The Hockey Hall of Fame recently announced the class of 2022. Heading to the Hall are Daniel Alfredsson, Herb Carnegie, Roberto Luongo, Riikka Sallinen, Daniel Sedin, and Henrik Sedin. There are many great former players who could deserve reconsideration when the time comes to vote in 2023, so I thought I would put together a “line” of potential future Hall of Famers.
Who Should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame: The Starting 6
Centre: Pierre Turgeon
Turgeon played 22 seasons in the NHL between the Sabres, Islanders, Canadiens (where he was captain for the 1995-96 season), Blues, Stars, and Avalanche. It’s easy to see why Turgeon has been passed over for HHOF induction so far: he never won a Stanley Cup, has no international metals, and his only major award was the Lady Byng in 1993.
However, the former first-overall pick in 1987 is the only eligible NHL player to record over 1,300 points who is not in the Hall of Fame. He scored at a rate of 0.40 G/GP and 1.03 P/GP in the regular season and 0.32 G/GP and 0.89 P/GP in the playoffs. His best season was 1992-93 when he scored 58 goals and 132 points, leading the Islanders to the Wales Conference Finals.
Despite a lack of major hardware, I believe Turgeon’s overall body of work should be enough to land him in the Hall of Fame.
Right Wing: Alexander Mogilny
There is absolutely no reason why Alex Mogilny is not already in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was the first NHL draft pick to risk defecting from the Soviet Union to play in North America.
— Sabres Fun Stats (@SabresFunStats) April 28, 2022
During his 16-year career, he put up 473 goals (0.48 G/GP) and 559 assists for 1,032 points (1.04 P/GP). His 76 goals in 1992-93 are the fifth-most in a season of all time. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2003, was named an NHL second-team all-star in 1993 and 1996, and won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000.
Along with these NHL accomplishments, he also won a World Junior Championship gold medal in 1989, an Olympic gold medal in 1988, and a World Championship gold medal in 1989. Overall, he scored 54 points in 46 career international games. He is one of the 30 members of the Triple Gold Club. How he has been passed over by the HHOF selection committee 12 times is beyond me.
Left Wing: Mats Näslund
Another member of the Triple Gold Club, Näslund played six seasons in Sweden, then eight seasons for the Montreal Canadians, then four more seasons in Europe before ending his career with one season for the Boston Bruins.
In Elitserien, he scored 279 points in 294 games (0.95 P/GP), and in the NHL, he scored 634 points in 651 games played (0.97 P/GP). He had a prestigious international career, playing 115 games in international competitions and winning 8 medals (including World Championship gold in 1991 and Olympic gold in 1994). Over his 9 seasons in the NHL, he won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1988, was a second-team all-star in 1986, and won the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1986.
He was a big-time playoff performer, recording 92 points in 102 career playoff games. Though his NHL career was comparatively brief, he performed at a high enough level both in North America and internationally to deserve enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
Defense: Gary Suter and Tomas Jonsson
The defense category doesn’t have the star power of the forward group, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less deserving of HHOF consideration.
Gary Suter played 17 seasons and 1,145 games in the NHL for Calgary, Chicago, and San Jose. During that time, he racked up 203 goals and 641 assists for 844 points, which works out to 0.74 points per game (17th best all-time for defensemen). The four-time all-star also won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1986, was an NHL second-team all-star in 1988, and won the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989. Internationally, he won World Cup of Hockey gold in 1996 and Olympic Silver in 2002.
Jonsson is another player who spent most of his career playing in Europe. He spent his first six professional seasons in Sweden before playing parts of nine seasons in the NHL, and then finished his career with 10 seasons back in Sweden – a total of 25 professional hockey seasons. In Sweden, he scored 254 points in 449 games (0.57 P/GP) and in the NHL he scored 344 points in 552 games (0.62 P/GP).
He never won any major NHL awards, but he is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (1982 and 1983 with the Islanders). He also won 11 medals during international competitions, including World Championship gold in 1991 and Olympic gold in 1994.
Goalie: Andy Moog
Andy Moog was a superstar goalie in the 1980s. Among goalies who played at least 200 games in the decade, he was first in winning percentage (63.4%), sixth in save percentage (0.886), and ninth in goals-against average (3.45).
In the playoffs, he was even more dominant: third in winning percentage (65.1%), seventh in save percentage (0.891), and third in goals-against average (2.88). The four-time all-star only won one major award (the Jennings in 1990 – he was also nominated for the Vezina the same year), but he did win three Stanley Cups (1983, 1985, and 1987, all with the Oilers). His 372 regular-season wins are 18th most all time, and his 68 career playoff wins are the 11th most all time. To me, these numbers are enough to put Moog in the Hall of Fame.
What do you think? Are there more deserving players who should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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