Every year we hear the same old song and dance: so and so got snubbed in the hockey hall of fame voting. This year the two big complaint targets are Pavel Bure and Adam Oates.
I get it. They were your favorite players at some point or maybe you saw one game where they were really on. Perhaps you're a Florida Panthers fan and Bure is the only shot you've got at a legitimate Hall of Famer. But here's the question I want to pose to you: were Pavel Bure and Adam Oates the absolute best at their position when they played. And just as important- were they that good for multiple years?
Bure and Oates were very good hockey players, but I'm a believer in the idea that the Hockey Hall of Fame is for those players who are not just very good, but absolute legends. Icons of eras. Wayne Gretzky's and Bobby Orr's and Gordie Howe's. Complaining about Pavel Bure not making it in seems a bit like complaining in 15 years that Corey Perry isn't getting enough recognition. A fine player- but not a generational talent.
If healthy for long and consistently enough, maybe Bure would've been a generational talent. But he never was. The Hockey Hall of Fame shouldn't be about what could've been. It's about what was. And Oates?
Well, to be honest Oates does deserve entry, but this is the other issue that exists with the HHOF: the voters like to make people "pay dues". Players retire, then wait multiple voting years while poor selections get in, purely because the voters don't think they've waited long enough. If a player like Oates was able to be one of the most dominant defenseman for so many years, why make him wait? Who cares?
How does Mark Howe, a fine defenseman in his own right, make the HHOF over Oates? Because he's been waiting? It's utter nonsense. The HHOF needs to select the best and only the best candidates every year. So far it's failed to do that.
Now, your links!
- a) Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts is one of the best weekly columns there is. b) The first of the Thirty Thoughts is on Harley. I recommend you read it. [CBC.ca]
- Worst. Article. Title. Ever. Still worth a read though if you're interested in a little bit about Paul Byron. [Canada.com]
- Kent Wilson takes a look at the RFA's that were unqualified this year. I fully expect the Flames to target none of them. Mostly because I'd actually like them to target some of them. [The Score]
- MORE VOTING MADNESS. Derek Zona tears into the NHL awards voting process. [Copper and Blue]
- Down Goes Brown has a new post. That's all I should have to say. [DGB]