The Class of 2022 is upon us. The Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet on Monday, June 27 to finalize and announce its new group of inductees.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the induction ceremony for the class of 2020, there was no Hall of Fame class of 2021. Instead, the November 2021 ceremony celebrated 2020 inductees Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Kim St-Pierre, Kevin Lowe, Doug Wilson and (as a builder) Ken Holland.
That means we’ve waited two years between freshly announced Hall inductees. So who will get the call on Monday?
One could argue there isn’t a single true lock among the list of hopefuls, but several names are highly likely to be inducted, particularly among the first-time eligibles.
Here’s a tiered look at the names to watch Monday. Note the omission of Jaromir Jagr here. He’ll be a first-ballot inductee at worst when the time comes, with a strong possibility of having his wait period waived, but he has played in a professional hockey game within the past three seasons, having suited up this past season at 50 in the Czech Extraliga, so he hasn’t earned eligibility yet. A Hall source has confirmed Jagr’s ineligibility to Daily Faceoff.
THE NEAR LOCKS
Daniel Sedin & Henrik Sedin
Same team, same line, hive minds for their entire careers, so it only feels fitting to mention them together. There’s no way one Sedin will be inducted at a different time than the other. They were picked back to back with the No. 2 and No. 3 overall selections of the 1999 draft, and they’ll go in together.
While the majority of their careers profile as “very good,” Daniel and Henrik both peaked long enough and high enough to earn first-ballot Hall consideration. Looking at the names below them on this list, you won’t find a Hart Trophy winner. Henrik is one. You won’t find a Ted Lindsay Award winner. Daniel is one. And you won’t find any NHL scoring champions. Both Sedins have Art Ross Trophies. Add in the 1,000-point benchmark for each brother and 2006 Olympic gold and the résumés look pretty bulletproof to me.
It would qualify as a mild surprise if Ouellette doesn’t get the nod on Monday. Whatever happens, she is a lock to make the Hall of Fame, whether it’s this year or another year. She’s one of the most decorated players of all time, owning four gold medals and four Clarkson Cup titles. She’s a CWHL MVP and a Clarkson Cup MVP.
It’s true that being second best is a defining characteristic of Luongo’s legacy. He lost Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final and finished as Vezina Trophy finalist three times without taking home the hardware. But Luongo was so good, so durable, for so long that he’s a slam-dunk for the Hall on volume alone. His 489 wins place him fourth in NHL history, and he’s ninth all-time in save percentage among qualified leaders at .919. Add in his famously charming and self-deprecating personality and he could get the nod as a first-time eligible player.
Botterill, the first two-time winner of the NCAA’s Patty Kazmaier Award, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion with Canada, not to mention a two-time MVP at the Worlds. She’s an institution of women’s hockey. It’s a matter of when, not if, for her induction.
When three-time Selke Trophy winner Guy Garbonneau earned a Hall of Fame induction as part of the 2019 class, it created some momentum for Brind’Amour. He won two Selke Trophies and earned a Stanley Cup ring in 2005-06 but was a much greater offensive threat than Carbonneau. Brind’Amour has 1,184 points. Only four other players who were eligible before this year and not in the Hall have more.
His only major individual award is the 1995-96 Calder Trophy, and he’s just a one-time second-team All-Star, but Alfredsson has a strong chance at induction someday on the strength of volume. He accumulated 444 goals and 1,157 points in 1,246 games — deceptively impressive numbers given he spent the first half of his career in the Dead Puck Era.
Not only was Mogilny the first defector from the Soviet Union but, among players with at least 900 career games, he has the second highest career points per game among Hall-eligible players not yet inducted. On talent alone, he’s long overdue, a two-time second-team All-Star who co-led the NHL in goals with 76 in the 1992-93 season.
In women’s hockey, the legendary names are almost all Canadian and American, but Sallinen deserves more respect. She was a dominant player on the international stage before the paradigm shift in women’s hockey spotlight that began with the 1998 Nagano Olympics — and she was a force there too, leading the Winter Games with 12 points in six games. Remarkably, she took 12 years off at one point of her career before returning to play a crucial role for Finland again — including suiting up for the Olympics and playing in her mid-40s. She’s one of the best women’s forwards ever but gets overlooked because she isn’t from one of the two superpower nations.
NOT YET, BUT MAYBE SOMEDAY
First-time eligible Zetterberg’s numbers don’t truly pop, but he spent the prime of his career as an excellent two-way player and pure winner who elevated his game in the postseason. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy for the Detroit Red Wings’ 2007-08 Stanley Cup run. Earned Olympic gold with Sweden in 2006, too.
Playing many of his best seasons during Dead Puck, Gonchar quietly accumulated great offensive numbers. He’s 17th in goals, 17th in assists and 19th in points among defensemen in NHL history. He never won a Norris Trophy, but his stat line is otherwise remarkably similar to Doug Wilson’s. His induction probably helped Gonchar’s case.
Duggan is one of the sport’s all-time great leaders, regularly wearing the “C” for some dominant U.S. national teams, including the one that captured Olympic gold in 2018. She’s a CWHL and NWHL champion. She’s also a trailblazer. She was a vital voice in helping the U.S. women’s team negotiate fair compensation from USA Hockey in 2017.
For me, Elias is more Hall of Very Good, but other players with similar résumés have been inducted, so he has a shot. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup winner with 400-plus goals, 1,000-plus points and one first-team All-Star selection.
LET ME MAKE A CASE FOR…
Which goaltenders have (a) At least one Vezina Trophy, (b) multiple Stanley Cup rings and (c) more than 350 wins?
The list: Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hasek … and Tom Barrasso. Let that sink in for a minute. This is the company Barrasso kept in his career.
So why doesn’t he get the Hall love? Easy: his personality. He was among the prickliest, most anti-media players of his generation. But that has nothing to do with his ability to stop pucks. In my mind, Barrasso should have been inducted years ago.
WORTH ANOTHER LOOK
Keith Tkachuk: The 500-goal, 2,000-PIM club: Pat Verbeek, Brendan Shanahan and Tkachuk.
Jeremy Roenick: More than 1,200 points, one of 24 players with multiple 50-goal/100-point seasons.
Theoren Fleury: Better than a point per game despite playing back half of career in Dead Puck.
Boris Mikhailov: One of the more rugged forwards on the powerhouse Soviet squads during a career spanning from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. A great goal-scorer, too.
Curtis Joseph: Seventh all-time in wins, but no Cups and no Vezinas (three-time finalist).
Jere Lehtinen: Three-time Selke Trophy winner as a winger. Very impressive.
Julie Chu: A staple for Team USA who won a ton in the CWHL, Chu was a forward on the national team but played some defense in the the CWHL. Her spouse Caroline Ouellette has better Hall odds, but how cool would it be if they got inducted together?
Karyn Bye-Dietz: Cammi Granato got the headlines on the late-1990s U.S. squads but Bye-Dietz was a major offensive contributor, too.
On the bubble: Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Steve Larmer, Pierre Turgeon, Shane Doan
Willie O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier in 1958. Before that, Carnegie was locked out of the sport’s highest level because he was a black man — despite being, according to accounts from legends of the game, a dominant player at the time, winning multiple MVP awards in the senior leagues he was allowed to play in. He’s unlikely to get inducted as a player since he never competed in the NHL, but he feels long overdue for induction as a builder and role model who paved the way for other athletes of color to break through in the NHL.