• Vintage Hockey League

s13 - VHL HALL OF FAME BOUND (Part 2) (®)


We're back with Part 2 of our "Hall of Fame Bound" list.  As a reminder, to make the list a player must currently be on the team's roster and shown at least some high-level VHL play.  I have had to make a couple of exceptions though (Thanks KCS and MTL! cheeky).  Nevertheless, let's soldier on beginning with the Isles...

New York Islanders
There are some big, sexy NHL names on the Islander roster that would be in a NHL Hall of Fame conversation; Forsberg, Hasek, Nolan, Alfredsson, Robitaille, Kolzig, Zubov and Thomas.  Most of the VHL counterparts though are nowhere near HoF consideration.  However, without any elite prospects to speak of, I am forced to choose between Hasek, Zubov or Forsberg. I feel Zubov and Hasek are on the bubble and will have to contend with a long line of more qualified candidates at their positions.  So I'll pick former Masterton Trophy winner, Peter Forsberg.  Up to this point, the 29-year-old has been good but not great. The good news is, he definitely has the skills to reach an elite level.  If he's used correctly during the next few seasons, there's a good chance he'll attain Hall-worthiness.


New York Rangers
Doug Weight has the stats and the potential to make the Hall of Fame cut.  However, he's been one of those "under-the-radar" stars and there's a chance that will affect his candidacy in the end.  Just ahead of Weight, I would count on Tom Barrasso getting the call.  The veteran goalie currently sits at 7th all-time with 340 regular season wins (48 more than Hasek at 8th). He's actually one of only 7 goalies to reach the 300-win mark.  On the awards front, he has a Jennings and a Vezina to help solidify his chances.


Ottawa Senators
While Zarley Zalapski is certainly making a late-career case for the HoF, it should come as no surprise that my choice for the Sens is Manny Legace.  Since he was drafted he's been a model of consistency for Ottawa; never less than 30 wins in a season, 6 consecutive .900+ seasons, 4 all-star nods and 262 wins in only 8 seasons.  He should handily reach the 400-win plateau.  The only thing lacking is individual hardware on his shelf but his two Stanley Cups helps ease that pain effectively.


Philadelphia Flyers
With due respect to Al MacInnis and Jaromir Jagr, the undisputed best HoF candidate for the Flyers is Sergei Fedorov.  After 12 seasons, not only has he reached the 1000-point mark, he's racked up 460+ goals, making it very likely he'll reach 500 before his career ends.  He doesn't have a Stanley Cup yet, but he has won a Rocket Richard Trophy.  Not to mention his three Lady Byngs... fitting for a player in the City of Brotherly Love.


Pittsburgh Penguins
No matter how many great players make up the Penguins roster, the choice is still as easy as it comes.  Not only is Steve Yzerman Hall-worthy, he is statistically the greatest VHLer of all-time.  Regular Season: goals 1st, assists 1st, points 1st, +/- 1st, game-winning goals 1st.  Playoffs: goals 1st, assists 1st, points 1st, ppg 1st, shg 1st, game-winning goals 2nd.  Need more proof?  They should call him Stevie Wonder because the glare from all his hardware is blinding; 3 Stanley Cups and 3 Conn Smythes, 3 Harts, 2 Lady Byngs, 3 Art Ross, and 2 Rocket Richards.  The scary thing is, he'll be playing until he's 40!


San Jose Sharks
Chris Pronger might someday make this list but the clear choice at the moment is Vincent Damphousse.  Vinny is like NYR's Doug Weight in that he's a "quiet" star.  You don't notice him until suddenly he's got 400 goals and 1000 points. He's been very consistent too, scoring at least 31 goals in 11 of his 12 seasons.  Add to that a Lady Byng Trophy to his name and you've got a fine Hall candidate already.  He's got another three seasons to pad that resumé.


Saskatoon Wolves
Mats Sundin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Now that that's out of the way, let's focus on the best Saskatoon Hall hopeful; Eric Lindros.  Big E is perhaps the most complete forward the VHL has seen since Mark Messier (and we know where Mess is).  In fact, while they are eerily similar after 11 seasons, Lindros will surpass the legendary Moose in almost every statistical category since he has perhaps another decade remaining in his career.  While he has yet to win one of the "Big Three" awards (Stanley Cup, Smythe, Hart) he's won several others already; Calder, Selke, Masterton (2), Rocket Richard.


Saint Louis Blues
Second to only to Ed Belfour in wins, Patrick Roy is the Blues best candidate for the Hall of Fame.  St-Patrick currently sits at 386 wins and intends to play for another 3 years making it very likely he'll surpass Belfour who is expected to retire after next season.  The knock on Roy is that he's never been able to bring his teams to ultimate playoff success.  That being said, he's the only goalie to win three Vezina Trophies and also the only one to win 3 Jennings.  He's a shoo-in.


Tampa Bay Lightning
I'm extremely happy to say Joe Thornton is the best current Lightning hope for the Hall.  I'm not even being biased, thanks to the state of rebuild Tampa Bay is in.  The 23-year-old stud already has a Stanley Cup under his belt and has all the tools to be a dominant VHL centre for a very long time.  Combined with Zetterberg (could be Hall-bound himself) and Ryan Smyth the Lightning has a base for future team success.


Toronto Maple Leafs
There are absolutely no future Hall-of-Famers on this Leafs roster.  Goalie Mikka Kiprusoff may have the skills to make it, but his stats are projected to suffer with the Leafs for at least a couple more years.  Where does the hope lie?  The answer is three 1st round picks in next year's incredible draft.  Should history repeat itself in Toronto, Montreal and Chicago, the Leafs could very well draft not one, but three future Hall-of-Famers!


Vancouver Canucks
Theoren Fleury is hands down the best Hall-of-Fame candidate in Vancouver.  The diminutive forward is one of the few players in VHL history that statistically, can give Steve Yzerman a run for his money. Regular Season: goals 3rd, points 3rd, game-winning goals 3rd.  Playoffs: goals 2nd, points 2nd, +/- 1st, game-winning goals 1st.  Despite having another 6 or so seasons left to play, Theo already has 500+ goals and 1100+ points.  Also, his trophy case includes a Stanley Cup, 3 Harts, 3 Art Ross, and a Rocket Richard.


Washington Capitals
JS Giguere and Kari Lehtonen are long shots at best and otherwise I can say with confidence there are no Hall hopefuls in the Caps entire organization.  Like Montreal and Toronto, Washington will have to hope that a future draft pick will delivery Hall-worthy play.  Two 1st-round picks in next year's draft means two very good prospects will be joining the system.  The DET pick in particular could yield a future Hall-of-Famer.


Winnipeg Jets
5 seasons of 100+ points and 6 seasons of 40+ goals places Adam Oates firmly in the spot of being the best Hall-of-Fame hopeful in Winnipeg.  His totals of 444 goals, 705 assists, and 1149 points are superb and it's a wonder he hasn't received more individual accolades.  He does have one very important one however; he won the Conn Smythe Trophy while leading the Blues to the 1997 Stanley Cup.  His Art Ross Trophy is the cherry on top.

So there you have it; 26 teams, 22 future Hall-of-Famers and 4 teams with their fingers crossed.  Stay tuned for the announcement of the Class of 2002 VHL Hall of Fame inductees!   

A.P. Hoar

Steve Tindall

Now how did I know you'd choose that turd Legace? BBBooooooooooo!!!!

s13 - VHL HALL OF FAME BOUND (Part 2) (®)
Each team's current 'best hope' to make The Hall.

• 0 teams Like this  1 year