Stephane Richer - Left Wing - 1984/85-1999/00, 2001/02
Drafted in the second round, 29th overall, in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, Richer debuted during the 1984/85 season. Richer scored 819 points (421G, 398A) in 1054 games, as well as 98 points (53G, 45A) in 134 playoff games, playing for the Montreal Canadiens (1984/85-1990/91, 1996/97-partway through 1997/98), New Jersey Devils (1991/92-1995/96, part of 2001/02), Tampa Bay Lightning (partway through 1997/98-partway through 1999/00), St. Louis Blues (part of 1999/00), and Pittsburgh Penguins (part of 2001/02).
Richer won the Stanley Cup in 1986 with the Montreal Canadiens and in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Montreal in 1990. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Gold at the 1985 World Juniors.
To date, there has only been one player since Guy Lafleur to score 50 goals in a season for the Montreal Canadiens. That player is Stephane Richer. As a matter of fact, with his 50 goal season in 1988, he became the youngest player in franchise history to score 50 in a season, and with his 51 goals in 1991, he became the only player besides Lafleur to have more than 50-goal season with the Habs. I checked the all-time stats, and wouldn’t know it? It’s true! The only other Habs to reach 50 goals; Maurice Richard, Bernie Geoffrion, Steve Shutt, and Pierre Larouche; only reached the mark in 1945, 1961, 1977, and 1980, respectively. Aside from his two 50-goal seasons with Montreal, Richer reached the 20-goal mark four times. In two of those, 1986 and 1988, he scored at 28- and 29-goal paces, respectively, and had 31 goals in 1991. With the Devils, he scored 29 goals and 64 points in 74 games, a 32-goal 69-point pace, in 1991/92, followed by seasons of 38 goals and 73 points, then 36 goals and 72 points. He scored 23 goals and 39 points in 45 games during the lockout-shortened season, a 42-goal and 71-point pace as he helped lead the Devils to a Stanley Cup. While Claude Lemieux won the Conn Smythe Trophy, it was Richer’s 21 points that led the team during the playoffs. His 22 goals and 46 points in 63 games, a 29-goal and 60-point pace, in 1996/97 were the last time he scored at a pace like that, never again reaching 20 goals or 40 points after that point, though his overall production was enough to top a very respectable 800 points. His two 50-goal campaigns and two Stanley Cups work more in his favour thanks to how impactful he was for his teams during his peak years.
Mike Richter - Goaltender - 1988/89-2002/03
Drafted in the second round 28th overall, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Richter debuted during the 1988/89 season. Richter posted a 301-258-73 record, 0.904 Save%, 2.89 GAA, and 24 shutouts in 666 games, as well as a 41-33 record, 0.909 Save%, 2.68 GAA, and nine shutouts in 76 playoff games, for the New York Rangers (1988/89-2002/03).
Richter won the Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers. Richter played in three All-Star Games, representing the Rangers in 1992, 1994, and 2000. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Bronze at 1986 World Juniors, Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
It must be the best and worst feeling when you are one of two legitimate number one calibre goaltenders for a Stanley Cup-contending team and they decide, with an expansion draft coming up, to keep you around and let the other go. Best because it’s an incredible vote of confidence to be the chosen one out of two star netminders, the least populous position for any hockey club, along with being saved from having to prop Team Table Scraps or Team Leftovers. And it’s the worst, because imagine the pressure that comes with that? That’s the situation Richter found himself in when the Rangers, forced to decide whether to protect him or the slightly older, but more experienced and decorated, John Vanbiesbrouck in the 1993 Expansion Draft. Luckily for both Richter and the Rangers, Richter more than delivered by backstopping them to their first Stanley Cup in 53 seasons. He would also backstop New York to the Eastern Semifinals in both 1995 and 1996, and the Eastern Final in 1997, but that would be the last time the Rangers made the playoffs for a while. Richter played for them until 2003, his only time being out of the organization being when he was claimed in the expansion draft by Nashville in 1998 and traded to Edmonton in 2002, both times being with the intention of the Rangers re-signing him in an arranged deal with those other teams to reap the compensatory draft picks the NHL tended to hand out like candy during that period. He retired after suffering several major injuries during the 2002/03 season, his legacy assured whether he gets into the Hall or not.
Rene Robert - Right Wing - 1970/71-1981/82
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1968 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Robert debuted during the 1970/71 season. Robert scored 702 points (284G, 418A) in 744 games, as well as 41 points (22G, 19A) in 50 playoff games, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1970/71, partway through 1980/81-1981/82), Pittsburgh Penguins (part of 1971/72), Buffalo Sabres (partway through 1971/72-1978/79), and Colorado Rockies (1979/80-partway through 1980/81).
Robert earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1975 and played in two All-Star Games, representing Buffalo in 1973 and 1975.
Some of the players whose names you will find on this list are here at least in part thanks to their association with one of the iconic forward lines or defence pairings to have been formed throughout the league’s history. One of those lines was the French Connection. The line’s centre Gilbert Perreault is in the Hall of Fame, and both Rick Martin, the line’s goal-scoring sharpshooter, and Danny Gare, a star scorer in his own right who lined up with the two on the power play, are on this list. Robert started his career off the slowest of the three members of the line, going scoreless in five games in Toronto and then scoring 27 points in 71 games between Pittsburgh and Buffalo in 1971/72, but he broke out the following year with 40 goals and 83 points. He would reach 40 goals once more, along with an additional two 30-goal seasons and an additional four 20-goal seasons, and would reach 80 points twice more, one of those times being 100-point season, along with an additional two 70-point campaigns and three 60-point seasons besides that. Robert was the first member of the French Connection to leave, being traded to Colorado for the 1979/80 season and having the last of those 20+goal 60+point seasons. He was named team captain but would be traded the following back to Toronto, before retiring at age 33 due to declining offensive production. None of the three members of the French Connection won Stanley Cups, but both of the members of the line who haven’t been inducted deserve to be in my opinion.
Gary Roberts - Left Wing - 1986/87-1995/96, 1997/98-2008/09
Drafted in the first round, 12th overall, in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Roberts debuted during the 1986/87 season. Roberts scored 910 points (438G, 472A) in 1224 games, as well as 93 points (32G, 61A) in 130 playoff games, playing for the Calgary Flames (1986/87-1995/96), Carolina Hurricanes (1997/98-1999/00), Toronto Maple Leafs (2000/01-2003/04), Florida Panthers (2005/06-partway through 2006/07), Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 2006/07-2007/08), and Tampa Bay Lightning (2008/09).
Roberts won the Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames. He won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey, in 1996. He played in three All-Star Games, representing Calgary in 1992 and 1993, and Toronto in 2004. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1986 World Juniors.
Roberts’ career is neatly divided into two halves. For the first half of his career, Roberts was a star power winger, for the second half of his career, he was an all-around complementary forward and veteran winger. After seasons of 15 points in 32 games, 28 points, and 38 points, Roberts broke out in 1989/90 with 39 goals and 78 points in 76 games. After scoring only 53 points in 80 games in 1990/91, he had his three best seasons from 1991/92 to 1993/94. He had 53 goals and 90 points in 76 games in 1991/92, a 56-goal and 95-point pace. He scored 38 goals and 79 points in 58 games, a 55-goal and 114-point pace, in 1992/93. And in 1993/94, he scored 41 goals and 84 points in 73 games, a 47-goal and 97-point pace. Even though he missed almost all of 1994/95 and most of 1995/96 as well, he still had 24 goals and 44 points across 43 games during those two seasons, winning the Bill Masterton Trophy for pushing through neck injuries to make those accomplishments. He missed the playoffs in both seasons and opted to retire. Able to recover from his injuries however, he was able to return for the 1997/98 season and play another 11 seasons. He had 48 points in 61 games for Carolina in their first year after relocating and would also produce 53 points in 69 games, a 63-point pace, in 1999/00. He would go on to spend four years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, reaching 53 points in one season and 48 twice, and leading the Leafs to the 2002 Eastern Conference Final in the absence of Mats Sundin, ironically losing to Carolina after having joined the Leafs because he thought they were closer to a Cup. He scored at a fast enough pace to reach or exceed 50 points in both of his post-lockout seasons as he joined Florida and was traded to Pittsburgh, but injuries kept him from reaching that mark. He just missed out on a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh as they fell to Detroit in the 2008 playoffs, and played briefly for Tampa Bay as well. Aging past age 42, which nobody could have expected him to do back in 1996, and with injuries mounting, Roberts hung up his skates for good in 2009. A fitness freak, Roberts has gained notoriety across the hockey world in his post-playing career for running a summer training camp that attracts hockey players of all skill levels from the NHL and from other leagues. With a Stanley Cup on his resume and three All-Star Games, a wide variety of roles in his career, some excellent seasons, a part in the success of a number of different teams, and one of the best comeback stories in the past 30 years, Roberts deserves a spot in the Hall.
Jeremy Roenick - Centre - 1988/89-2008/09
Drafted in the first round, eighth overall, in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Roenick debuted during the 1988/89 season. Roenick scored 1216 points (513G, 703A) in 1363 games, as well as 122 points (53G, 69A) in 154 playoff games, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks (1988/89-1995/96), Phoenix Coyotes (1996/97-2000/01, 2006/07), Philadelphia Flyers (2001/02-2003/04), Los Angeles Kings (2005/06), and San Jose Sharks (2007/08-2008/09).
Roenick played in nine All-Star Games, representing Chicago in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994, Phoenix in 1999 and 2000, and Philadelphia in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Second Place at the 1991 Canada Cup and Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
Now seems as good a time as any to reiterate that a player’s inclusion on this list is based purely on their career as a player. Some players have said or done bad things that I do not condone, such as the inappropriate comments made in 2020 by Roenick about fellow NBC Sports personality Kathryn Tappen. He is also a Trump supporter. Your mileage may vary on whether these things ought to disqualify a player entirely from being inducted in the Hall. The argument for Roenick being inducted is that, while he never won a Stanley Cup or a major award, he was one of the most dominant offensive players in the 90s, with his run in Chicago being particularly memorable, en route to eclipsing the 1200-point plateau. He scored 18 points in 20 NHL games across his first NHL season before scoring 66 points as a rookie. From there he had seasons of 41 goals and 94 points, 53 goals and 103 points, 50 goals and 107 points, and 46 goals and 107 points. Even though he missed parts of the following seasons, he still scored 34 points in 33 games in 1995 and 67 points in 66 games in 1996. His production dropped following his blockbuster trade to Phoenix, but he, along with 50-goal-scoring captain Keith Tkachuk, future Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner, and the breakout goalie star of 1996 Nikolai Khabibulin helped bring early credibility to the Coyotes in their initial seasons. Of his five seasons in Phoenix, he reached 60 points or more four times, including three 70+point seasons as the Dead Puck Era settled in. He had a few more solid seasons in Philadelphia, totalling 173 points across 216 games for the Flyers. He retired in 2009 after a series of forgettable late-career seasons in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Jose. If we’re talking about his on-ice career alone, his potent offensive production throughout his career and where his point totals ended up definitely make him deserving of the Hall despite not winning a Cup or any awards.
Mike Rogers - Centre - 1979/80-1985/86
Drafted in the fifth round, 77th overall, in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, Rogers debuted during the 1979/80 season. In the WHA, Rogers scored 367 points (145G, 222A) in 396 games, as well as 34 points (13G, 21A) in 46 playoff games, for the Edmonton Oilers (1974/75-partway through 1975/76) and the New England Whalers (partway through 1975/76-1978/79). In the NHL, Rogers scored 519 points (202G, 317A) in 484 games, as well as 14 points (1G, 13A) in 17 playoff games, for the Hartford Whalers (1979/80-1980/81), New York Rangers (1981/82-partway through 1985/86), and Edmonton Oilers (part of 1985/86).
In the NHL, Rogers played in one All-Star Game, representing Hartford in 1981. In the WHA, he won the Paul Deneau Trophy, as the league’s most gentlemanly player, in 1975. He played in two All-Star Games, representing New England in 1977 and 1978.
Among the players on this list, Rogers’ NHL career was fairly short, but what a notable short career it was. He broke out with back-to-back seasons cracking 40 goals and 100 points for the Whalers to being his NHL career and also cracked 30 goals and 100 points in his first season with the Rangers. Hitting the 70-point mark again the following season and the 60 mark the two seasons after cemented his point total. Although he only had five points in 17 games between New York and Edmonton during his last season, and although he probably wouldn’t have his name on the Cup even if that hadn’t been the year of Steve Smith’s own-goal (he played more for the farm team than for Edmonton itself after being acquired and never played a single playoff game for the Oilers), he still wound up with 519 points in 484 games, and his 1.07 points-per-game is good for 35th all-time among NHL players with at least 240 games played (roughly three post-expansion seasons worth of games).
Al Rollins - Goaltender - 1949/50-1956/57, 1959/60
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1950 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rollins debuted during the 1949/50 season. Rollins posted a 141-205-83 record, 2.78 GAA, and 28 shutouts in 430 games, as well as a 6-7 record, 2.38 GAA, and zero shutouts in 13 playoff games, for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1949/50-1951/52), Chicago Blackhawks (1952/53-1956/57), and New York Rangers (1959/60).
Rollins won the Stanley Cup in 1951 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 1951 and the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP in 1954. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Chicago in 1954.
In the history of the NHL, there are three players to have won the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP who are not inducted into the Hall. To some extent, it is understandable why those players are not. In the case of Rollins, it is particularly understandable, and at the same time incomprehensible, that he isn’t in. On the one hand, Rollins had a 12-47-7 record, a 3.23 GAA, and five shutouts in 66 games with the Blackhawks the year he won the Hart. That may very well be the worst season by a Hart winner ever, and with statistical information for goalies in particular being extremely primitive at the time, the available stats painting a picture of a fairly incompetent netminder, the only conclusion I can make is that the Rollins was the only thing stopping that edition of the Blackhawks from bottoming out even harder than they did that year. On the other hand, that Hart isn’t Rollins’ only achievement in the NHL. Only a few years prior, he won the Vezina Trophy. From 1946 through 1982, best goaltender was essentially the goalie who played the most games for the team with the fewest goals against, with the criteria being amended in the mid-60s to include any goaltender who played at least 25 games for the team with the fewest goals against, aka the William M. Jennings Trophy. He won the Vezina under that earlier criteria and led the Leafs to a championship in 1951, so it’s clear he wasn’t nearly as bad as his season in Chicago would suggest, which lends credence to the notion that the Blackhawks dragged him down rather than vice versa.
Skene Ronan - Centre - 1918/19
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Ottawa Senators, Ronan debuted during the 1918/19 season. In the NHA, he scored 120 points (104G, 16A) in 108 games for the Haileybury Comets (1909/10), Renfrew Creamery Kings (1910/11), Ottawa Senators (1911/12-1913/14), Toronto Shamrocks (1914/15), Toronto Blueshirts (part of 1915/16), and Montreal Canadiens (part of 1915/16). In the NHL, he scored zero points (0G, 0A0) in 11 games for the Ottawa Senators.
Ronan won the Stanley Cup in 1916 with the Montreal Canadiens. He was the NHA goal- and point-scoring leader in 1912.
If this player only played 11 games in the NHL and failed to score so much as a single assist, then why is he here? I noticed that between the actual Hall of Fame, and the players I included in this project, Ronan was the only one to have led either the NHL, or its direct forerunner the National Hockey Association, in goals and points who wasn’t accounted for. In the seven seasons the NHA played, seven players finished as the goal- and point-scoring winner: Newsy Lalonde, Marty Walsh, Joe Malone, Tommy Smith, and Frank Nighbor, Hall-of-Famers all of them. Ronan is the odd one out among the bunch, and while it sort of makes sense between the brevity of his NHA/NHL-level career and his lack of direct impact on the NHL itself, it still felt wrong excluding his name here. In a bit of trivia, during the NHA days, the Montreal Canadiens were only allowed to have one Anglophone player in the lineup at a time, while their neighbours the Wanderers were the predominantly Anglophone team. Ronan was the second English speaker added into the Canadiens lineup during a January 20 game against the Bulldogs, which resulted in a complaint being filed, the Canadiens being fined $100 and forfeiting a point in the standings, and the end of language restrictions, perhaps the first step in the Canadiens’ long march toward not being the team with all the French-speakers. He sat out the 1916/17 NHA season and the 1917/18 NHL season serving in the Canadian military in the later years of the First World War, resulting in him attempting to resume his pro career in 1918 at age 29. He originally rejoined the Canadiens, but the Senators traded Harry Hyland, also a Hall-of-Famer, to Montreal to get back their one-time star. It wound up being quite the ineffectual trade. Hyland retired from play and went back to Ottawa again as a coach, and as mentioned before, Ronan only played 11 games in the NHL, scoring zero points before ending his career. Ronan also played for the NHA All-Stars in exhibition series during the 1911/12 and 1912/13 seasons.
Bobby Rousseau - Right Wing - 1960/61-1974/75
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1960 by the Montreal Canadiens, Rousseau debuted during the 1960/61 season. Rousseau scored 703 points (245G, 458A) in 942 games, as well as 84 points (27G, 57A) in 128 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1960/61-1969/70), Minnesota North Stars (1970/71), and New York Rangers (1970/71-1973/74).
Rousseau won the Stanley Cup in 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in 1962. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1966 and played in three All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1965, 1967, and 1969. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics.
The list of options for former Canadiens to be inducted into the Hall of Fame grows thin, but I think Rousseau has a case. At his peak, he was a reliable 60-70 point scorer and had a few 30-goal seasons, in an era before players scoring significantly more became commonplace. With four Stanley Cups and a Calder Trophy would get several players into the Hall, but would they get more of a lesser-known two-way type in?
Reijo Ruotsalainen - Defence - 1981/82-1985/86, 1986/87, 1989/90
Drafted in the sixth round, 119th overall, in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Ruotsalainen debuted during the 1981/82 season. Ruotsalainen scored 344 points (107G, 237A) in 446 games, as well as 47 points (14G, 29A) in 43 playoff games, playing for the New York Rangers (1981/82-1985/86), Edmonton Oilers (1986/87, part of 1989/90), and New Jersey Devils (part of 1989/90).
Ruotsalainen won the Stanley Cup in 1987 and 1990 with the Edmonton Oilers. He played in one All-Star Game, representing the Rangers in 1986. Internationally, he represented Finland, winning Silver at the 1980 World Juniors and the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Ruotsalainen’s brief NHL career splits into chapters, his five seasons in New York, and his smattering of games separated by years later in his career. During his time in New York, he had three seasons topping 50 points, as well as one season each topping 60 and 70. During that time, he is seventh in scoring by defencemen, behind Hall-of-Famers Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque, Doug Wilson, and Denis Potvin, as well as Reed Larson and Dave Babych, who are also on this list. In 1986, he left to play in Switzerland, made a couple of comebacks, and it is with these comebacks that he makes his case for induction here. He had been traded to Edmonton that summer prior, but his contract expired and he left to play in Europe, but he came back late in the season to help the Oilers win their third Stanley Cup, scoring 13 points in 16 games in the process. He was claimed prior to the following season by New Jersey, apparently leading to him returning again to Europe, and he didn’t return until 1989/90. After scoring only seven points in 31 games for the Devils, he was traded late in the season back to Edmonton, scored eight points in 10 games, and helped them win a fifth Cup. He left to play in various European leagues, retiring in 1998 having not played another NHL game, but with his prolific production early in his career and not once but twice being the late-season ace-in-the-hole aiding two Stanley Cup wins, he deserves consideration.
Mikael Samuelsson - Right Wing - 2000/01-2013/14
Drafted in the fifth round, 145th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, Samuelsson debuted during the 2000/01 season. Samuelsson scored 346 points (149G, 197A) in 699 games, as well as 60 points (23G, 37A) in 104 playoff games, for the San Jose Sharks (2000/01), New York Rangers (2001/02-partway through 2002/03), Pittsburgh Penguins (part of 2002/03), Florida Panthers (2003/04, part of 2011/12), Detroit Red Wings (2005/06-2008/09, 2012/13-2013/14), and Vancouver Canucks (2009/10-partway through 2011/12).
Samuelsson won the Stanley Cup in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings. He represented Hartford on the NHL All-Stars in the Rendez-vous ‘87. Internationally, he represented Sweden, winning Gold at the 2006 World Championships and the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Samuelsson’s numbers don’t jump out as Hall-of-Fame numbers. Indeed he only cracked the 50-point twice, scoring 53 and 50 in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and only reaching the 20-goal mark twice, scoring 23 and 30 in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Even with him having also helped the 2011 Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in addition to his 2008 championship, it’s not a great NHL resume. After 2011/12, he played only 30 out of a possible 130 games and quietly retired from the NHL. However, his case is improved as a member of the Triple Gold Club, having won both the Worlds and Olympic Gold in 2006 prior to his Stanley Cup win with a 2008 Red Wings stacked with Swedes. Your mileage may vary on whether that’s enough.
Ulf Samuelsson - Defence - 1984/85-1999/00
Drafted in the fourth round, 67th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the Hartford Whalers, Samuelsson debuted during the 1984/85 season. Samuelsson scored 332 points (57G, 275A) in 1080 games, as well as 34 points (7G, 27A) in 132 playoff games, for the Hartford Whalers (1984/85-partway through 1990/91), Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 1990/91-1994/95), New York Rangers (1995/96-partway through 1998/99), Detroit Red Wings (part of 1998/99), and Philadelphia Flyers (1999/00).
Samuelsson won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Internationally, he represented Sweden, winning Silver at the 1990 World Championships.
Samuelsson doesn’t have a great reputation among hockey fans these days. He was renowned during his playing career as a violent player who regularly tried to injure others. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that when most people hear the name Ulf Samuelsson, if their first thought isn’t “who?” it’s “the guy who ended Cam Neely’s career.” That isn’t unwarranted, but Samuelsson had a solid career in the NHL, helping Pittsburgh to two Stanley Cups as soon as he got to Pittsburgh. He was more of a defensive defenceman, obviously, but had some offensive success especially earlier in his career, finishing with 33, 41, and 35 points in the 1987, 1988, and 1989, respectively. For a defensive defenceman, maybe he’s earned consideration.
Tomas Sandstrom - Right Wing - 1984/85-1998/99
Drafted in the second round, 36th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Sandstrom debuted during the 1984/85 season. Sandstrom scored 857 points (394G, 463A) in 983 games, as well as 81 points (32G, 49A) in 139 playoff games, playing for the New York Rangers (1984/85-partway through 1989/90), Los Angeles Kings (partway through 1989/90-partway through 1993/94), Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 1993/94-partway through 1996/97), Detroit Red Wings (part of 1996/97), and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1997/98-1998/99).
Sandstrom won the Stanley Cup in 1997 with the Detroit Red Wings. He earned All-Rookie Honours in 1985, and played in two All-Star Games, representing the Rangers in 1988 and Los Angeles in 1991, and represented the Rangers on the NHL All-Stars in the Rendez-vous ‘87. Internationally, he represented Sweden, winning Bronze at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, Second Place at the 1984 Canada Cup, and Gold at the 1987 World Championships.
Sandstrom broke out in his third NHL season, scoring 40 goals and 74 points in 64 games, a 50-goal and 93-point pace. He scored at paces for 32 goals and 79 points, 32 goals and 89 points, and 34 goals and 75 points, respectively, in the 1988, 1989, and 1990 seasons, the latter of which saw him traded to Los Angeles. Sandstrom struggled during his entire time in Los Angeles with injuries, but he scored 45 goals and 89 points in 68 games, a 53-goal and 105-point pace, in 1991, and scored 25 goals and 52 points in 39 games, a 54-goal and 112-point pace, in 1993, helping the Kings reach the Stanley Cup Final. He was traded to Pittsburgh during a weak 1993/94 season. He did bounce back with 21 goals and 44 points in 47 games, a 37-goal and 77-point pace in a full 82-game season, in the lockout-shortened 1994/95 season. The 1996 and 1997 seasons were really his swan song. He scored 35 goals and 70 points in 58 games, a 49-goal and 99-point pace, with the Pens in 1995/96, and then with his production dwindling in 1996/97, they traded him to Detroit, with whom he would win a Stanley Cup. He spent two years in Anaheim after that before retiring from the NHL. Without injuries, Sandstrom would have 1032 points in 1184 games. With a Cup, some All-Star Games under his belt, and partnerships with some great players in his career, that point total may have been enough to get him in.
Miroslav Satan - Right Wing - 1995/96-2009/10
Drafted in the fifth round, 111th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Satan debuted during the 1995/96 season. Satan scored 735 points (363G, 372A) in 1050 games, as well as 54 points (21G, 33A) in 86 playoff games, for the Edmonton Oilers (1995/96-partway through 1996/97), Buffalo Sabres (partway through 1996/97-2003/04), New York Islanders (2005/06-2007/08), Pittsburgh Penguins (2008/09), and Boston Bruins (2009/10).
Satan won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in two All-Star Games, representing Buffalo in 2000 and 2003. Internationally, he represented Slovakia, winning Bronze at the 2003 World Championships, Silver at the 2000 and 2012 World Championships, and Gold at the 2002 World Championships.
I will never not find it hilarious that there was literally a player with the name “Satan” on his jersey that didn’t play for the New Jersey Devils. Probably the only thing funnier than if he did. But it’s not just his last name that makes him stand out. Satan was a great player, one of the greatest to come out of Slovakia no doubt. Satan reached the 20-goal mark in nine different seasons, including topping 30 goals in 2000, 2002, and 2006, and 40 goals in 1999. Satan is most associated with the Sabres, having helped lead them to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final, and having his best years, and the bulk of his career, with them, and with the Islanders, with whom he spent the late 2000s, but he won the Stanley Cup in 2009 on a Penguins team stacked with elite young and veteran players alike. After signing with Boston for the latter half of the 2009/10 season, missing their Cup win by one season, Satan spent the final four years of his career in Europe before retiring. Had he played every game he was under contract for, he would have scored 776 in 1108 games, which, along with his Cup and his decent international track record, makes for an okay Hall case.
Marc Savard - Centre - 1997/98-2010/11
Drafted in the fourth round, 91st overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Savard debuted during the 1997/98 season. Savard scored 706 points (207G, 499A) in 807 games, as well as 22 points (8G, 14A) in 25 playoff games, for the New York Rangers (1997/98-1998/99), Calgary Flames (1999/00-partway through 2002/03), Atlanta Thrashers (partway through 2002/03-2005/06), and Boston Bruins (2006/07-2010/11).
Savard won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins. He played in two All-Star Games, representing Boston in 2008 and 2009.
Savard, as a player who broke out late and retired early due to injury, may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of players who retired this decade to be inducted, but Savard had a very strong career. Upon joining the Flames in 1999, he had strong seasons of 53 and 65 points, and had 50 points in 67 games in 2002/03 as he was traded to Atlanta, including 47 points in 57 games after the trade. He broke out for real in 2003/04 with 52 points in 45 games, a 95-point pace, and followed that up after the lockout with seasons of 97 points in 2005/06, and then seasons of 96, 78, and 88 points for Boston. He did decline in his final two seasons, with 33 points in 41 games, a 66-point pace, and 10 points in 25 games, a 33-point pace, while missing large parts of both seasons with the head injuries that would ultimately end his career prematurely. Having scored at a pace for 933 points in 1066 games from his first season through his last, it wouldn’t be at all out of the question to have assumed he could have a much more successful late career, both in his final existing seasons and any hypothetical later ones, were it not for injuries.
Mathieu Schneider - Defence - 1987/88, 1989/90-2009/10
Drafted in the third round, 44th overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Schneider debuted during the 1987/88 season. Schneider scored 744 points (223G, 521A) in 1289 games, as well as 54 points (11G, 43A) in 116 playoff games, playing for the Montreal Canadiens (1987/88-partway through 1994/95, part of 2008/09), New York Islanders (partway through 1994/95-partway through 1995/96), Toronto Maple Leafs (partway through 1995/96-1997/98), New York Rangers (1998/99-1999/00), Los Angeles Kings (2000/01-partway through 2002/03), Detroit Red Wings (partway through 2002/03-2006/07), Anaheim Ducks (2007/08), Atlanta Thrashers (part of 2008/09), Vancouver Canucks (part of 2009/10), and Phoenix Coyotes (part of 2009/10).
Schneider won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens. He played in two All-Star Games, representing the Islanders in 1993 and Los Angeles in 2003. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
At his peak, Schneider was quite a productive offensive defenceman. He reached the 30 point mark in 16 of his 20 NHL seasons, including nine seasons reaching 40, of which five were 50-point seasons. During his career, Schneider places eighth among defencemen in career points, behind only Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis, Ray Bourque, Rob Blake, Sergei Zubov, and Phil Housley, all Hall of Famers. He played for some teams later in his career, narrowly missing their Stanley Cup success, such as leaving the Red Wings and joining the Ducks in the summer of 2007 (yikes), but he did win a Cup in his career, in 1992/93 when he broke out with 13 goals and 44 points in 60 games, an 18-goal and 62-point pace. He did miss some time with injuries, but had he played all possible games from the beginning to the end of his career, he would have 925 points in 1608 games, sitting 11th in defensive scoring. He was a fairly prolific offensive producer during some lean scoring years, and with a Cup under his belt, deserves consideration.
Al Secord - Left Wing - 1978/79-1989/90
Drafted in the first round, 18th overall, in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the Boston Bruins, Secord debuted during the 1978/79 season. Secord scored 495 points (273G, 222A) in 766 games, as well as 55 points (21G, 34A) in 102 playoff games, for the Boston Bruins (1978/79-partway through 1980/81), Chicago Blackhawks (partway through 1980/81-1986/87, part of 1989/90), Toronto Maple Leafs (1987/88-partway through 1988/89), and Philadelphia Flyers (partway through 1988/89-partway through 1989/90).
Secord played in two All-Star Games, representing Chicago in 1982 and 1983. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1977 World Juniors.
Secord is here as a member of one of the better lines of the 1980s. During the 1980/81 season, they had already added eventual Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard and perennial Hall candidate Steve Larmer, and they acquired Secord from Boston. Secord would break out the following season in 1981/82, with 44 goals and 75 points in 80 games, along with 303 PIMs, making him the only player to reach the 40-goal and 300-PIM marks in a single season. He followed that up with 54 goals and 86 points in 80 games as he joined Savard and Larmer on a line, notably making him the only member of that line with Savard and Larmer to have scored 50 goals in a season. He was limited to eight points in 14 games during the 1983/84 season, and disappointed with 26 points in 51 games the following year, but rebounded with 40 goals and 76 points in 80 games in 1985/86. After following that up with 25 goals and 58 points in 79 games, a 30-goal and 60-point pace, he was traded to Toronto. He would never again hit 20 goals or 50 points again, would be traded to Philadelphia during 1988/89 and return to Chicago for 1989/90 before retiring. He would play a successful season in the short-lived RHI and also play two solid seasons in the AHL, but would never play an NHL game again. His case here for the Hall is as a member of an iconic line from the 80s, but him being the lowest-scoring one of the three, having not even reached 500 career points while the other two rock over 1000, and him being the only one of the three to have not won a Stanley Cup definitely hurts his case.