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Hall of Fame

2020 Hockey Hall of Fame candidates debated

NHL.com writers weigh in on group including Iginla, Mogilny, Alfredsson

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be announced Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET. In preparation, NHL.com convened a selection committee of nine writers who will stump for who they believe to be the most deserving players and builders this year.

 

Jarome Iginla

Like Sidney Crosby, I'm yelling, "Iggy!" Iginla is an emphatic choice. Not only did he set up the Pittsburgh Penguins center for the Golden Goal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, he won the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship, 1997 IIHF World Championship and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics with Canada. During 20 NHL seasons, including 16 with the Calgary Flames, the forward scored 1,300 points (625 goals, 675 assists) in 1,554 games. He's 14th in games played and tied for 16th in goals with Joe Sakic. He led the NHL in goals (52) and points (96) in 2001-02, winning the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as most outstanding player voted by the NHL Players' Association. He led the League in goals again in 2003-04 with 41, tied with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, and won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in 2008-09. He had a Hall of Fame combination of skill, toughness and class. -- Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

Video: MIN@CGY: Flames retire Iginla's No. 12

 

Claude Provost

Off the beaten path here with the late Provost, but given the historical work I do for NHL.com, so be it. When you're the winner of nine -- nine! -- Stanley Cup championships, voted recipient of the inaugural Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey, and you're the preeminent checking forward of your generation before the position was fashionable, and you score 589 points (254 goals, 335 assists) in a 1,005-game NHL career, there's room for you in the Hall of Fame. Chicago Black Hawks forward Bobby Hull was blanketed by Provost for years. Iconic Montreal Canadiens captain Jean Beliveau called him one of the most important cogs in the gears of the Canadiens' historic 1956-60 Cup run and their "quiet dynasty" of the 1960s. Thinking has changed; defensive forwards are now embraced by the Hall for their vital role. It's time Provost was enshrined. -- Dave Stubbs, columnist

 

Alexander Mogilny

Iginla should be a slam dunk and I'm a big Daniel Alfredsson supporter, but I'm here to state the case for Mogilny, one of the most dynamic players I've seen. Few had the ability to bring fans out of their seats like he did. This is the Hockey Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the Pretty Good, and the talent to electrify should matter. The forward's 1,032 points (473 goals, 559 assists) in 990 NHL games rank him ahead of Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine (1,013 points), Lanny McDonald (1,006), Paul Kariya (989), Dave Keon (986) and Maurice Richard (966). His goals-per-game average of 0.48 is higher than that of Hall members Steve Yzerman (0.46), Gordie Howe and Sakic (0.45 each). Only Wayne Gretzky (92), Mario Lemieux (85) and Brett Hull (80) scored more goals in a season than Mogilny did when he had 76 in 1992-93. It's long overdue that he joins his Russian junior linemates Sergei Federov and Pavel Bure in the Hall. -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Video: Mogilny scores 50th goal in win over Hartford

 

Patrik Elias

Elias never won a major individual NHL award, but that should not take away from what the greatest scorer in the history of the New Jersey Devils has done. The two-time Stanley Cup champion, in his first year of Hall eligibility, holds Devils records for most goals (408), assists (617), points (1,025), shots on goal (3,287), power-play goals (113), power-play points (333), shorthanded points (33), game-winning goals (80) and overtime goals (16) during his 20-season career. The forward ranks second behind Jaromir Jagr for most goals, assists, points and game-winners among all Czech Republic-born players in NHL history. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

 

Marian Hossa

I'm going with Hossa, who, much like Elias, never won a major individual NHL award (although I'd argue a Selke Trophy or two for best defensive forward should have been his). He was pivotal when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Hossa was always a gifted offensive player, as his 1,134 points (525 goals, 609 assists) in 1,309 career games can attest. But the forward honed his defensive game; he credited former Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk for helping him. Hossa had good hockey left in him in 2017, when he had to stop playing due to a skin condition. What he did accomplish earns him a Hall of Fame nod. -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

Video: CBJ@CHI: Hossa slides home a backhand with nice move

 

Don Baizley

In the player category, achievements are quantifiable. In the builder category, conceptual thinking is more often required. Here, Baizley, a player agent who died in 2013 at the age of 71, was a builder in the truest sense of the word. He was a man of international integrity, an extraordinary man who abhorred the spotlight and devoted his career to finding solutions and building consensus. Those inside the game who knew him usually revered him because his word was his bond. A considerable number of honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame have spoken in support of his induction, knowing how he supported the game on so many levels. But Baizley's selection would be something of a precedent; no player representative has ever been chosen. The easy thing at this point would be to stay away from precedent. Some vision will be required for the right thing. -- Tim Campbell, staff writer

 

Daniel Alfredsson

No member of the current incarnation of the Ottawa Senators has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. That should change with Alfredsson, in his fourth year of eligibility. The forward scored 1,157 points (444 goals, 713 assists) through 1,246 games in his 18-season NHL career, spending all but his final season in Ottawa, when he played for the Red Wings. He averaged 0.93 points per game during his career, leaving him tied at No. 148 with Frank Mahovlich, Mike Gartner, Bernie Geoffrion and Mark Recchi on the all-time list. Each of those players is in the Hall of Fame. Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1995-96, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership on and off the ice in 2011-12, the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in 2012-13, and a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Torino Olympics (plus a silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics). Alfredsson's career and his impact on the Senators should land him in the Hall of Fame. -- Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

 

Rod Brind'Amour

It's time Brind'Amour, in his eighth year of eligibility, gets his due. A two-time winner of the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL (2006, 2007), Brind'Amour was one of the best two-way players of his era and a great leader who was captain of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. During that run, he scored 18 points (12 goals, six assists) in 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games. After Guy Carbonneau was elected to the Hall of Fame last year, the door appears open for Brind'Amour. Carbonneau, a three-time Selke winner, had 663 points (260 goals, 403 assists) in 1,318 regular-season NHL games. Brind'Amour had 1,184 points (452 goals, 732 assists) in 1,484 regular-season games. -- Tom Gulitti, staff writer

 

Boris Mikhailov

Let's go back to the 1970s, to the best team in the world at that time, and look at the captain of that team, the right wing on the top line with Valeri Kharlamov and Vladimir Petrov. Mikhailov was the captain of the Soviet national team from 1972-80, winning gold medals in the 1972 Sapporo Olympics and 1976 Innsbruck Olympics before getting stunned by the United States at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Mikhailov helped lead the Soviets to a first-place finish at the IIHF World Championship eight times. My feeling is Aleksander Yakushev's induction in 2018 should pave the way for Mikhailov. He scored 164 points (99 goals, 65 assists) in 117 games with the Soviet national team. He's a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame (2000). The Hockey Hall of Fame should honor him too. -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

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