Darryl Sydor - Defence - 1991/92-2009/10
Drafted in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Sydor debuted during the 1991/92 season. Sydor scored 507 points (98G, 409A) in 1291 games, as well as 56 points (9G, 47A) in 155 playoff games, for the Los Angeles Kings (1991/92-partway through 1995/96), Dallas Stars (partway through 1995/96-2002/03, 2006/07, part of 2008/09), Columbus Blue Jackets (part of 2003/04), Tampa Bay Lightning (partway through 2003/04-2005/06) the Pittsburgh Penguins (2007/08-partway through 2008/09); and the St. Louis Blues (2009/10).
Sydor won the Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played in two All-Star Games, representing Dallas in 1998 and 1999. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1996 World Championships and Gold at the 1994 World Championships.
Sydor wasn’t quite as elite an offensive defenceman as other historical Stars defencemen like Sergei Zubov were, and isn’t as known for his defensive play as the likes of Derian Hatcher, but Sydor, an eight-time 30-point and four-time 40-point scorer, slots nicely in between. Sydor won’t get the notoriety of other former Stars defencemen, but he, like Zubov, managed two Stanley Cups in his career, as a member of not only Dallas’ win in 1999 against Dallas, but also a newcomer to the Lightning in time for their 2004 Cup win. Way to get on not one but two controversial Cup wins, eh Darryl? He would have gotten a third Cup to strengthen his case were it not for the Penguins’ failure to win a Cup in 2008 and decision to trade him back to Dallas very early in their Cup-winning 2009 season. His case is strengthened by his two All-Star appearances.
Petr Sykora - Right Wing - 1995/96-2009/10, 2011/12
Drafted in the first round, 18th overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, Sykora debuted during the 1995/96 season. Sykora scored 721 points (323G, 398A) in 1017 games, as well as 74 points (34G, 40A) in 133 playoff games, for the New Jersey Devils (1995/96-2001/02, 2011/12), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (2002/03-partway through 2005/06), New York Rangers (part of 2005/06), Edmonton Oilers (2006/07), Pittsburgh Penguins (2007/08-2008/09), and Minnesota Wild (2009/10).
Sykora won the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1996. Internationally, he represented the Czech Republic, winning Bronze at the 1998 World Championships and Gold at the 1999 and 2005 World Championships.
With no All-Star appearances and first-line calibre but not elite production, Sykora wouldn’t be anyone’s first pick to get into the Hall, but he’s some decent credentials. His 721 points doesn’t look amazing, though playing a full 82-game schedule in each of his 16 seasons at his rate of production would have gotten him 930 points in 1312 games, a much more impressive number. In reality, he scored 30 goals twice in his career, finishing with 35 for New Jersey in 2001, a career-high along with his 81 points that year, and 34 in 2003 with Anaheim. He also scored at a 30-goal rate in 1999. With two Stanley Cups under his belt, with New Jersey in 2000 and Pittsburgh in 2009 along with Final appearances in 2003 with Anaheim and Pittsburgh in 2008, as well as two International Golds, he ought to get some consideration.
Jean-Guy Talbot - Defence - 1954/55-1970/71
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1949 by the Montreal Canadiens, Talbot debuted during the 1954/55 season. Talbot scored 285 points (43G, 242A) in 1056 games, as well as 30 points (4G, 26A) in 150 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1954/55-1966/67), Minnesota North Stars (part of 1967/68), Detroit Red Wings (part of 1967/68), St. Louis Blues (partway through 1967/68-1969/70), and Buffalo Sabres (1970/71).
Talbot won the Stanley Cup in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, and 1966 with the Montreal Canadiens. He earned First-Team All-Star honours in 1962, and played in six All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1965, and 1967.
The Montreal Canadiens teams of the 50s through the 70s are naturally one of the franchises I looked over for non-inducted players for this list. In Talbot, we have a physical defenceman with a long list of All-Star game appearances and championships. He wasn’t known as a point producer, though he does have a 40-point season and a 30-point season under his belt. With his list of accomplishments, he is one of the more notable omissions from the Hall from his era.
Alex Tanguay - Left Winger - 1999/00-2015/16
Drafted in the first round, 12th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, Tanguay has 863 points (283G, 580A) in 1088 games, as well as 59 points (19G, 40A) in 98 playoff games, for the Colorado Avalanche (1999/00-2005/06, 2013/14-partway through 2015/16), Calgary Flames (2006/07-2007/08, 2010/11-2012/13), Montreal Canadiens (2008/09), Tampa Bay Lightning (2009/10), and Arizona Coyotes (part of 2015/16).
Tanguay won the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Colorado in 2004.
Tanguay is another player I decided because I just so happened to have all the players on the list who met certain criteria except for one or two and decided in the next round of additions to add the remaining ones. In this case, Tanguay was the only player on the list with a Stanley Cup who had 800 or more career points who I had not added to the list. Tanguay had a successful NHL career, scoring 17 goals and 51 points as a rookie in 2000 and reaching the 20 goal and 60 point marks in each of the seasons that followed with Colorado except for 2002, including 70 points or more in 2001, 2004, and 2006. While his career post Colorado doesn’t look very impressive at first glance, it’s better than it appears. He had 22 goals and 81 points for the Flames in 2007, and 58 points in 78 games in 2008. He scored 41 points in 50 games, a 67-point pace, in 2009 with Montreal, and while his season in Tampa Bay was a bit of a stinker, he rebounded with a nice 69 points in 79 games in 2011 and 49 points in 64 games, a 63-point pace, in 2012. He also had 27 points in 40 games, a 55-point full-season pace, during the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season, 11 points in 16 games, a 56-point pace, in a 2013/14 return to Colorado decimated by injuries, and a return to the 20-goal mark with 22 goals and 55 points for Colorado in 2014/15. While he struggled in 2015/16, resulting in his trade to Arizona, he finished with 13 points in 18 games for the Coyotes, a 59-point pace over a full season, to end his career on a relatively high note before retiring. Looking at Hockey-Reference.com’s similarity scores for Tanguay, he appears to compare with Hall-of-Famers and non-inductees that I put on this list. He looks to be in pretty good company.
Marc Tardif - Left Wing - 1969/70-1972/73, 1979/80-1982/83
Drafted in the first round, second overall, in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Tardif debuted during the 1969/70 season. In the NHL, Tardif scored 401 points (194G, 207A) in 517 games, as well as 28 points (13G, 15A) in 62 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1969/70-1972/73), and Quebec Nordiques (1979/80-1982/83). In the WHA, Tardif scored 666 points (316G, 350A) in 446 games, as well as 59 points (27G, 32A) in 44 playoff games, for the Los Angeles Sharks and Michigan Stags (1973/74-partway through 1974/75), and Quebec Nordiques (partway through 1974/75-1978/79).
Tardif won the Stanley Cup in 1971 and 1973 with the Montreal Canadiens. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Quebec in 1982. In the WHA, he won the AVCO World Trophy with the Quebec Nordiques in 1977. He won the Bill Hunter Trophy as the league’s leading scorer in 1976 and 1978, the Gordie Howe Award as the league’s most valuable player in 1976 and 1978, and was the WHA’s leading goal scorer in 1976 and 1978. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1975 and First-Team All-Star honours in 1976, 1977, and 1978, and played in six All-Star Games, representing Los Angeles in 1974 and Quebec in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.
I put Andre Lacroix on the list despite his unremarkable NHL career for his success as the WHA’s all-time leading point scorer. In a similar spirit, I put Marc Tardif on the list. The key difference between the two was that Tardif could be considered a legitimate NHL star. He was a part of both of the Canadiens’ early 1970s Stanley Cup wins, even hitting the 30-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career in between those two Cups. One of the more decorated players in WHA history, he spent a solid four years with Montreal’s new cross-provincial rivals in Quebec for four seasons, reaching 20 goals and 50 points four times each, 30 goals and 60 points twice each, and 70 points once. He would quickly be overshadowed in Nordiques history by the franchise’s greatest scorers like Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, and Dale Hunter in the 80s, and Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, and Owen Nolan in the 90s, but he was one of the first scoring stars the Nordiques had, and had his number retired while the Nordiques still played in Quebec.
Dave Taylor - Right Wing - 1977/78-1993/94
Drafted in the 15th round, 210th overall, in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Taylor debuted during the 1977/78 season. Taylor scored 1069 points (431G, 638A) in 1111 games, as well as 59 points (26G, 33A) in 92 playoff games, playing for the Los Angeles Kings (1977/78-1993/94).
Taylor won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey, and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contribution, in 1991. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1981 and played in four All-Star Games, representing Los Angeles in 1981, 1982, 1986, and 1994. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Bronze at the 1983 and 1986 World Championships, and Silver at the 1985 World Championships.
Taylor played alongside Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer in the 1980s on the Triple Crown Line, which predated Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille as a major offensive force for the Kings. If his seven seasons with more than 100 penalty minutes are any indication, Taylor was “the muscle” on that particular line. Taylor wasn’t quite the potent offensive player Dionne and Simmer were, but he did manage to reach 30 goals six times, including three 40-goal seasons, and reached 90 points five times, including two 100-point seasons. Taylor captained the Kings from 1985 to 1989 and was also the only member of the Triple Gold Club to play alongside Wayne Gretzky, and was also the only member to play in a Stanley Cup Final, playing in the 1993 Final. All eligible players who scored 1000 career points that aren’t already in the Hall are on this list, and Taylor is the lowest-drafted player to have reached that milestone.
Jose Theodore - Goaltender - 1995/96-2012/13
Drafted in the second round, 44th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Theodore debuted during the 1995/96 season. Theodore posted a 286-254-30-39 record, 0.909 Save%, 2.68 GAA, and 33 shutouts in 643 games, as well as a 21-30 record, 0.912 Save%, 2.79 GAA, and two shutouts in 56 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1995/96-partway through 2005/06), Colorado Avalanche (partway through 2005/06-2007/08), Washington Capitals (2008/09-2009/10), Minnesota Wild (2010/11), and Florida Panthers (2011/12-2012/13).
Theodore won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP and the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2002, and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey, in 2010. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 2002 and played in two All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 2002 and 2004. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and Gold at the 1996 World Juniors.
Every historical winner of the Hart Trophy is on this list, so that includes Theodore. After he won it and the Vezina Trophy in 2002, it seemed as though he would lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup, that he didn’t accomplish that while also never really matching that 2002 season, resulted in his reputation as something of a flameout. Even so, he did have other decent seasons, such as the 2004 season that saw him reappear in the All-Star Game, and solid 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons with Colorado, Washington, Minnesota, and Florida before his retirement. The question ends up being whether his overall career was good enough that brief peak in the early 2000s earns him Hall consideration.
Steve Thomas - Left Wing - 1984/85-2003/04
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1984 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thomas debuted during the 1984/85 season. Thomas scored 933 points (421G, 512A) in 1235 games, as well as 107 points (54G, 53A) in 174 playoff games, for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1984/85-1986/87, 1998/99-2000/01), Chicago Blackhawks (1987/88-partway through 1991/92, 2001/02-partway through 2002/03), New York Islanders (partway through 1991/92-1994/95), New Jersey Devils (1995/96-1997/98), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (part of 2002/03), and Detroit Red Wings (2003/04).
Internationally, Thomas represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1991 and 1996 World Championships, Gold at the 1994 World Championships.
Thomas is on the list as a notably productive undrafted star. Thomas had three seasons topping 30 and two reaching 40 goals, as well as eight seasons reaching 60 points, including five reaching 70 and one reaching 80. His production wasn’t consistent throughout his career, but it was enough to get him to 933 points, quite a bit more than many of the players on this list, and would have scored 1157 points had he not missed time due to injury and scored at his existing career rate. Additionally, while Thomas never won a Stanley Cup, he had several near misses. The Chicago Blackhawks traded him prior to their 1992 Final run and perhaps Thomas would have been a difference maker, especially considering what they got in return didn’t really seem to improve the team much. He helped the Islanders reach the Eastern Conference Final in 1993, toppling considerably stronger teams in Washington and Pittsburgh before getting eliminated by eventual champions Montreal. He played for New Jersey in the latter half of the 90s, but joined after their Cup run and left before their next Cup. He did play in the 2003 Cup Final, but with Anaheim rather than New Jersey. He also played for Detroit during their powerhouse years, but joined one season removed from their most recent Cup at the time, a ways off from the next one. Maybe a Stanley Cup would help his case.
Tim Thomas - Goaltender - 2002/03, 2005/06-2011/12, 2013/14
Drafted in the ninth round, 217th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Thomas debuted during the 2002/03 season. Thomas posted a 214-145-49 record, 0.920 Save%, 2.52 GAA, and 31 shutouts in 426 games, as well as a 29-21 record, 0.933 Save%, 2.08 GAA, and six shutouts in 51 playoff games, for the Boston Bruins (2002/03, 2005/06-2011/12), Florida Panthers (part of 2013/14), and Dallas Stars (2013/14).
Thomas won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2009 and 2011, the William M. Jennings Trophy for playing at least 25 games for the team with the fewest goals against in 2009, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 2011. He earned First-Team All-Star honours in 2009 and 2011, and played in four All-Star Games, representing Boston in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Bronze at the 1996 World Championships and Silver at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Given when Thomas was a relevant NHLer and with whom, it would surprise one to find out that he was drafted when the Quebec Nordiques were still a thing, much less by the Nordiques. Thomas spent the 11 seasons after he was drafted bouncing between various minor league and European teams, only playing four NHL games during this period, all during the 2002/03 season with Boston. After the lockout, he split the 2005/06 season between Boston and AHL Providence before becoming Boston’s starter, and led the Bruins to the playoffs each season between 2007 and 2012, with the exception of 2010, which saw him lose the starting job to Tuukka Rask. The 2011 season was Thomas’ peak, with Thomas becoming the first goaltender since Bernie Parent in 1975 to win the Stanley Cup, Vezina, and Conn Smythe in a single season. While he went off the rails a bit at the end of his career, what with his refusal to visit Barack Obama at the White House, his hiatus during the 2012/13 season to focus on “friends, family, and faith,” and his forgettable final season in 2013/14, his strong career in the inter-lockout era may get him the Hall nod one of these days.
Bill Thoms - Centre - 1932/33-1944/45
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thoms debuted during the 1932/33 season. Thoms scored 341 points (135G, 206A) in 548 games, as well as 16 points (6G, 10A) in 44 playoff games, for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1932/33-partway through 1938/39), Chicago Blackhawks (partway through 1938/39-partway through 1944/45), and Boston Bruins (part of 1944/45).
Thoms was the pre-Richard Trophy goal-scoring leader in 1936. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1936.
With Thoms, we have another more historic name added to the list. Thoms’ overall career gets overshadowed by some of the major stars of his day, such as Toe Blake and Dit Clapper, but from the start of his career in 1932 through the end in 1945, Thoms ranks eighth in career scoring. All historic NHL goal-scoring leaders are on this list, even the ones who did so before the inception of the Rocket Richard Trophy, and while the record books credit Hall-of-Famer Charlie Conacher as that season’s goal leader because he played more games (where it probably be the other way around these days), since its inaugural awarding, the Rocket Richard is shared by all the season’s goal leaders, such as when three players won the award in 2004.
Jimmy Thomson - Defence - 1945/46-1957/58
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thomson debuted during the 1945/46 season. Thomson scored 234 points (19G, 215A) in 787 games, as well as 15 points (2G, 13A) in 63 playoff games, for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1945/46-1956/57) and the Chicago Blackhawks (1957/58).
Thomson won the Stanley Cup in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1951 and 1952, and played in seven All-Star Games, representing Toronto in 1947. 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953.
Thomson briefly held the captaincy of the Leafs during the 1956/57 season. Prior to that, he played in seven All-Star Games and topped the 30-point mark once in the pre-offensive defenceman era as he helped lead the Leafs to four Stanley Cups. Like Ted Lindsay, Thomson was an early pioneer in attempts to unionize NHL players, and like Lindsay, wound up being sent to the then-bottom-feeding Blackhawks and retiring at age 31. Perhaps he would have strengthened his resume with a fifth Cup had he stuck around a bit longer.
Esa Tikkanen - Left Wing - 1984/85-1998/99
Drafted in the fourth round, 80th overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Tikkanen debuted during the 1985 playoffs. Tikkanen scored 630 points (244G, 386A) in 877 games, as well as 132 points (72G, 60A) in 186 playoff games, playing for the Edmonton Oilers (1984/85-partway through 1992/93), New York Rangers (partway through 1992/93-1993/94, part of 1996/97, 1998/99), St. Louis Blues (1994/95-partway through 1995/96), New Jersey Devils (part of 1995/96), Vancouver Canucks (partway through 1995/96-partway through 1996/97), Florida Panthers (part of 1997/98) and the Washington Capitals (part of 1997/98).
Tikkanen won the Stanley Cup in 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990 with the Edmonton Oilers and in 1994 with the New York Rangers. He represented Edmonton on the NHL All-Stars at the Rendez-vous ‘87. Internationally, he represented Finland, winning Bronze at the 2000 World Championships and 1998 Nagano Olympics and Silver at the 1984 World Juniors.
Why are there so many players on this list who won Stanley Cups with the Oilers, even a single one and even after being a mid-season acquisition, who didn’t even play in an All-Star Game but are on the list here for having played an “All-Star calibre” season? Tikkanen is the reason. As the list of 80s Oilers alumni inducted into the Hall grows, such as Kevin Lowe’s induction in 2020, Tikkanen remains among the most notable ones not inducted. Of course, I need to justify suggesting “but what if we added this guy?” but to my surprise, Tikkanen never played in an All-Star Game. He did, however, have multiple seasons during his late 80s heyday that would have been considered good enough at the time to get him into an All-Star Game, and where it can be reasonably argued that there simply weren’t enough spots. And that’s why Geoff Courtnall, Petr Klima, Charlie Huddy, and others are on the list. For Tikkanen, we have a player that won five Cups, including one as part of the “Oilers East” squad that made up the core of the 1994 Cup-winning Rangers. He had five seasons topping 60 points, including three topping 70, and was a three-time 30-goal scorer. While obviously neither considered the most well-known or the greatest to ever play for the Oilers, his iconic status among Oilers alumni almost has him occupying a similar space in franchise history to Wendel Clark, Trevor Linden, and Saku Koivu, who are all on the list, for their respective teams. Fun fact: Tikkanen retired from the NHL in 1999, the same year as his once and then-current teammate Wayne Gretzky, though he was younger than Gretzky by a few years and kept his career going in fits and starts through the following half-decade.
Kimmo Timonen - Defence - 1998/99-2014/15
Drafted in the tenth round, 250th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Timonen debuted during the 1998/99 season. Timonen scored 571 points (117G, 454A) in 1108 games, as well as 35 points (4G, 31A) in 105 playoff games, for the Nashville Predators (1998/99-2006/07), Philadelphia Flyers (2007/08-2013/14), and Chicago Blackhawks (2014/15).
Timonen won the Stanley Cup in 2015 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Timonen played in four All-Star Games, representing Nashville in 2004 and 2007 and Philadelphia in 2008 and 2012. Internationally, he represented Finland, winning Bronze at the 1998 Nagano, 2010 Vancouver, and 2014 Sochi Olympics, Second Place at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and Silver at the 1998, 1999, and 2001 World Championships and the 2006 Turin Olympics.
From one of Winnipeg’s sister cities, Kuopio, Timonen didn’t make it to the NHL until five years after he had been drafted. He was a consistent offensive performer for the Predators and Flyers, topping 40 points eight times including two 50-point seasons, and helped his teams reach further and further playoff successes, helping the Predators to their first playoff appearances, the Flyers reach their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1997, and the Blackhawks win their third Stanley Cup of the Jonathan Toews era. In addition to that Ray Bourque or Lanny McDonald “winning a Stanley Cup in his very obviously last season” quality that chokes us all up just a little, Timonen’s Cup win was a particularly great story. Timonen had, throughout his late 30s, put the Flyers on his back as their de facto no.1 defenceman after Chris Pronger’s career-ending injury in 2011, and then, following the 2013/14 season, was diagnosed with blood clots in his right leg and his lungs. You could be forgiven for thinking at the time that his career was done, considering he was 39 at the time. I was contacted for a radio interview at the beginning of the 2014/15 season and am on the record saying I doubted Timonen would return. He wound up being traded to the Blackhawks as he made a recovery and won the Cup. When the Blackhawks visited then-President of the United States Barack Obama to commemorate the victory, Obama singled out Timonen and his comeback story in his speech. Timonen was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2020. Timonen may have a case for induction with the story of his career.
Keith Tkachuk - Left Wing - 1991/92-2009/10
Drafted in the first round, 19th overall, in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Tkachuk debuted during the 1991/92 season. Tkachuk scored 1065 points (538G, 527A) in 1201 games, as well as 56 points (28G, 28A) in 89 playoff games, playing for the Winnipeg Jets and Phoenix Coyotes (1991/92-partway through 2000/01), St. Louis Blues (partway through 2000/01-partway through 2006/07, 2007/08-2009/10), and Atlanta Thrashers (part of 2006/07).
Tkachuk was the pre-Richard Trophy goal-scoring leader in 1997. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1995 and 1998, and played in five All-Star Games, representing Phoenix in 1997, 1998, and 1999 and St. Louis in 2004 and 2009. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Bronze at the 1992 World Juniors, Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Tkachuk was a dominant power forward in the inter-lockout era. Not that we should point to PIMs as a good thing, but the fact that he was as productive as he was with as many triple-digit PIM seasons as he had suggests he was a solid player.From his 41-goal 81-point season in 1994 through the end of the second lockout, he put up great scoring numbers for the era he played. He had 51 points in 48 games during the lockout-shortened season. In 1995/96, he scored 52 goals and 98 points, a 54-goal and 106-point pace. He also had 50 goals and 86 points in 1997. His 40 goals and 66 points in 69 games in 1998, and his 36 goals and 68 points in 68 games pro rate to seasons of 48 goals and 78 points and 43 goals and 82 points, respectively. The 22 goals and 43 points he scored in 50 games in 2000 pro rate to 36 goals and 71 points. His 35 goals and 79 points in 76 games the year Phoenix traded him to St. Louis pro rates to 38 goals and 85 points. In his three years with St. Louis before the lockout, he had 38 goals and 75 points in 73 games, 31 goals and 55 points in 56 games, and 33 goals and 71 points in 75 games. Pro rated to 82 games, those seasons would be 43 goals and 84 points, 45 goals and 81 points, and 36 goals and 78 points respectively. All told, playing all the games his teams played from the start of his career to the end, he would have 619 goals and 1225 points. Not that a player’s hypothetical production should get him into the Hall, but I find that it’s really illustrative of how productive he was. There is the matter that he never won a championship or won a major award (my belief that pre-1999 goal leaders should be retroactively recognized as Richard winners aside), and that could hurt his chances, but as a potent goal-scorer and a 1000-point man, he’s gotta be on the list.
Rick Tocchet - Right Wing - 1984/85-2001/02
Drafted in the sixth round, 121st overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, Tocchet debuted during the 1984/85 season. Tocchet scored 952 points (440G, 512A) in 1144 games, as well as 112 points (52G, 60A) in 145 playoff games, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers (1984/85-partway through 1991/92, partway through 1999/00-2001/02), Pittsburgh Penguins (partway through 1991/92-1993/94), Los Angeles Kings (1994/95-partway through 1995/96), Boston Bruins (partway through 1995/96-partway through 1996/97), Washington Capitals (part of 1996/97), and Phoenix Coyotes from (1997/98-partway through 1999/00).
Tocchet won the Stanley Cup in 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in four All-Star games, representing Philadelphia in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and Pittsburgh in 1993. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups.
Tocchet may be tenth All-Time in penalty minutes, but more importantly he was a potent offensive performer. He topped 20 goals in each season from 1987 to 1993, including 30-goal seasons in five seasons, three of which were 40-goal seasons. Tocchet missed a growing handful of games throughout his career, and while his 952 career points are nothing to scoff at, he would have 1190 points in 1430 games. Aside from his Stanley Cup, he also helped the Flyers reach the Cup Final in 1985 and 1987.
John Tonelli - Left Wing - 1978/79-1991/92
Drafted in the second round, 33rd overall, in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Islanders, Tonelli debuted during the 1978/79 season. In the WHA, Tonelli scored 150 points (61G, 89A) in 224 games, as well as 25 points (11G, 14A) in 34 playoff games, for the Houston Aeros from the 1975/76 season through the 197/78 season. In the NHL, Tonelli scored 836 points (325G, 511A) in 1028 games, as well as 115 points (40G, 75A) in 172 playoff games, for the New York Islanders (1978/79-partway through 1985/86), Calgary Flames (partway through 1985/86-1987/88), Los Angeles Kings (1988/89-1990/91), Chicago Blackhawks (part of 1991/92), and Quebec Nordiques (part of 1991/92).
Tonelli won the Stanley Cup in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983 with the New York Islanders. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1982 and 1985, and played in two All-Star Games, representing the Islanders in 1982 and 1985. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning the 1984 Canada Cup.
A major part of the 80s Islanders dynasty, Tonelli broke out in 1981/82 with 35 goals and 93 points, following that up with seasons of 31 goals and 71 points, 27 goals and 67 points, and 42 goals and 100 points. He was traded away as the Islanders’ glory years got further and further away in the rear-view mirror, and joined the Flames as they reached their peak as Cup contenders. He didn’t win a Cup with Calgary, losing to Montreal in 1986 and being a lesser point producer before signing with Los Angeles in 1988, but with the Kings, he bounced back, playing on a team with stars like Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Bernie Nicholls, and Dave Taylor, and having strong late-career seasons of 31 goals and 64 points, 31 goals and 68 points, and 14 goals and 30 points. A skilled producer throughout his career, perhaps he may deserve a spot alongside his four-straight-Cup-winning teammates.
JC Tremblay - Defence - 1959/60-1971/72
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1959, Tremblay debuted during the 1959/60 season. In the NHL, Tremblay scored 363 points (57G, 306A) in 794 games, as well as 65 points (14G, 51A) in 108 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1959/60-1971/72). In the WHA, Tremblay scored 424 points (66G, 358A) in 454 games, as well as 25 points (2G, 23A) in 34 playoff games, for the Quebec Nordiques (1972/73-1978/79).
Tremblay won the Stanley Cup in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1971 with the Montreal Canadiens. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1968 and First-Team All-Star honours in 1971, and played in seven All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1959, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, and 1972. In the WHA, he won the AVCO World Trophy in 1977 with the Quebec Nordiques. He won the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in 1973 and 1975. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1973, 1975, and 1976, and First-Team All-Star honours in 1974, and played in six All-Star Games, representing Quebec in 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978.
When the discussion of great Canadiens defencemen comes up, the conversation generally goes to earlier names like Doug Harvey and Tom Johnson, or Jacques Laperriere, or the 1970s “Big Three” of Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, and Guy Lapointe, all of whom are Hall-of-Famers. The major defencemen of the in-between years, Jean-Guy Talbot and JC Tremblay, are frequent omissions from the discussion. During the Canadiens’ less celebrated dynasty broken up over the course of the late 60s and early 70s, Tremblay was the more offensive styled defenceman. To be sure, Tremblay was known as a great defender first and foremost, but he was once the franchise record holder for points by a defenceman and, once the concept of defenceman-as-scorer became normalized with Bobby Orr’s rise to prominence, peaked with seasons of 63 and 57 points in each of the 1971 and 1972 seasons, after a previous career-high of 39 points. He left the NHL just before what would have been a sixth Cup, but was one of the biggest stars of the WHA throughout his career, scoring greater totals in the WHA, finishing 11th, 65th, 33rd, and 18th in league scoring with 89, 53, 72, and 89 points, respectively. He didn’t win any Norris Trophies as an NHLer, but he won the WHA analogue twice and an AVCO World Trophy. His contribution to the WHA and to the Nordiques was so great that he was named to the WHA Hall of Fame and had his number retired by the Nordiques. He never played for the Nordiques, so he’s even got the distinction of being one of only three players in NHL history to have their numbers retired by a team they never played in the NHL for.