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A Case For the Hall Part 3

Odie Cleghorn – Right Wing – 1918/19-1927/28

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, Cleghorn debuted during the 1918/19 season. In the NHA, Cleghorn scored 158 points (135G, 23A) in 119 games, as well as zero points in two playoff games, for the Renfrew Creamery Kings (1910/11), and Montreal Wanderers (1911/12-1916/17). In the NHL, Cleghorn scored 129 points (95G, 34A) in 181 games, as well as 13 points (9G, 4A) in 25 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1918/19-1924/25), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1925/26-1927/28).

Cleghorn won the Stanley Cup 1924 with the Montreal Canadiens. He was the goal-scoring leader in 1919.

Cleghorn was one of the earliest stars in the NHL. He didn’t play in the NHL’s first season, but he was a top player in the early days of the league. Cleghorn tied for the league goal-scoring lead in 1919 with Hall of Famer Joe Malone. While officially he is not considered the season’s goal leader because he played fewer games, never mind that today he’d be considered the leader because of a higher goals-per-game rate, the title of goal-scoring leader and the Rocket Richard Trophy winner since that award’s inception have gone to all scorers of the highest number of goals irrespective of the number of games played. Applying modern rules, Cleghorn would have been considered to be the goal-scoring co-leader along with Malone. Above, Cleghorn’s play in the NHA is included. The NHA is the direct predecessor of the NHL, and four of the teams that formed the NHL at its inception were NHA members, including today’s Montreal Canadiens, so his scoring in that league is mentioned. Additionally, during the bulk of Cleghorn’s pro career, the Stanley Cup was not the NHL’s championship trophy, but the O’Brien Trophy, named for NHA/NHL founder Ambrose O’Brien. The O’Brien Award winner would go on to play against the champion of whatever West Coast league was at the forefront of hockey at the time in a situation not unlike the first four Super Bowls. Montreal actually won three championships during Cleghorn’s time with them, but their Cup series against the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans in 1919 was cancelled five games in due to the ravages of the post-war influenza pandemic and they lost the 1925 series to the WHL’s Victoria Cougars (whose players would go on the following year to be purchased by, and inspire the name of, the Detroit Cougars, currently called the Red Wings). Of his above-mentioned playoff points, four points (2G, 2A) were scored in 13 games as part of interleague Stanley Cup play. Cleghorn’s more well-known brother Sprauge Cleghorn was a teammate for much of his time in Montreal and was inducted into the Hall in 1958.

Geoff Courtnall – Left Wing – 1983/84-1999/00

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1983 by the Boston Bruins, Courtnall debuted during the 1983/84 season. Courtnall scored 799 points (367G, 432A) in 1049 games, as well as 109 points (39G, 70A) in 156 playoff games, for the Boston Bruins (1983/84-partway through 1987/88), Edmonton Oilers (part of 1987/88), Washington Capitals (1988/89-1989/90), St. Louis Blues (1990/91, 1995/96-1999/00), and Vancouver Canucks (1990/91-1994/95).

Courtnall won the Stanley Cup in 1988 with the Edmonton Oilers.

I included a handful of players on this list who won Stanley Cups with the Oilers during their 1980s dynasty. Originally, one of the criteria for this list among Oilers Cup winners was going to be All-Star Game alumni, but there turned out to be a significant number of players who won a Cup with the Oilers who never played in the All-Star Game despite having a season at some point in their career that could be considered “All-Star worthy,” which I will call “All-Star adjacent. Courtnall is one such player. Courtnall broke out with a definitely All-Star calibre 36 goals and 66 points with the Bruins the year they faced the Oilers in the 1988 Cup Final, except he was traded to Edmonton before the season was out, getting his name on the Cup. He didn’t last in Edmonton, moving on to Washington the following year, but would top the 30-goal mark five more times, including three consecutive times following his Cup win, one of which he scored 42. Courtnall would stand out as one of the leaders on the Canucks during their failed 1994 Cup run, would briefly be reunited with Wayne Gretzky when he joined the Blues during the first year of Courtnall’s second stint there, and would return to the 30-goal and 60-point marks as a 35-year-old in his final full season before concussions limited him to 30 games across two seasons. Also worth mentioning is that he led the NHL with 11 game-winning goals during the 1992/93 season, considered by many to be the greatest season the NHL ever had and the highest-scoring in terms of total goals.

Roger Crozier – Goaltender – 1963/64-1976/77

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks, Crozier debuted during the 1963/64 season. Crozier posted a 206-197-70 record, 0.902 Save%, 3.04 GAA, and 30 shutouts in 518 games, as well as a 14-16 record, 0.900 Save%, 2.75 GAA, and one shutout in 32 playoff games, for the Detroit Red Wings (1963/64-1969/70), Buffalo Sabres (1970/71-1975/76), and Washington Capitals (1976/77).

Crozier won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in 1965 and the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP in 1966. He earned First-Team All-Star honours in 1965.

Among the NHL’s top historical goaltenders, Crozier’s name doesn’t come to mind first. His teams weren’t in Cup windows aside from very early and very late in his career and he never won one himself. He never won a Vezina Trophy, and he never played in an All-Star Game. Still, he was a major name in goaltending. He played in Detroit during one of Terry Sawchuk’s periods away from them, and won a Calder Trophy and a Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP, making it to the Cup Final against Toronto during their 60s dynasty. He was traded to Buffalo prior to the Sabres’ first season. He was a star early on for the Sabres, though he played a small chunk of games between the 1973/74 and 1975/76 seasons, playing only a few games during Buffalo’s 1975 playoff run and being benched during the entirety of the 1976 playoffs. Despite this being the end of his career – he played three regular season games for Washington during the 1976/77 season – he clearly made an impact on the NHL. From the 1999/00 season through the 2006/07 season, the NHL awarded the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award to the goaltender with at least 25 games played who led the league in save percentage, donated by MBNA, a financial institution he worked for in his post-retirement career prior to his 1996 passing. The award was discontinued, but still. In addition to his tangible accomplishments, he was also the first player to win a Conn Smythe Trophy on the losing side of a Stanley Cup Final, in 1966, and the last goaltender to play every one of his team’s games in a season, in 1965.

John Cullen – Centre – 1988/89-1996/97, 1998/99

Drafted in the 1986 NHL Supplemental Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Cullen debuted during the 1988/89 season. Cullen scored 550 points (187G, 363A) in 621 games, as well as 34 points (12G, 22A) in 53 games, for Pittsburgh Penguins (1988/89-partway through 1990/91, 1994/95), Hartford Whalers (partway through 1990/91-partway through 1992/93), Toronto Maple Leafs (partway through 1992/93-1993/94), and Tampa Bay Lightning (1995/96-1996/97, 1998/99).

Cullen won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey in 1999. He played in two All-Star Games, representing Pittsburgh in 1991 and Hartford in 1992.

Cullen’s place on this list is definitely a case of focusing on a player’s peak and not necessarily the entire body of work. He broke out in his second season with 32 goals and 92 points for the Penguins, and while the following season he was traded to Hartford just in time to miss out on a Stanley Cup, being traded for none other than Ron Francis, he finished the season with 110 points, good for fifth in the league that season. He followed that up with 77 points in 77 games, followed by 50 points in 66 games in 1992/93, including 41 points in 47 games for that season’s standout Toronto Maple Leafs team. After seeing his production dip in the following seasons, though still finishing fifth and third in team scoring in his two seasons with the Lightning, he wound up being diagnosed with cancer and missing the 1997/98 season. While he was able to recover for the 1998/99 season, he played four games before being demoted to the minors to work on reconditioning, retiring after a month to accept a job offer from the Lightning as an assistant coach. He won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his comeback attempt, joining his All-Star appearances on his list of achievements. His 550 points are the most all-time among those selected in the Supplemental Draft.

Vincent Damphousse – Left Wing – 1986/87-2003/04

Drafted in the first round, eighth overall, in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Damphousse debuted during the 1986/87 season. Damphousse scored 1205 points (432G, 773A) in 104 points (41G, 63A) in 140 playoff games, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1986/87-1990/91), Edmonton Oilers (1991/92), Montreal Canadiens (1992/93-partway through 1998/99), and San Jose Sharks (partway through 1998/99-2003/04).

Damphousse won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens. He played in three All-Star Games, representing Toronto in 1991, Edmonton in 1992, and San Jose in 2002. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Damphousse was never the leading scorer in the NHL, never getting any more than 40 goals in a season and never getting 100 points, but he consistently scored like a premier first-line forward from his third season right through his penultimate season, cracking 30 goals five times including his 40-goal season in 1994, and six 80-point seasons, including topping 90 in 1990, 1993, 1994, and 1996. The result was a solid 1205 career points. He captained the Canadiens from Pierre Turgeon’s trade during the 1996/97 season through his own trade to the Sharks during the 1998/99 season, and would go on to captain the Sharks for a handful of games during the 2003/04 season. For such a forefront player, Damphousse neither won any awards or received postseason honours, and only played in three All-Star Games, ironically never representing Montreal, the team he is perhaps most strongly associated with. Of course, he did win the Stanley Cup in 1993, leading the Habs in scoring that year. With his career production, his longevity, and that Cup win, perhaps he deserves serious consideration? Also, during the 1996 postseason, the Fox broadcast nicknamed him “Vincent Van Goal.” I can’t for the life of me understand how that A) wasn’t thought up sooner, and B) didn’t stick afterward.

Adam Deadmarsh – Right Wing – 1994/95-2002/03

Drafted in the first round, 13th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Deadmarsh debuted during the 1994/95 season. Deadmarsh scored 373 points (184G, 189A) in 567 games, as well as 66 points (26G, 40A) in 105 playoff games, for the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche (1994/95-partway through 2000/01) and the Los Angeles Kings (partway through 2000/01-2002/03).

Deadmarsh won the Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

The Colorado Avalanche were a standout team when they won the Stanley Cup during the 1995/96 season. They were led at forward Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, both Hall-of-Famers, but they both had a set of great linemates. With both of Forsberg’s linemates from that run elsewhere on this list, I decided to include Sakic’s running mates too. Deadmarsh was one of Sakic’s. While the second-year power forward had only 21 goals and 48 points during the Avalanche’s Cup-winning season, he broke out the following year with 33 goals and 60 points. Injuries stalled his production, and he only wound up with 60 points once more, in 2001/02, his first full season in Los Angeles. Retiring in 2003, aged 27 with only the one Cup under his belt, it’s his big role in the Avs’ Cup run, including his spot on the Sakic line, and his strong playoff production in Colorado get him a spot on this list.

Pavol Demitra – Left Wing – 1993/94-2009/10

Drafted in the ninth round, 227th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, Demitra debuted during the 1993/94 season. Demitra scored 768 points (304G, 464A) in 847 games, as well as 59 points (23G, 36A) in 94 playoff games, for the Ottawa Senators (1993/94-1995/96), St. Louis Blues (1996/97-2003/04), Los Angeles Kings (2005/06), Minnesota Wild (2006/07-2007/08), and Vancouver Canucks (2008/09-2009/10).

Demitra won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league’s most sportsmanlike player in 2000. He played in three All-Star Games, representing St. Louis in 1999, 2000, and 2002. Internationally, he represented Slovakia, winning Bronze at the 1993 World Juniors with Czechoslovakia and at the 2003 World Championships.

Demitra played his first games as soon as 1993, but he emerged as a full-time NHLer for the 1997/98 season, breaking out the following year with 37 goals and 89 points. He would reach the 30-goal and 80-point marks three times each, with an additional eight seasons reaching 20 goals, three reaching 70, and five seasons scoring at least a point-per-game. While he never won a Stanley Cup, leaving the Canucks before the season of their Cup run, and never getting any closer with any other team he played for, he won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2000 with the Blues, and played in three All-Star Games. While he never medalled at the Olympics, he was named to the Tournament All-Star team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics after leading all players with 10 points. Demitra would be a posthumous addition to the Hall, as he perished at 36 in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash after his first season with them.

Corb Denneny – Centre – 1917/18-1923/24, 1926/27-1927/28

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Arenas, Denneny debuted during the 1917/18 season. In the NHA, Denneny scored 60 points (52G, 8A) in 61 games for the Toronto Ontarios (1914/15), Toronto Blueshirts (1915/16-partway through 1916/17), and Ottawa Senators (part of 1916/17). In the NHL, Denneny scored 145 points (103G, 42A) in 176 games for the Toronto Arenas, Toronto St. Pats, and Toronto Maple Leafs (1917/18-1922/23, 1926/27), Hamilton Tigers (1923/24), and Chicago Blackhawks (1927/28). In the PCHA, Denneny scored 10 points (7G, 3A) in 21 games for the Vancouver Maroons (1923/24). In the WCHL and WHL, Denneny scored 50 points (32G, 18A) in 58 games for the Saskatoon Sheiks (1924/25-1925/26).

Denneny won the Stanley Cup in 1918 and 1922 with the Toronto Arenas and Toronto St. Pats.

If the name Denneny is familiar, it may be because of that trivia factoid from a few years illustrating how far back connections between players go connecting then-ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr to Cy Denneny, an early star from the league’s first seasons. Cy is definitely the more well-known of the two Dennenys, but Corb has a bit of a case for induction. Denneny, though his career was shorter than Cy’s, won two Stanley Cups and was very productive through his career. Denneny is the only player who finished in the top-10 of league scoring in the NHL’s inaugural 1917/18 season not to have been named to the Hall of Fame.

Eric Desjardins – Defence – 1988/89-2005/06

Drafted in the second round, 37th overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Desjardins debuted during the 1988/89 season. Desjardins scored 575 points (136G, 439A) in 1143 games, as well as 80 points (23G, 57A) in 168 playoff games, for the Montreal Canadiens (1988/89-partway through 1994/95), and Philadelphia Flyers (partway through 1994/95-2005/06).

Desjardins won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens. He earned Second-Team All-Star honours in 1999 and 2000, and played in three All-Star Games, representing Montreal in 1992 and Philadelphia in 1996 and 2000. Internationally, he represented Canada, placing second at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, winning Gold at the 1988 World Juniors, and winning the 1991 Canada Cup.

While Desjardins’ individual production doesn’t necessarily stand out among elite offensive defencemen, Desjardins is a player who spent a long time as a major part of his team. A top-pairing defenceman for roughly a decade, Desjardins had double-digit goals and at least 40 points six times, including two 50-point campaigns. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993, becoming the only defenceman to date with a hat trick in the Final. before being involved in the Mark Recchi blockbuster in 1995. Desjardins played in three All-Star Games, and was named a Second-team All-Star twice, making up the entire body of his individual NHL achievements. Internationally, his biggest achievement is winning the World Cup in 1996 with Team USA.

Shane Doan – Right Wing – 1995/96-2016/17

Drafted in the first round, ninth overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Doan scored 972 points (402G, 570A) in 1540 games, as well as 28 points (15G, 13A) in 55 playoff games, for the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, and Arizona Coyotes (1995/96-2016/17).

Doan won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism in 2010 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2012. He played in two All-Star Games, representing Phoenix in 2004 and 2009. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 2005, 2008, and 2009 World Championships, Gold at the 2003 and 2007 World Championships, and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

As I added to the list of players I would be including on this list, I wound up including every player who had scored at least 900 points in their careers. Doan may not have won any championships or major awards, and he may be among the slower rate scorers among the 900-point club, but he’s still there, and there’s something to be said for accomplishing that while never playing for any franchise besides his first. Doan twice reached the 30-goal mark, scoring 30 in 2006 and 31 in 2009, and twice scored at a 30-goal rate, scoring 27 goals in 73 games (a 30-goal rate) in 2007 and 28 goals in 72 games (a 31-goal rate) in 2016. Scoring at the rate he did in his career, had he played the full schedule in all of his seasons, he would have 1065 points in 1688 games. While he never won a Cup, he did captain the Coyotes to their first playoff appearance after a six-season drought, even going so far as to captain the Coyotes to the first Conference Final appearance since the franchise’s inception.

Kris Draper – Centre – 1990/91-2010/11

Drafted in the third round, 62nd overall, in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Draper debuted during the 1990/91 season. Draper scored 364 points (161G, 203A) in 1157 games, as well as 46 points (24G, 22A) in 222 playoff games, playing for the Winnipeg Jets (1990/91-1992/93), and Detroit Red Wings (1993/94-2010/11).

Draper won the Stanley Cup with in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings. He won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 2005 World Championships, Gold at the 1990 and 1991 World Juniors, 2003 World Championships, and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Looking at his statistics alone, Draper doesn’t stand out as Hall of Fame material. But one could argue he has a case in the tradition of major defensive forwards who have been inducted. Draper won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, and also has a Selke Trophy, won in 2004. He also, for what it’s worth, scored four points in five games and won Gold with Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and represented them in the 2006 Olympics. Though it’s not quite as stacked a trophy case, Draper can be seen as having a case for the Hall as a latter-day Bob Gainey. And even if you don’t, there’s a bunch of low-scoring defensive forwards from the past little while who would never have been considered, but Guy Carbonneau is in the Hall, resulting in a bit of a reexamination. And on top of that, the story of the beginning of his career is legendary. He had played 20 games in the NHL across three seasons before being traded to Detroit for one dollar.

Chris Drury – Centre – 1998/99-2010/11

Drafted in the third round, 72nd overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Drury debuted during the 1998/99 season. Drury scored 615 points (255G, 360A) in 892 games, as well as 89 points (47G, 42A) in 135 playoff games, for the Colorado Avalanche (1998/99-2001/02), Calgary Flames (2002/03), Buffalo Sabres (2003/04-2006/07), and New York Rangers (2007/08-2010/11).

Drury won the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. He won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in 1999. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1999. Internationally, he represented the United States, winning Bronze at the 2004 World Championships and Silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Drury’s place in the Hall isn’t assured by any means. He played 12 years in the NHL, retiring at age 34, having a career-high of 69 points. But Drury does have a list of accomplishments. He won the Calder Trophy and was named to the All-Rookie Team in 1999 and won a Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Avalanche. He had his best individual seasons after the lockout, having seasons of 30 goals and 67 points, and 37 goals and 69 points, respectively. In the latter of those seasons, 2006/07, he co-captained the Buffalo Sabres to the President’s Trophy and an Eastern Conference Final. He captained the Rangers as well for his latter three seasons with them before retiring. He also won Silver at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics.

Steve Duchesne – Defence – 1986/87-2001/02

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1984 by the Los Angeles Kings, Duchesne debuted during the 1986/87 season. Duchesne scored 752 points (227G, 525A) in 1113 games, as well as 77 points (16G, 61A) in 121 playoff games, playing for the Los Angeles Kings (1986/87-1990/91, part of 1998/99), Philadelphia Flyers (1991/92, part of 1998/99), Quebec Nordiques (1992/93), St. Louis Blues (1993/94-1994/95, 1997/98), Ottawa Senators (1995/96-1996/97), and Detroit Red Wings (1999/00-2001/02).

Duchesne won the Stanley Cup in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1987 and played in three All-Star Games, representing Los Angeles in 1989 and 1990 and Quebec in 1993. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1996 World Championships and Gold at the 1994 World Championships.

The defenceman didn’t win any Norris Trophies, and his only honours were All-Rookie honours in 1987, but Duchesne was a potent offensive defenceman, especially early in his career, with his crowning achievement being 75 points during the 1988/89 season with Los Angeles and 82 points during the 1992/93 season with Quebec. Duchesne remained productive until the final years of his career, reaching 50 points as late as 1998, and 40 points as late as 2000, and he capped off his career with a Stanley Cup for the star-studded 2002 Red Wings. That team had nine eventual Hall of Famers, with one more on the way at least, which I reckon makes the rest of the team all the more notable.

Patrik Elias – Left Wing – 1995/96-2015/16

Drafted in the second round, 51st overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, Elias debuted during the 1995/95 season. Elias scored 1025 points (408G, 617A) in 1240 games, as well as 125 points (45G, 80A) in 162 playoff games, for the New Jersey Devils (1995/96-2015/16).

Elias won the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. He earned All-Rookie honours in 1998 and First-Team All-Star honours in 2001, and played in four All-Star Games, representing New Jersey in 2000, 2002, 2011, and 2015. Internationally he represented the Czech Republic, winning Bronze at the 2006 and 2011 World Championships and at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

An All-Rookie in 1998, Elias broke out with the Devils in 1999/00 with 35 goals and 72 points, reaching the 30-goal mark four total times, including 40 goals once, and 70 points five times, including an 80-point and 90-point season. While Elias didn’t win any major awards in the NHL, he was named a postseason All-Star and played in four All-Star Games. Elias, a 1000-point scorer, could be a dark horse Hall induction candidate with his championships and international medals.

Theoren Fleury – Right Wing – 1988/89-2002/03

Drafted in the eighth round, 166th overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Fleury debuted during the 1988/89 season. Fleury scored 1088 points (455G, 633A) in 1084 games, as well as 79 points (34G, 45A) in 77 playoff games, for the Calgary Flames (1988/89-partway through 1998/99), Colorado Avalanche (part of 1998/99), New York Rangers (1990/00-2001/02), and Chicago Blackhawks (2002/03).

Fleury won the Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames. He earned Second Team All-Star honours in 1995 and played in seven All-Star Games, representing Calgary in 1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, and the Rangers in 2001. Internationally, he represented Canada, winning Silver at the 1991 World Championships, second at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and Gold at the 1988 World Juniors and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and the 1991 Canada Cup.

It’s a legitimate surprise that Fleury isn’t in the Hall. During the 1990s, Fleury was one of the most potent goal scorers in the NHL, scoring 51 goals in 1992 and topping 40 and 30 goals several other times. He also captained the Flames during the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons and played in seven All-Star Games. And of course we won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1999. Combined with his international track record, he definitely deserves a spot in the Hall. There are some knocks against him though. Firstly, his Stanley Cup did come in a season in which he played fewer than half of the games his team played, even if he scored nearly a point per game that year. While his Flames were a playoff fixture early in his career, they never made it past the first round after the Cup win, missing the playoffs entirely in 1992 and after 1996, Fleury missed the playoffs every year save for his 1999 playoff with Colorado. Fleury’s career not only ended early, but it didn’t end particularly great either, ending at age 34 after a low-scoring non-playoff season marred by off-ice issues and a suspension, with only a failed comeback in 2009 exhibition games coming afterward. Those issues aside, Fleury was one of the most electrifying players of his era, and had a lot to overcome, not only his small size, but also his sexual abuse at the hands of Graham James. With the career he had and all he had to do to get there, he deserves to be in the Hall.

Lee Fogolin – Defence – 1974/75-1986/87

Drafted in the first round, 11th overall, in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Fogolin debuted during the 1974/75 season. Fogolin scored 239 points (44G, 195A) in 924 games, as well as 24 points (5G, 19A) in 108 playoff games, playing for the Buffalo Sabres (1974/75-1978/79, part of 1986/87), and Edmonton Oilers (1979/80-partway through 1986/87).

Fogolin won the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 1985 with the Edmonton Oilers. He played in one All-Star Game, representing Edmonton in 1986.

A recurring theme in this piece is the presence of players from the 1980s Edmonton Oilers dynasty. In the aftermath of Kevin Lowe’s induction, I included in this piece players who were major parts of the Oilers’ dynasty in the 80s, the argument in favour being that simply by association with that iconic dynasty (you’ll see players here from the inter-lockout Red Wings), they have a notch in their favour, with their other achievements getting them on this list. For Fogolin, even though he was even less offensively productive than Lowe, he won Stanley Cups in 1984 and 1985 with the Oilers and played in an All-Star Game, representing Edmonton in 1986. He also represented USA in the 1976 Canada Cup and captained the Oilers from BJ MacDonald’s trade during the 1980/81 season through the 1982/83 season.

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