of grit and experience. Call me crazy, but I think it wasn’t worth it. Yes it was a weak season for Amonte, but I doubt Amonte (or Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner, another member of that team traded away for a worse player, for that matter) wouldn’t have been able to score the one goal that convinced everyone it was a good trade, or simply more goals. Amonte would rebound with Chicago and was one of the more potent goal scorers of the inter-lockout Dead Puck Era. His 416 goals and 900 points are 16th and 20th, respectively among players during his career. Narrowing down further to the seasons between the first and second lockouts, his 307 goals rank 12th and 641 points rank 19th. Not the highest spots, but everyone in both top 20s are either in the Hall of Fame, or elsewhere on this massive list. Amonte opened his career with back-to-back 30-goal seasons, and then from the 1995/96 season through 2000/01, had five more back-to-back 30-goal seasons, still topping 20 in the last three seasons before the lockout. He captained the Blackhawks during the 2000/01 and 2001/02 seasons before he was on the move to Phoenix. The closest Amonte came to the Finals during an actual playoff run was 2004, when he and the Flyers took the eventual Cup champion Lightning to seven games. His lack of a championship and major awards, as well as a lack of longevity won’t do him any wonders.

Tony Amonte

Tommy Anderson - Defence - 1934/35-1941/42

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Red Wings, Anderson debuted during the 1934/35 season. Anderson scored 189 points (62G, 127A), as well as nine points (2G, 6A) in 16 playoff games, for the Detroit Red Wings (1934/35), and New York Americans and Brooklyn Americans (1935/36-1941/42).

Anderson won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1942 as the league’s most valuable player. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1942.

If everyone on this list were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, everyone who has ever won a Hart Trophy would be in. Anderson wasn’t the first defenceman to win the award, but Anderson won the award, in what would turn out to be his season in the NHL, after switching to defence following an entire career as a left winger. He was also the first player to win the Hart Trophy while playing for a team that didn’t go on to play in that season’s playoffs. Despite his move to the blueline coming very late in his career, again, his very last season in the NHL, it would actually be a career year, with 41 points in 48 games. That would definitely land him among the more potent defencemen of the pre-expansion era, and he didn’t seem to be a slouch before that either, so perhaps if a weak future class of first-ballotters leads to a reexamination of some longtime eligible players in the coming years, Anderson will get the posthumous call.

Al Arbour - Defence - 1953/54, 1955/56-1965/66, 1967/68-1970/71

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Red Wings, Arbour debuted during the 1953/54 season. Arbour scored 70 points (12G, 58A) in 626 games, as well as nine points (1G, 8A) in 86 playoff games, for the Detroit Red Wings (1953/54, 1955/56-1957/58), Chicago Blackhawks (1958/59-1960/61), Toronto Maple Leafs (1961/62-1965/66), and St. Louis Blues (1967/68-1970/71).

Arbour won the Stanley Cup in 1954 with the Detroit Red Wings, 1961 with the Chicago Blackhawks, and 1962 and 1964 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played in one All-Star Game, representing St. Louis in 1969.

If the name Al Arbour is at all familiar to you, it is as a coach rather than as a player. He retired during the 1970/71 season and co-coached the Blues for the remainder of the year with Scotty Bowman, taking over as the full-time coach the following year, before stints with the Islanders from 1973 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1994, getting a banner raised to the rafters in celebration of his 1500 games coached and being inducted into the Hall of Fame as a builder in 1996, along with a Lester Patrick Trophy, a Jack Adams Award, and four Cups. But we aren’t here to talk about off-ice careers. This is a list for the players category. While Arbour’s production was extremely low, with only two double-digit point seasons under his belt, he does have some accomplishments under his belt. As mentioned, he won four Cups as a player and was an All-Star one year. From 1962/63 through 1966/67, he spent the majority of the time in the AHL, not playing any regular season games during the 1964/65 season, and not playing any NHL games at all in 1966/67. Despite that, he became the Blues’ first captain after being claimed in the expansion draft, earning his first and only All-Star game appearance and captaining them to three consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearances. Arbour is also the last player in the NHL history to wear eyeglasses during play.

Jason Arnott - Centre - 1993/94-2011/12

Drafted in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Arnott debuted during the 1993/94 season. Arnott scored 938 points (417G, 521A) in 1244 games, as well as 73 points (32G, 41A) in 122 playoff games, for the Edmonton Oilers (1993/94-1997/98), New Jersey Devils (1997/98-partway through 2001/02, part of 2010/11), Dallas Stars (partway through 2001/02-partway through 2010/11), Washington Capitals (part of 2010/11), and St. Louis Blues (2011/12).

Arnott won the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1994, and played in two All-Star Games, representing Edmonton in 1997 and Nashville in 2008. Internationally, he represented Canada, and won Gold at the 1994 World Championships.

Arnott was a notable all-purpose player throughout his career. He began his career with a solid 33 goals and 68 points as a rookie in 1994, earning the alternate captain’s “A” before the year was out. While he would never eclipse that mark, scoring 32 in 2006, one of his only other two 30-goal seasons, and matching his 30 in 2008, he did also score at a 30-goal rate three other times in his career, scoring 28 goals in 64 games, a 36-goal rate, in 1996; 21 goals in 54 games, a 32-goal rate, in 2001; and 27 goals and 68 games, a 33-goal rate, in 2007. He was a major factor in New Jersey’s 2000 Cup win, with 20 points in 23 games that postseason, tying for third in points among skaters, and would also captain the Predators from the 2007/08 season through the 2009/10 season. While his scoring was up and down, he actually scored at a full-season 60-plus point pace during each of the 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, and 2010 seasons, along with actually topping 60 points in 1994, 2006, and 2008. That 2001 season actually saw him score more than a point per game. His actual numbers are depressed a bit by injury woes, and he didn’t win any major awards or accolades aside from his Cup win, but his career was better than it appears at first glance.

Jason Arnott

Larry Aurie - Right Wing - 1927/28-1938/39

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Cougars, Aurie debuted during the 1927/28 season. Aurie scored 276 points (147G, 129A) in 489 games, as well as 15 points (6G, 9A) in 24 playoff games, for the Detroit Cougars, Detroit Falcons, and Detroit Red Wings (1927/28-1938/39).

Aurie won the Stanley Cup in 1936 and 1937 with the Detroit Red Wings. He was the goal-scoring leader in 1937. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1937.

Aurie was one of the first stars in the history of the Red Wings franchise, having played in all but their first year calling themselves the Cougars. Aurie’s best seasons were the four full seasons preceding his last, when he scored 35, 46, 34, and 43 points, this being in a league that played fewer than 50 games. In that time, he had his greatest achievements. He won Stanley Cups in 1936 and 1937, the franchise’s first, and his 23 goals in the 1936/37 season led the league that season, getting him second-team honours. After he fell to 19 points in 1937/38, his fewest since 1931, he would play a single NHL game in 1938/39 and spend the remainder of his career in the minors and retire. All goal-scoring leaders not already in the Hall are on this list, and that includes Aurie. Fun fact: his jersey number was retired following his retirement, only being unretired to be used by an unfortunately named cousin, but once the team moved to Joe Louis Arena in 1979, the team’s owners refused to hang the number from the rafters alongside the other retired numbers. I don’t like retired numbers, but that seems a little crappy.

Dave Babych - Defence - 1980/81-1998/99

Drafted in the first round, second overall, in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Babych debuted during the 1980/81 season. Babych scored 723 points (142G, 581A) in 1195 games, as well as 62 points (21G, 41A) in 114 playoff games, for Winnipeg Jets (1980/81-partway through 1985/86), Hartford Whalers (partway through 1985/86-1990/91), Vancouver Canucks (1991/92-partway through 1997/98), Philadelphia Flyers (partway through 1997/98-partway through 1998/99), and Los Angeles Kings (part of 1998/99).

Babych played in two All-Star Games, representing Winnipeg in 1983 and 1984. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1989 World Championships.

When reviewing who would and would not get onto this list, it became apparent that all of the top 30 scorers of all time among NHL defencemen were either in the Hall already, on the list, or a future Hall-of-Famer that hasn’t met eligibility requirements, except for Babych. He helped the Jets become a consistent playoff team in the mid-1980s, and was also a major aspect of keeping the Whalers competitive during the latter part of the decade. During his nearly decade-long stint in Vancouver, he helped Vancouver reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1994. While Babych was only a star offensive producer among NHL defencemen during the 80s, he remained a relevant part of the teams he played for through his retirement. And that mustache was iconic.

Hartford Whalers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Ralph Backstrom - Centre - 1956/57, 1958/59-1972/73

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, Backstrom debuted during the 1956/57 season. In the NHL, Backstrom scored 639 points (278G, 361A) in 1032 games, as well as 59 points (27G, 32A) in 116 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1956/57, 1958/59-partway through 1970/71), Los Angeles Kings (partway through 1970/71-partway through 1972/73), and Chicago Blackhawks (part of 1972/73). In the WHA, Backstrom scored 214 points (85G, 129A) in 234 games, as well as 28 points (10G, 18A) in 38 playoff games, for the Chicago Cougars (1973/74-1974/75), Denver Spurs and Ottawa Civics (part of 1975/76), and New England Whalers (partway through 1975/76-1976/77).

In the NHL, Backstrom won Stanley Cups with Montreal in 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969. He won the Calder Trophy in 1959. He played in six All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, and 1967. In the WHA, he won the Paul Deneau Trophy as the WHA’s most gentlemanly player in 1974. He played in four WHA All-Star Games, representing Chicago in 1974 and 1975, Ottawa in 1976, and New England in 1977.

Backstrom entered the NHL in time to close out Montreal’s legendary run of five straight Stanley Cups, winning a Calder Trophy to start. Backstrom was also a part of Montreal’s forgotten dynasty of the 60s. With the 60s being a time when players were becoming higher-scoring, Backstrom was more of a two-way forward, only reaching 60 points and 50 points three other times. Also notable is that Backstrom played with Team Canada at the lesser-known 1974 Summit Series, where the team was made up of WHA players, although Canada lost the series 4-1-3 against the Soviets. While this doesn’t count towards his accomplishments as a player, he was also a co-founder of the short-lived Roller Hockey International, along with World Team Tennis co-founders Larry King (not the broadcaster, but ex-husband of tennis player Billie Jean King) and Dennis Murphy (also the founder of both the ABA and WHA). acting as the league’s commissioner during its short lifespan.

Ralph Backstrom On The Ice Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images

Tom Barrasso - Goaltender - 1983/84-1999/00, 2001/02-2002/03

Drafted in the first round, fifth overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Barrasso debuted during the 1983/84 season. Barrasso posted a 369-277-86 record, 0.892 Save%, 3.24 GAA, and 38 shutouts in 777 games, as well as a 61-54 record, 0.902 Save%, 3.01 GAA, and six shutouts in 119 playoff games, playing for the Buffalo Sabres (1983/84-partway through 1988/89), Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 1988/89-partway through 1999/00), Ottawa Senators (part of 1999/00), Carolina Hurricanes (part of 2001/02), Toronto Maple Leafs (part of 2001/02), and St. Louis Blues (2002/03).

Barrasso won Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992. He won the Calder Trophy and the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 1984. He won the William M. Jennings Trophy for having the fewest goals against in 1985. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1984 with Buffalo, Second-Team All-Star honours in 1985 and Pittsburgh in 1993, and First-Team All-Star honours in 1984. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Buffalo in 1985. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Barrasso has a fairly unique story that only strengthens his case for the Hall. He was drafted straight out of high school and made it directly to the NHL, only ever playing in the minors during what appears to be a five-game conditioning stint the following season. That first season he played, again directly out of high school, he backstopped the Sabres to the playoffs and won both the Calder Trophy and the Vezina, the latter in only its second season as the NHL’s “top goaltender” award. Barrasso is also very well known for his decade-long stint with the Penguins. In all but the 1990 season, he backstopped the Penguins to the playoffs, winning Stanley Cups in both 1991 and 1992, and quality goaltending performances throughout the decade. Barrasso was the first American goalie to win 300 games, reaching the mark in 1997. Barrasso’s relationship with the media deteriorated during the latter part of his tenure in Pittsburgh, and that seems to be the reason he hasn’t been inducted to the Hall of Fame, but in my opinion that’s really petty and Barrasso should be inducted. He won some awards, was considered an All-Star, has two Cups, and performed to a high standard for the better part of two decades.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Bob Baun - Defence - 1956/57-1972/73

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Baun debuted during the 1956/57 season. Baun scored 224 points (37G, 187A) in 964 games, as well as 15 points (3G, 12A) in 96 playoff games, for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1956/57-1966/67, partway through 1970/71-1972/73), California Seals and Oakland Seals (1967/68), and Detroit Red Wings (1968/69-partway through 1970/71).

Baun won Stanley Cups in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played in five All-Star Games, representing Toronto in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965, and Oakland in 1968.

During his NHL career, Baun leaned heavily toward the defensive side of the game, never scoring more than 20 points in a season and using his strength to limit the other team’s offence. While Baun was a perennial Cup winner during Toronto’s last dynasty, winning four Cups in the 60s, Baun is most well-known for his heroics during the 1964 Final. He returned to the game with a broken ankle for overtime of Game 3 of the Final on April 23, 1964, and scored the game-winning goal, putting the Leafs ahead 3-0 in their eventual sweep against the Red Wings. His career may have ended a few years prematurely due to various injuries during the 1972/73 season, Baun, a five-time All-Star, may have done enough in his career, especially considering the importance of defensive defencemen in his era, to be inducted.

Hockey’s Bobby Baun Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Brian Bellows - Right Wing - 1982/83-1998/99

Drafted in the first round, second overall, in the 1982 NHL Draft by the Minnesota North Stars, Bellows debuted during the 1982/83 season. Bellows scored 1022 points (485G, 537A) in 1188 games, as well as 122 points (51G, 71A) in 143 playoff games, playing for the Minnesota North Stars (1982/83-1991/92), Montreal Canadiens (1992/93-1994/95), Tampa Bay Lightning (1995/96-partway through 1996/97), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (part of 1996/97), and Washington Capitals (1997/98-1998/99).

Bellows won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1990, and played in three All-Star Games, representing Minnesota in 1984, 1988, and 1992. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning the 1984 Canada Cup.

Bellows didn’t quite have the longevity of some other players on this list, with some lower-scoring seasons in the late 90s hurting his career points per game before retiring at 34, but he is a member of the 1000 point club, with a 50-goal season under his belt among nine other 30-goal seasons. He briefly was the interim captain of the North Stars during the 1983/84 season, at a younger age even than Connor McDavid was when he was named captain, though he is not officially recognized as such due to the interim tag. Bellows also got into three All-Star Games, representing Minnesota in 1984, 1988, and 1992. He represented Canada internationally and scored one assist in five games as they won Gold at the 1984 Canada Cup. Bellows’ numbers began to dwindle during the lockout-shortened 1994/95 season. Even so, he actually helped lead some teams to unprecedented playoff success, helping Tampa Bay and Anaheim to the first playoff berths in the respective franchises’ histories in 1996 and 1997, respectively, and then Washington to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1998.

Minnesota North Stars v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Red Berenson - Centre - 1961/62-1977/78

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, Berenson debuted during the 1961/62 season. Berenson scored 658 points (261G, 397A) in 987 games, as well as 37 points (23G, 14A) in 85 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1961/62-1965/66), New York Rangers (1966/67-partway through 1967/68), St. Louis Blues (partway through 1967/68-partway through 1970/71, partway through 1974/75-1977/78), and Detroit Red Wings (partway through 1970/71-partway through 1974/75).

Berenson won the Stanley Cup in 1965 with the Montreal Canadiens. He played in six All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1965; St. Louis in 1969, 1970, and 1971; and Detroit in 1972 and 1974.

First off, a major mark against Berenson’s case is the flimsiness of his championship bona fides. While Berenson seemed to be an established NHLer entering the 1964/65 season, having jumped from 37 games played to 69 the prior season, his poor offensive performance led to him being demoted to the minors, playing only three regular season and nine playoff games the year the Canadiens won the Cup. He was with the team the following season, but with only 23 regular season games and no playoff appearances, he is not credited as part of the 1966 Cup win, and then he was off to New York that summer. Berenson broke out in 1967 after an early season trade from the Rangers to St. Louis, scoring 51 points in 55 games to close out the 1967/68 season, and then back-to-back seasons topping 30 goals and 70 points. Berenson was among the first offensive stars for the expansion Blues and helped lead them to Stanley Cup Final appearances in from 1968 through 1970. Berenson also had numerous stints as captain, succeeding Al Arbour as captain following the latter’s retirement during the 1970/71 season, briefly with the Red Wings during the 1973/74 season, and again with the Blues during part of the 1975/76 season and the 1977/78 season. While Berenson has a decent career as a player, if he does get into the Hall of Fame, it may just wind up being as a builder. He has a long career coaching in both the NHL and NCAA, winning a Jack Adams Award in 1981 in the former, and being named coach of the year in the CCHA in 1994 and 2008, and in the Big Ten in 2016, as well as the entire NCAA Division I in 2008, all during a staggeringly long time coaching the University of Michigan.

St.Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Todd Bertuzzi - Right Wing - 1995/96-2013/14

Drafted in the first round, 23rd overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, Bertuzzi debuted during the 1995/96 season. Bertuzzi scored 768 points (314G, 454A) in 1159 games, as well as 42 points (14G, 28A) in 87 playoff games, for the New York Islanders (1995/96-1997/98), Vancouver Canucks (1997/98-2005/06), Florida Panthers (part of 2006/07), Detroit Red Wings (part of 2006/07, 2009/10-2013/14), Anahem Ducks (2007/08), and Calgary Flames (2008/09).

Bertuzzi earned Second-Team honours in 2003 and played in two All-Star Games, representing Vancouver in 2003 and 2004.

This listing will most likely be controversial, but do bear in mind that this is just making a case for a (now) very large list of players, not necessarily a “I demand this guy gets in” list. Bertuzzi, rightfully, is known for the 2004 incident when, in retaliation for a hit by Colorado’ Steve Moore against linemate and captain Markus Naslund in a previous game, he sucker punched Moore, it and the resulting pileup leaving Moore with extensive career-ending injuries, and constant litigation that finally ended in 2014. No mention of Bertuzzi will be complete without mention of that dark story in NHL history, and that is completely fair. Your mileage may vary on whether that automatically disqualifies him. For what it’s worth, his career as a whole is far from iron-clad Hall-worthy. He never reached 40 points in a season before 2000, his second full season with the Canucks, and he only broke out as an offensive leader in 2002. The main reasons for Bertuzzi’s placement on this list is that 1999-2006 stretch of his career. After back-to-back 50-point campaigns he had season of 36 goals and 85 points and 46 goals and 97 points, both occurring during the nadir of the NHL’s inter-lockout Dead Puck Era. Even during that 2003/04 season that is such a black mark for him, he had 60 points in 69 games. He also had 71 points in 82 games after returing for the 2005/06 season, before, judged to be a distraction due to the Moore incident and with younger players like the Sedins taking over as the team leaders, he was traded to Florida for Roberto Luongo. Bertuzzi came just short of Stanley Cups, playing for Detroit the year before their 2008 Cup win and Anaheim the year after their 2007 Cup win, and never coming close afterward. Bertuzzi aged somewhat gracefully for a player of his style, with four back-to-back 40-point campaigns and an additional season just short of 40 before the 2012/13 lockout, but he never regained his dominant form from the early 2000s. Either he gets into the Hall because that peak to his career was pretty excellent, or he doesn’t because it’s a small chunk of a more mediocre career, or he doesn’t deserve to even be mentioned because of the Steve Moore incident, you be the judge.

Fun fact that you’ve probably heard before: Bertuzzi’s uncle was the arbitrator of the dispute between the Flyers and Rangers at the 1992 Draft regarding which team’s trade to acquire Eric Lindros from Quebec was valid, and Bertuzzi’s nephew is current Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi.

Todd Bertuzzi Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Jeff Beukeboom - Defence - 1985/86-1998/99

Drafted in the first round, 19th overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Beukeboom debuted during the 1985/86 season. Beukeboom scored 159 points (30G, 129A) in 804 games, as well as 19 points (3G, 16A) in 99 playoff games, for the Edmonton Oilers (1985/86-partway through 1991/92) and the New York Rangers (partway through 1991/92-1998/99).

Beukeboom won the Stanley Cup in 1987 and 1988 with the Edmonton Oilers and in 1994 with the New York Rangers.

As this list ballooned and ballooned, a criteria I had where I’d put a player on this list if they won a Stanley Cup as part of the 1980s Oilers dynasty and played in an All-Star Game during their career overall became stretched a little, the criteria changing to having had a season that could plausibly have gotten them named to play in an All-Star Game. While Beukeboom does not fit this criteria for me, I did notice that, as I added to the list, every other player who won Stanley Cups in both the 1980s with the Oilers and in 1994 with the Rangers was either already in the Hall of Fame, or on my list, with the exception of Beukeboom. Deciding who to add to the list to get the total number to where it is, I decided on Beukeboom to complete the set. He is not entirely without merit either, as he won Cups in 1987, 1988, 1990, and 1994, the latter with the Rangers, and was credited with allowing more offensively-gifted partners to better use their abilities, perhaps more credible an attribute considering he played in an altogether rougher era more conducive to that classical shut-down D archetype.

Jeff Beukeboom

Peter Bondra - Right Wing - 1990/91-2006/07

Drafted in the eighth round, 156th overall, in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, Bondra debuted in the 1990/91 season. Bondra scored 892 points (503G, 389A) in 1081 games, as well as 56 points (30G, 26A) in 80 playoff games, playing for the Washington Capitals (1990/91-partway through 2003/04), Ottawa Senators (part of 2003/04), Atlanta Thrashers (2005/06), and Chicago Blackhawks (2006/07).

Bondra was the goal-scoring leader in 1995 and 1998. He played in five All-Star Games, representing Washington in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. Internationally, he represented Slovakia, winning Bronze at the 2004 World Championships and Gold at the 2002 World Championships.

Bondra was among the most potent goal scorers in the NHL during the time he played. Arriving in DC a couple years after Washington’s first goal-scoring star Mike Gartner left, Bondra broke out in 1992/93 with 37 goals and 85 points in 1992/93. Much of Bondra’s career predates the institution of the Rocket Richard Trophy in 1999, but he led the NHL in goals in both 1995 and 1998, the latter being the second and last of two 50-goal seasons in Bondra’s career. All told, Bondra cracked the 40-goal mark four times including the 50-goal campaigns, among nine 30-goal seasons, cracking 20 goals in all but the first and last seasons of his career, ultimately becoming the 37th player in NHL history to score 500 career goals. Unfortunately, Bondra never won a Stanley Cup, getting the closest he came in 1998 with a Capitals team that would lose to the Red Wings juggernaut. Additionally, despite leading the league in goals twice, he never won an award for it, with the NHL still having not decided to retroactively award pre-1999 goal leaders the Rocket Richard. That, and the fact that his comparatively low number of assists keeps him well below the 1000-point plateau will continue to get in the way of a Hall of Fame induction.

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images