The Detroit Red Wings have been front and center in Hockey Hall of Fame weekends for much of the past eight years because of what they accomplished in winning the Stanley Cup three times in a span of six years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Chicago Blackhawks also have won the Stanley Cup three times in a span of six years and are heading down a similar path that could lead to their being the dominating presence at several Hall of Fame weekends to come.
Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov became the fourth and fifth players who played on all three of Detroit's Stanley Cup championship teams from 1997-2002 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when they were enshrined Monday in Toronto. They were the eighth and ninth players from the 2002 team to be inducted. A 10th player from that team, Pavel Datsyuk, could get into the Hall eventually.
Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have made their mark with three Stanley Cup titles for the Chicago Blackhawks in the past six seasons. All three appear to be on track for the Hockey Hall of Fame. (Photo: Getty Images)
In addition, Detroit's coach from those dynastic years, Scotty Bowman, as well as senior executive vice president Jim Devellano and owner Mike Ilitch, are in the Hall of Fame. General manager Ken Holland is a lock to be inducted at some point.
The Blackhawks haven't had nine or 10 Hall of Fame players on any of their three Cup-winning teams since 2010 because the salary cap makes it difficult to acquire that many legendary-type players. However, like the Red Wings' dynastic teams, the Blackhawks have five players, a coach, general manager, top executive and owner currently targeting Hall of Fame status.
Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, and defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each have won the Stanley Cup three times and are in the middle (Hossa somewhat late) stages of potential Hall of Fame careers.
Don't forget that Toews and Keith have won the Olympic gold medal twice. Seabrook has one gold medal and Kane has a silver.
Toews, Kane and Keith have won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Keith has won the Norris Trophy twice. Toews has won the Selke Trophy. Kane won the Calder Trophy.
All five are expected to play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, which will take place Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016.
If they're not locks for the Hall of Fame yet, they're close to it.
Coach Joel Quenneville should be a lock at this point. Not only does he have the three Stanley Cup championships with Chicago on his resume, he is the active leader in career wins and third all-time with 761 entering Thursday. He also won the Cup as an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.
Quenneville is on Mike Babcock's staff for Team Canada for the World Cup.
General manager Stan Bowman has presided over the three Cup-winning teams since being named GM in 2010. He was the assistant GM prior to being named GM. He also is the co-GM of Team North America for the World Cup.
Owner Rocky Wirtz has been at the forefront of the Blackhawks' resurgence from one of the worst franchises in professional sports early this century to now being one of the best.
A key to Chicago's turnaround is the innovation and persistence from president John McDonough, who also has been with the Blackhawks for all three Stanley Cup wins.
The Hall of Fame has had a distinct Detroit flavor for the past several years. It will be Chicago's time soon enough.
GOALS: 304 | ASST: 558 | PTS: 862
SOG: 2,134 | +/-: 123
Here are four more active players who should be considered locks for the Hall of Fame:
Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers: He entered Thursday leading the Panthers with 12 points in 13 games. He was fourth all time in points (1,814), fifth in goals (729), sixth in assists (1,085) and was set to tie Lidstrom for 10th all-time in games played (1,564). He has won the Cup twice, the Art Ross Trophy five times, and the Hart Trophy once.
Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche: He entered Thursday four goals shy of becoming the 19th player in history to score 600 goals. The only 600-goal scorers not in the Hall of Fame are Jagr (active), Teemu Selanne (not eligible yet) and Dave Andreychuk, who has been on the bubble for years. Iginla also is 38th all-time in points (1,238) and is 34th in games played (1,407). He has won the Rocket Richard Trophy twice and the Art Ross Trophy once.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: He entered Thursday with 483 goals in 773 games. The only players in history to score at least that many goals in under 1,000 games are Maurice Richard (544 goals in 978 games), Mike Bossy (573 in 752) and Mario Lemieux (690 in 915). Ovechkin is the active leader in goals and points (911) among players who are 30 or younger. He has won the Hart Trophy three times, the Rocket Richard Trophy five times, and the Art Ross Trophy once.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: He has 862 points in 642 games; his 1.34 points-per-game average is third all-time behind Wayne Gretzky (1.92) and Lemieux (1.88). He is a member of the Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, World Championship gold). He has won Olympic gold twice. He also won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship. He has won the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy twice each.
DISCLAIMER: While the Super 16 is NHL.com's weekly power rankings, the focus will be more on the "power" than the "rankings" when determining the order. It's not always going to look like the League standings. If two teams are close the tiebreaker almost always is this: If the two teams started a seven-game series right now, who would prevail?
All rankings, records and statistics are through the games played Wednesday night. Don't ignore the scattered links to good stories either:
1. Montreal Canadiens (13-2-2)
Last week: No. 1
What's good: Goaltender Carey Price will not require surgery for his lower-body injury, coach Michel Therrien said Tuesday.
What's not so good: Price remains out after seeking a second opinion because he was not responding well to treatment.
Max Pacioretty is growing into his role as Canadiens captain.
2. St. Louis Blues (11-3-1)
Last week: No. 4
What's good: They're patching things together well with veteran complementary players in Scott Gomez and, most recently, Martin Havlat.
What's not so good: Goalie Brian Elliott hasn't been living up to his end of the bargain in the goalie tandem with Jake Allen
3. New York Rangers (11-2-2)
Last week: No. 5
What's good: Henrik Lundqvist has, for the most part this season, looked like a top Vezina Trophy candidate.
What's not so good: They entered Thursday with a 107.1 SPSv% (shooting percentage plus save percentage at even strength), which is bound to go down. They led the NHL last season with a 101.9 SPSv%.
Lundqvist had an interesting Wednesday evening in New York.
4. Dallas Stars (12-4-0)
Last week: No. 2
What's good: Defenseman John Klingberg is most definitely not going through a sophomore slump this season.
What's not so good: None of the other three young defensemen (Jyrki Jokipakka, Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth) have stepped up in a meaningful way yet.
5. Washington Capitals (10-4-0)
Last week: No. 6
What's good: The Capitals entered Thursday having outshot their opposition in four straight games and in 10 of 14 games this season.
What's not so good: They had scored more than two goals in only one of their previous seven games.
6. Los Angeles Kings (9-6-0)
Last week: No. 3
What's good: Tyler Toffoli entered Thursday with 10 goals, tied for the League lead.
What's not so good: Toffoli scored his 10 goals on 35 shots for a ridiculously high shooting percentage of 28.6, a statistic that undoubtedly will regress, which means Toffoli will go into a slump soon unless he starts shooting more.
A couple of Kings players are making Hockey Canada notice them.
7. Nashville Predators (9-3-2)
Last week: No. 7
What's good: They were first in the NHL in shots on goal per game (32.2) entering Thursday.
What's not so good: They were 4-3-2 when outshooting the opposition as opposed to 5-1-0 when getting outshot.
8. Minnesota Wild (9-3-2)
Last week: No. 8
What's good: Entering Thursday the Wild were shorthanded an average of 1.63 times per game in their previous 11 games.
What's not so good: Forward Zach Parise is out of the lineup because of a knee injury.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (10-5-0)
Last week: No. 12
What's good: Forward Pascal Dupuis' blood clot scare appears to have been just a scare and nothing more; he's healthy and back in the lineup.
What's not so good: Forward Sergei Plotnikov appears to be struggling in his transition to the NHL and his ice time is dropping, to 9:47 per game. He was a healthy scratch Wednesday.
10. Chicago Blackhawks (8-6-1)
Last week: No. 10
What's good: They were tied for first in the League with seven wins and 15 points on home ice entering their game Thursday against the New Jersey Devils.
What's not so good: They are last in the League with one win and two points on the road.
Well, well, well, look who could be back this weekend.
11. Winnipeg Jets (8-6-2)
Last week: No. 11
What's good: They entered Thursday tied for first in the League with five wins when the opponent scores.
What's not so good: They had given up the first goal in a League-high 12 games.
Jets coach Paul Maurice has been added to the coaching staff for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey.
12. New York Islanders (8-5-3)
Last week: No. 9
What's good: Defenseman Calvin de Haan played 20 or more minutes in 13 of the first 16 games, including 23 or more minutes four times, an indication of what coach Jack Capuano and general manager Garth Snow have thought of his game so far.
What's not so good: Forward Ryan Strome is in the American Hockey League, an indication of what Capuano and Snow have thought of his game so far.
13. Tampa Bay Lightning (7-8-2)
Last week: No. 13
What's good: Despite losing his previous five games entering Thursday, goalie Ben Bishop had a 1.63 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in those games.
What's not so good: Left wing Ondrej Palat's lower-body injury (out 3-5 weeks) couldn't come at a worse time, with the Lightning starved for goals.
14. Vancouver Canucks (7-4-5)
Last week: No. 15
What's good: Goalie Ryan Miller might have some help now with Jacob Markstrom healthy and making 42 saves in his season debut Tuesday.
What's not so good: Forward Radim Vrbata, who can't seem to find chemistry away from the Sedin twins, had a minus-1 rating in 10 of his 16 games before playing Thursday.
15. Arizona Coyotes (8-6-1)
Last week: NR
What's good: For all the talk of rookie forwards Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, it's center Martin Hanzal who keeps putting up points and is off to the best start of his NHL career.
What's not so good: Not only are their seven home games the fewest in the Pacific Division, but they play nine of their next 12 games on the road.
16. Boston Bruins (7-6-1)
Last week: 14
What's good: Their 16 power-play goals were tied for the most in the NHL with Montreal entering Thursday.
What's not so good: Their 16 power-play goals allowed also were the most in the NHL entering Thursday.
DROPPED OUT: Ottawa Senators