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A Case For the Hall Part 4

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

Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Adam Foote - Defence - 1991/92-2010/11

Drafted in the second round, 22nd overall, in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Foote debuted during the 1991/92 season. Foote scored 308 points (66G, 242A) in 1154 games, as well as 42 points (7G, 35A) in 170 playoff games, playing for the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche (1991/92-2003/04, partway through 2007/08-2010/11), and Columbus Blue Jackets (2005/06-partway through 2007/08).

Foote won the Stanley Cup with in 1996 and 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and winning Gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Foote is in a similar situation to Kevin Lowe. Though a pretty decent point producer in his junior career, Foote was firmly a defensive defenceman in his NHL career, only twice managing to reach 30 points in a season along with only four other 20+ plus point seasons. To add to that, he won two Stanley Cups instead of Lowe’s six, and Foote never won, or was even strongly considered, for any major awards or honours, and didn’t play in a single All-Star Game. On top of that, it’s also been well established that the more physical style of prototypical defensive defencemen often goes hand-in-hand with limited puck skill that hurts more than the defensive play helps. On the other hand, Foote played the bulk of his career in an era where that style of play was considered more effective, may have carried over some offensive puck-moving ability from his days as a junior scorer, and is considered by the vast majority to have been a major part of Colorado’s Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. Foote spent a handful of seasons as a team captain as well, wearing the “C” for Columbus from the 2005/06 season until he was traded back to Colorado during the 2007/08 season, and then for Colorado after Joe Sakic retired following the 2008/09 season until he retired himself following the 2010/11 season.

Marian Gaborik - Right Wing - 2000/01-2017/18

Drafted in the first round, third overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, Gaborik debuted during the 2000/01 season. Gaborik scored 815 points (407G, 408A) in 1035 games, as well as 58 points (32G, 26A) in 84 playoff games, for the Minnesota Wild (2000/01-2008/09), New York Rangers (2009/10-partway through 2012/13), Columbus Blue Jackets (partway through 2012/13-partway through 2013/14), Los Angeles Kings (partway through 2013/14-partway through 2017/18), and Ottawa Senators (part of 2017/18).

Gaborik won the Stanley Cup in 2014 with the Los Angeles Kings. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 2012 and played in the three All-Star Games, representing Minnesota in 2003 and 2008 and the Rangers in 2012. Internationally, he represented Slovakia, winning Bronze at the 1999 World Juniors and placing second with Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Looking back on Gaborik’s career, you could make a case for his induction. Gaborik reached the 30-goal mark seven times, including three 40-goal seasons. He also scored at a 30-goal pace two additional times, scoring 13 goals in 17 games in 2009, his last season in Minnesota for a 63-goal pace, and 27 goals in 69 games for Los Angeles in 2015, a 32-goal pace. Also worth mentioning is that the 2006/07 season saw him score 30 goals and 57 points in 48 games, a 52-goal and 97-point pace. Given his injury history and the fact he played for A) the Minnesota Wild under Jacques Lemaire, B) the New York Rangers under John Tortorella, and C) the Los Angeles Kings under Darryl Sutter, aka three frustratingly self-stifling defensive teams, his production looks all the more impressive. In addition to his All-Star appearances, Gaborik won a Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2014, at the end of a Cup run that saw him lead the playoffs in goals with 14. He also won Silver with Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Gaborik is still under contract in the NHL, having been traded to Tampa Bay in 2020, but he hasn’t played a game since 2018, and since the amendment to eligibility rules for Chris Pronger in 2015, Gaborik is officially eligible this year.

Danny Gare - Right Wing - 1974/75-1986/87

Drafted in the second round, 29th overall, in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Gare debuted during the 1974/75 season. Gare scored 685 points (354G, 331A) in 827 games, as well as 46 points (25G, 21A) in 64 playoff games, for the Buffalo Sabres (1974/75-partway through 1981/82), Detroit Red Wings (partway through 1981/82-1985/86), and Edmonton Oilers (1986/87).

Gare was the NHL goal leader in 1980. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1980, and played in two All-Star Games, representing Buffalo in 1980 and 1981. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1981 Canada Cup and winning the 1976 Canada Cup.

Looking back the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970s, plenty of attention rightfully goes to the French Connection. Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, and Rene Robert compiled big scoring numbers and got the Sabres to a Stanley Cup Final in only their fifth season of existence. But it wasn’t just that iconic trio that produced for the Sabres. Gare opened his career with 31 goals and 62 points during the Sabres’ 1975 Cup run. He wound up with an additional four 30-goal seasons, one of which saw him crack 40 goals and two of which saw him crack 50. His best goal-scoring season was 1980, when he tied for the league-lead with 56 goals with Los Angeles’ Charlie Simmer and Hartford’s Blaine Stoughton. Of note is that A) Gare reached the 50-goal plateau where two members of the French Connection, Perreault and Robert, didn’t, and B) has a higher goal scoring career-high than even the remaining member, Martin, peaking at 56 goals versus Martin’s 52. Gare captained both the Sabres and the Red Wings, from 1977/78 until he was traded to Detroit in 1981/82, and from 1982/83 through 1985/86, respectively. Gare played with the Oilers during their eventual third Stanley Cup season, 1986/87, though he was demoted early in the season, ultimately choosing to retire mid-season and not winning a Cup.

Martin Gelinas - Left Wing - 1988/89-2007/08

Drafted in the first round, eighth overall, in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Gelinas debuted during the 1988/89 season. Gelinas scored 660 points (309G, 351A) in 1273 games, as well as 56 points (23G, 33A) in 147 playoff games, for the Edmonton Oilers (1988/89-1992/93), Quebec Nordiques (part of 1993/94), Vancouver Canucks (partway through 1993/94-partway through 1997/98), Carolina Hurricanes (partway through 1997/98-2001/02), Calgary Flames (2002/03-2003/04), Florida Panthers (2005/06-2006/07), and Nashville Predators (2007/08).

Gelinas won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with the Edmonton Oilers.

Gelinas is another player who won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Oilers during their dynasty. Gelinas is another player who won a Cup with the Oilers and would go on to be All-Star-adjacent, specifically with his two 30-goal seasons in the mid-late 90s. Despite being a little light on production and winning no major awards besides his Stanley Cup with Edmonton in 1990, Gelinas had some notable late-career moments too, being the fourth-leading scorer in the regular season and third-leading scorer in the playoffs, for the Calgary Flames during their 2004 Cinderella Run, including scoring the series-winners in each of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere - Goaltender - 1996/97, 1998/99-2013/14

Drafted in the first round, 13th overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Hartford Whalers, Giguere posted a 262-216-25-50 record, 0.913 Save%, 2.53 GAA, and 38 shutouts, as well as a 33-17 record, 0.925 Save%, 2.08 GAA, and six shutouts in 52 playoff games, playing for the Hartford Whalers (1996/97), Calgary Flames (1998/99-1999/00), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Anaheim Ducks (2000/01-partway through 2009/10), Toronto Maple Leafs (partway through 2009/10-2010/11), and Colorado Avalanche (2011/12-2013/14).

Giguere won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2003. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Anaheim in 2009. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Gold at the 2004 World Championships.

Giguere spent almost the entirety of the 2000s with the Anaheim Ducks, and it is during this period that Giguere made his case for the Hall of Fame. While failing to make the playoffs in his first two seasons with the Ducks, he quickly entrenched himself as the Ducks’ star goaltender, and backstopped them to the 2003 Stanley Cup Final in only his third year. They didn’t win, and it would be their only playoff appearance with Giguere before the lockout, but he won a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his performance, one of the few to win the award with a Cup runner-up, and the Ducks emerged on the other side as Cup contenders, winning a Stanley Cup in 2007. Giguere declined as he entered his 30s and spent the first half of the 2010s as a backup on non-playoff teams before retiring at age 37 with no other major awards under his belt. Even though Giguere rarely appeared in the playoffs himself, he definitely made the most of those appearances. His record and save percentage, as well as a Cup and a Conn Smythe, are a pretty decent haul for five career postseason appearances, and he even won the ESPY for best NHL player in 2003.

Scott Gomez - Centre - 1999/00-2015/16

Drafted in the first round, 27th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, Gomez debuted during the 1999/00 season. Gomez scored 756 points (181G, 575A) in 1079 games, as well as 101 points (29G, 72A) in 149 playoff games, for the New Jersey Devils (1999/00-2006/07, 2014/15), New York Rangers (2007/08-2008/09), Montreal Canadiens (2009/10-2011/12), San Jose Sharks (2012/13), Florida Panthers (2013/14), St. Louis Blues (part of 2015/16), and Ottawa Senators (part of 2015/16).

Gomez won the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2000. He earned All-Rookie honours in 2000 and played in two All-Star Games, representing New Jersey in 2000 and the Rangers in 2008.

While Gomez is well-known nowadays for his mostly atrocious performances in the 2010s, once upon a time Gomez was one of the major stars of the 2000s. He won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year and earned All-Rookie honours in 2000, reaching 70 points, the first of six 60-point seasons. He centered the EGG line alongside Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta during the late 2000s until he left the Devils. Gomez would also play in two All-Star Games, in 2000 with New Jersey and in 2008 with the Rangers. Gomez of course won two Stanley Cups, in 2000 and 2003 with the Devils. While his production did dry up in the 2010s, it is worth noting he did recapture some of his offensive form when he returned to New Jersey in 2014.

Sergei Gonchar - Defence - 1994/95-2014/15

Drafted in the first round, 14th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, Gonchar debuted during the 1994/95 season. Gonchar scored 811 points (220G, 591A) in 1301 games, as well as 90 points (22G, 68A) in 141 playoff games, playing for the Washington Capitals (1994/95-partway through 2003/04), Boston Bruins (part of 2003/04), Pittsburgh Penguins (2005/06-2009/10), Ottawa Senators (2010/11-2012/13), Dallas Stars (2013/14-partway through 2014/15), and Montreal Canadiens (part of 2014/15).

Gonchar won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 2002 and 2003, and played in four All-Star Games, representing Washington in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and Pittsburgh in 2008. Internationally, he represented Russia, winning Bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2007 World Championships and Silver at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and the 2010 World Championships.

Establishing himself as a solid point producer as early as the 1995/96 season, Gonchar was also one of the better goal-scoring defencemen in the league at his peak, leading all blueliners in goals in 2002 and 2003, even coming close to the 30-goal mark in 2002. He also led all defencemen in points in 2002 and 2004 and assists in 2004 and 2007. He scored at least 50 points every season during the 2000s, save for an injury-shortened 2008/09 season. Though it didn’t get him any Norris Trophies, he did earn second team All-Star honours twice along with four All-Star appearances. Most importantly, Gonchar won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with Pittsburgh. Gonchar also was a frequent representative of Russia in international play, scoring seven points in eight games at the 1996 and 2004 World Cups of Hockey, and scoring five points in 24 games between the 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010 Olympics, winning Silver in 1998 and Bronze in 2002. His lack of individual awards hurts his case, but he was one of the top scoring defencemen in the league for a good chunk of his career and a key piece of a championship team.

Butch Goring - Centre - 1969/70-1984/85

Drafted in the fifth round, 51st overall, in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Goring debuted during the 1969/70 season. Goring scored 888 points (375G, 513A) in 1107 games, as well as 88 points (38G, 50A) in 134 playoff games, for the Los Angeles Kings (1969/70-partway through 1979/80), New York Islanders (partway through 1979/80-partway through 1984/85), and Boston Bruins (part of 1984/85).

Goring won the Stanley Cup in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983 with the New York Islanders. He won both the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league’s most sportsmanlike player and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey in 1978 and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 1981. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Los Angeles in 1980. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1981 Canada Cup.

Honestly, it is pretty surprising Goring isn’t in the Hall. Sure, he wasn’t a year-in-year-out elite point producer, but his numbers certainly aren’t anything to scoff at, as he did eclipse 30 goals for four seasons straight, and was an eight-time 60-point scorer. Remember that most of his career was spent as the no.2 centre, as he spent the latter half of his tenure in Los Angeles playing behind Marcel Dionne, and then his entire stint with the Islanders behind Bryan Trottier. With an excellent track record of playoff scoring once he joined the Isles and the hardware he did pick up, he sure looks like there’s room in the Hall for him.

Danny Grant - Left Wing - 1965/66, 1967/68-1978/79

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, Grant debuted during the 1965/66 season. Grant scored 535 points (263G, 272A) in 736 games, as well as 24 points (10G, 14A) in 43 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1965/66, 1967/68), Minnesota North Stars (1968/69-1973/74), Detroit Red Wings (1974/75-partway through 1977/78), and Los Angeles Kings (partway through 1977/78-1978/79).

Grant won the Stanley Cup in 1968 with the Montreal Canadiens. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1969. He played in three All-Star Games, representing Minnesota in 1979, 1980, and 1981.

I think Grant does have an underrated case to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. While he did only reach 50 goals once, he does also have three 30-goal seasons under his belt. His was a career of extremes of some sort. From 1968/69 through 1974/75 he played full seasons and was a major scoring star, and in the years before and after that stretch, he played only parts of those seasons, the closest he came after 1975 to a full season was 54 games in 1977/78. The brevity of his best years may keep him out of the Hall, but he was a potent scorer at his peak, has some major hardware, and while not exactly an authority, the piece on the CBC website reporting his passing described him as a “hockey legend.”

Adam Graves - Right Wing - 1987/88-2002/03

Drafted in the second round, 22nd overall, in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, Graves debuted during the 1987/88 season. Graves scored 616 points (329G, 287A) in 1152 games, as well as 65 points (38G, 27A) in 125 playoff games, for the Detroit Red Wings (1987/88-partway through 1989/90), Edmonton Oilers (partway through 1989/90-1990/91), New York Rangers (1991/92-2000/01), and San Jose Sharks (2001/02-2002/03).

Graves won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with the Edmonton Oilers and in 1994 with the New York Rangers. He won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his leadership and humanitarian contributions in 1994 and the Bill Masteron Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey in 2001. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1994, and played in one All-Star Game, representing the Rangers in 1994. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and winning Gold at the 1988 World Juniors.

When looking at Graves’ case for the Hall, it does appear to be a pretty weak one. Looking at a player remembered as a star, it is shocking to see that he never had more than 79 points in a season, and that the 52 goals he scored that season was an outlier in his career. As a matter of fact, the 52-goal season was one of only four times he cracked 30, and the 79-pointer one of only three topping 60 points. In terms of hardware, his awards amount to the least needle-budging in the NHL’s entire repertoire. The question then becomes whether what he achieved at his peak is enough. At his peak, he was a 50-goal scorer and won two Stanley Cups. It’s not ironclad, but being a multiple-Cup winning 50-goal scorer does help anyone’s case. He is also one of many not in the Hall to have won a Stanley Cup as an Oiler during their dynasty years and play in an All-Star Game/produce an All-Star Game-calibre season. Some of the players on this list are more revered in the markets they played in and comparatively lost in the shuffle of players from the perspective of the markets they didn’t play for. It appears Graves is such a player for the Rangers. Also, the photo of him at the top of his Wikipedia page looks destined to become a reaction image meme at some point.

Ron Greschner - Defence - 1974/75-1989/90

Drafted in the second round, 32nd overall, in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Rangers, Greschner debuted during the 1974/75 season. Greschner scored 610 points (179G, 431A) in 981 games, as well as 49 points (17G, 32A) in 84 playoff games, for the New York Rangers (1974/75-1989/90).

Greschner played in one All-Star Game, representing the Rangers in 1980.

Greschner’s spot on this list is largely as a result of his consistently strong offensive production during his best years. At his peak, he was on the threshold of the second and third tiers of offensive production by defencemen. He was a 50-point plus scorer each year from 1978 through 1981 as well as in 1984, including two 60-point seasons and a 70-point campaign, and had many more 40-point seasons, the last of which he got in 60 games, good for 53 points in a contemporary 80-game schedule. He also topped 20 goals four times. While he didn’t have much longevity, playing only until age 35 before retiring after 16 seasons, his production is good for 10th among defencemen during his career. The rest of the top-ten in that category are also in the Hall, with the exception of Reed Larson, who I also have on this list for what it’s worth.

Bill Guerin - Right Wing - 1991/92-2009/10

Drafted in the first round, fifth overall, in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, Guerin debuted during the 1991/92 season. Guerin scored 856 points (429G, 427A) in 1263 games, as well as 73 points (39G, 34A) in 133 playoff games, for the New Jersey Devils (1991/92-partway through 1997/98), Edmonton Oilers (partway through 1997/98-partway through 2000/01), Boston Bruins (partway through 2000/01-2001/02), Dallas Stars (2002/03-2005/06), St. Louis Blues (part of 2006/07), San Jose Sharks (part of 2006/07), New York Islanders (2007/08-partway through 2008/09), and Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 2008/09-2009/10).

Guerin won the Stanley Cup in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 2002, and played in four All-Star Games, representing Boston in 2001, Dallas in 2003 and 2004, and St. Louis in 2007. Internationally, Guerin represented the United States. winning Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Guerin may have only reached the 80 point mark, and the 70-point mark for that matter, once, in 2001, but Guerin was a very productive power forward throughout his career, reaching at least 30 goals in a season five times, including two seasons reaching 40, and scored at least 60 points four times. From his first full NHL season in 1992/93 through the end of his career in 2009/10, he reached at least 20 goals 13 times, with the exceptions of a his rookie season in 1992/93, lockout-shortened 1994/95 season, and lower scoring 1997/98 and 2005/06 seasons. In that time, he also reached at least 40 points 14 times, excepting his 1992/93 rookie season, lockout-shortened 1994/95 season, and a lower-scoring 1997/98 season. He was a consistently productive player who won one Cup as a young gun, and one as a veteran reinforcement. He also captained the Islanders during his stint there from 2007 to 2009, and was the first player of Hispanic descent to play in the NHL.

Alexei Gusarov - Defence - 1990/91-2000/01

Drafted in the 11th round, 213th overall, in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Gusarov debuted during the 1990/91 season. Gusarov scored 167 points (39G, 128A) in 607 games, as well as 14 points (0G, 14A) in 68 playoff games, for the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche (1990/91-partway through 2000/01), New York Rangers (part of 2000/01), and St. Louis Blues (part of 2000/01).

Gusarov won the Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche. Internationally, he represented the Soviet Union and then Russia, winning Bronze at the 1985 and 1991 World Championships; Silver at the 1987 World Championships and the 1998 Nagano Olympics; placing second at the 1987 Canada Cup; and Gold at the 1984 World Juniors, 1986 World Championships, 1988 Calgary Olympics, 1989 World Championships, and 1990 World Championships.

Gusarov’s numbers don’t jump out at the reader I’ll admit. He only got to 30 points once in his career, never getting more and only reaching 20 points three other times, but Gusarov is on this list in part due to his international achievements as well. As listed above, he has nine medals between the World Juniors, World Championships, and Olympics, one of the players to have played in the Olympics both before and during the NHL’s 16-year Olympic period. Also worth noting is that, with Golds at both the Worlds and the Olympics prior to the beginning of his NHL career, his Cup win with Colorado made him a part of the Triple Gold Club, all of whose eligible members are on the list. Among Triple Gold members, his low scoring numbers and his lone Cup - the Avs traded him during their second Cup season and he retired soon after - his case is among the weaker ones.

Vic Hadfield - Left Wing - 1961/62-1976/77

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks, Hadfield debuted during the 1961/62 season. Hadfield scored 712 points (323G, 389A) in 1004 games, as well as 48 points (27G, 21A) in 74 playoff games, for the New York Rangers (1961/62-1973/74), and Pittsburgh Penguins (1974/75-1976/77).

Hadfield earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1972, and he played in two All-Star Games, representing the Rangers in 1965 and 1972. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning the 1972 Summit Series.

A recurring theme on these lists is that one criterion for being “famous” in the NHL is the situation a player played in. One such situation can be the line a player played for. This is especially if a player played on a line that garnered itself a unique name. During the late 60s and early 70s, Hadfield played left wing on a line with Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, the latter two being longtime Hall of Fame inductees. Many famous lines throughout league history seem to have one player fitting one of each of the passer who is usually a centre, sharpshooter, and designated muscle archetypes. Hadfield, who first joined the Rangers an enforcer, fitting the latter role. He proved to have scoring chops, scoring 20 goals in 1968 and then 66 points in 1969 as he morphed into a formidable scorer. His 1971/72 season saw him hit the 50-goal mark, something neither Ratelle nor Gilbert accomplished. As a matter of fact, his 106 points in 1972 are the second most points in a season by a member of that line with the exception of Ratelle’s 109 points that same season. Of course, the main reason those two are in the Hall and Hadfield hasn’t gotten the call is that Hadfield’s seasons, though solid, are more ordinary aside from 1972, while Ratelle and Gilbert were much more consistent at producing high-scoring seasons. Still, Hadfield has some accomplishments of his own and is the remaining member of his line not in the Hall.

Ted Harris - Defence - 1963/64-1974/75

Traded by the Springfield AHL team to the Montreal Canadiens in 1963, Harris debuted during the 1963/64 season. Harris scored 198 points (30G, 168A) in 788 games, as well as 23 points (1G, 22A) in 100 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1963/64-1969/70), Minnesota North Stars (1970/71-partway through 1973/74), Detroit Red Wings (part of 1973/74), St. Louis Blues (part of 1973/74), and Philadelphia Flyers (1974/75).

Harris won the Stanley Cup in 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969 with the Montreal Canadiens and in 1975 with the Philadelphia Flyers. Harris earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1969 and played in five All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1965, 1967, and 1969, and Minnesota in 1971 and 1972.

Previous eras of NHL hockey, especially those that predate Bobby Orr, have a much larger number of defencemen who were considered stars in their day while playing less offensively productive, defensive styles of hockey. Harris is another such player, with a whopping one 30-point season along with three more 20-point seasons. It was a different time and it was more effective. I’d say that, with five All-Star appearances and five championships, he is deserving of consideration among the more vintage names.

Craig Hartsburg - Defence - 1979/80-1988/89

Drafted in the first round, sixth overall, in the 1979 NHL Entry Drafte by the Minnesota North Stars, Hartsburg debuted during the 1979/80 season. Hartsburg scored 413 points (98G, 315A) in 570 games, as well as 42 points (15G, 27A) in 61 playoff games, for the Minnesota North Stars (1979/80-1989/90).

Hartsburg played in three All-Star Games, representing Minnesota in 1980, 1982, and 1983. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Bronze at the 1978 World Juniors and the 1982 and 1983 World Championships; placing second at the 1981 Canada Cup, winning the 1987 Canada Cup.

Hartsburg was a productive defenceman during the 80s, probably in that third tier. His main strengths as a Hall candidate are the fact that he spent the bulk of his career as captain of his team, the North Stars. Hartsburg topped the 50-point mark, including a 60- and a 70-point season, along with two other 40-point seasons, and had double-digit goals in six of his seasons. He did miss the bulk of his remaining four seasons with injuries, but scored at 80-game paces of 43, 45, 56, and 48 points, respectively. And he did play in a Stanley Cup Final for what it’s worth. Ultimately, his peak years probably won’t be enough to get him into the Hall with how cut short his overall career was.