Editor’s Note: The following piece is solely based on the opinions of the author, and does not reflect the views on this particular topic of the entire Devils Army Blog staff.
Today, the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee will announce their choices for the class of 2018. There are many players that will be eligible for induction, and a case could be made for every single one. In addition to Martin Brodeur (a lock to be included in today’s announcement), here are some other potential candidates that could join him.
The Hockey Hall of Fame does have the right to waive the mandatory waiting period for inducting a player, with the last individual to have this done being Wayne Gretzky. I’ve seen Hayley Wickenheiser’s name mentioned as someone who might get their waiting period waived and given her resume, Wickenheiser definitely deserves an induction at some point. She won Olympic Gold four times, and received the Olympic MVP award in 2002. Outside of the Olympics, she has also won the gold medal in the World Championships seven times. Wickenheiser has also won the Clarkson Cup in 2016 with the Calgary Inferno in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Overall, Hayley surely has the personal accolades throughout her career, and is a winner. I have no doubt she will be in the hall and deserves to whether it is this year or down the road.
Martin Brodeur is guaranteed to be chosen on his first ballot, no questions asked. Brodeur owns the record books for goaltenders, especially in the wins category, where he has 691 victories and 125 shutouts. The only blemish on Brodeur’s career may arguably be his final 2-3 seasons, and not retiring with the Devils (having played seven games for St. Louis in 2014-2015). That being said, I totally understand his competitive desire, and acknowledge those seven games he played in another team’s uniform doesn’t mitigate everything he did for the Devils organization. Brodeur finished his career with three Stanley Cups, two Olympic Gold medals, and a World Cup Championship, along with notable awards that include the Calder Trophy, five Jennings Trophies, four Vezina Trophies, and (despite never winning) a few Hart Trophy nominations. He is considered to be the best goalie of all-time by many, and his achievements strongly back that claim.
Martin St. Louis
Another first ballot Hall of Famer, Martin St. Louis embodies the philosophy of persistence and hard work. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker award three times in college, yet went undrafted and played in the IHL before getting a contract with Calgary Flames. The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired the undersized forward in 2000, where he went on to forge a remarkable career with the organization. St. Louis tallied 1,134 games, 391 goals, and 642 assists, while finishing his career with one of each- a Stanley Cup, World Cup of Hockey Title, and Olympic Gold medal. In addition, St. Louis also earned two Art Ross Trophies, the Lester B. Pearson Award and Hart Trophy, four NHL Second All-Star Team selections, and three Lady Byng Trophies.
Jeremy Roenick was differentbreed for being both tough and gritty, but also dangerously offensive. He finished his career with 1,363 games, 513 goals, and 703 assists. While Roenick never won a Stanley Cup, he was a very positive presence for every team he played on including the Olympics with team USA. Roenick has also forged a remarkable broadcasting career for himself with his work on NBC. I know it’s not something that will be taken into account, but do wish it would because he appears to have a very fun personality and does a great job engaging with fans. Roenick was chosen to the Canada Cup All-Star Team in 1991 and was also chosen for the NHL All-Star game nine times.
Rod Brind’Amour was always a big, physically dominant player with great offensive skill throughout his career. Brind’Amour finished with 1,484 games, 452 goals, and 732 assists. While he did not win much, Brind’Amour did compete in both the Olympics and World Cup of Hockey. Brind’Amour started his career with the St. Louis Blues and was traded because the team believed that Brind’Amout pushed himself too hard. Brind’Amour was traded to the Flyers, before being traded to Carolina for Keith Primeau. He finally won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and is a two-time Selke Trophy winner, while also being chosen for the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1990.
Honorable mentions and other potential electable candidates…