2022-11-17 · 4 min read · NHL/Hockey
Alexander Mogilny and Caroline Outlette

Louis-Charles Dumais/The Canadian Press | All About the Jersey

With new legends being enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame officially this past week, it seems like the time to see whom we think will be getting the call next. Without further ado let's break down some of the top candidates for the 2023 HOF class.
Near Locks
  • Henrik Lundqvist - This is the easiest one, as there's no reason not to enshrine King Henrik in his first year of eligibility. He is fourth all-time in career wins with 459 and became the first goalie to post 11, 30-win seasons during his first 12 years in the league. If that wasn't enough he was the best goaltender at the ‘06 Olympics, leading Sweden to a gold medal and has the most wins by any European netminder. I'll be incredibly surprised if the New York Ranger legend does not make it in immediately.
  • Alexander Mogilny - Okay seriously someone needs to explain this to me because it's almost criminal that Mogilny is not in the HOF already. He was a prolific scorer at every level he played at, while also being a member of the elite and elusive Triple Gold Club. Overall he ranks 81st all-time with 1,032 points, made six all-star teams and had a league leading 76 goals in 92-93. On top of this from a history perspective it is also crucial that he should be in the Hall as Mogilny was the first player to defect from the former Soviet Union and play in North America. The HOF needs to correct this oversight and there is no reason to wait any longer.
Holdovers with a good shot
  • Caroline Outlette - Likely would have made it last year in her first year of eligibility, if not for the selection committee's habit of only inducting one woman per year. Outlette is one of only five athletes to win a gold medal in four consecutive Winter Olympics, helping the Canadian Women's team to the top of the podium in 2002, 06, 10, and 14; she also won the silver in 1998. She also has six gold medals from the IIHF World Women Championships. She is one of only three players to win a Clarkson cup and Olympic gold and a World gold, the other two being Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford; women who have already been enshrined; it seems Outlette is ready to join them.
  • Rod Brind'amour - As one of the best two-way players of his generation Brind'amour has long had a solid shot of getting into the Hall, one that only improved when Guy Carbonneau made his way in a few years ago (2019). A two time Selke winner, Rod the Bod captained the Carolina Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup and was known to be incredibly difficult to play against. While Rod was known for his defensive prowess he was no slouch on the other end, accumulating 452 goals and 1184 points and 1484 games. Might be time to start sculpting that Rod the Bod bust.
  • Sergei Gonchar – Gonchar racked up 811 points in 1301 games, putting him 17th all time in career points among defensemen, all of the guys above him save for Gary Sutter are already in the Hall. Only Nicholas Lindstrom, who many consider to be one of the best defenseman in hockey history, amassed more goals (236) and points (985) than Gonchar from 1994-95 to 2014-15 seasons, the span of the Russians career. Sergei also has Olympic silver and bronze medals, a Stanley Cup and four top-five finishes in Norris voting; sounds like a solid case to me.
  • Curtis Joseph - As a guy that watched him growing up, I’ll admit I'm a personal fan of Cujo, but possible bias aside seems a bit strange he's not in the Hall already as he ranks 7th all-time with 454 career wins. Although he never won the Stanley Cup it's hard to argue that Joseph is not one of the best goalies of his era. He was a three-time All-Star, a three-time runner-up for the Veniza and he captured an Olympic gold in 2002. Simply put Joseph is better than a handful of goalies that have already been enshrined in the HOF.
First year guys with a shot
  • Corey Crawford - Crawford helped the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cup wins and from 2010 to 17 only Lundqvist and Marc Andre Fleury had more than Crawford's 213 wins. While he did share the Jennings trophy for fewest goals allowed for a team twice, he was never quite good enough to become a Vezina finalist. I feel like there are more accomplished goalies ahead of him as he doesn't even crack the top 15 in career wins, but he was an important part of one of the decades best teams and seems worth mentioning.
  • Jay Bouwmeetser - The two-time all-star and Stanley Cup winner’s case mostly rests on strong International play, which amounted to five gold medals including the 2014 Olympic gold. Overall he had a steady if not strong 17-year career that included an impressive Ironman streak of 737 games. During his tenure Bouwmeester was frequently among the leaders in ice time per game, but in 1240 games he only mustered up 88 goals and 424 points, not exactly Hall of Fame numbers.
Honourable mentions
  • Henrik Zetterberg - He is a member of the aforementioned Triple Gold Club, which immediately gives him some credibility. Yet he only has 960 points in 1,082 games and his greatest individual accomplishment is winning a Conn Smythe in 2008. Worse yet for Zetterberg he has some strong competition, as Rod Brind'amour was a similar player and unlike Henrik has two Selkes to his name.
  • Keith Tkachuk - Amassed 538 goals end 1065 points in 1201 career games, which are the most goals of any eligible HOF candidates. Tkachuk was a model of consistency, lead the league in goals once and is 33rd all time in goals scored. Every player ahead of him who is eligible is already in the Hall of Fame. On top of that he won the World Cup in 1996 and the Olympic silver in 2002.
  • Jennifer Botterill - Played a major role for Team Canada, winning the Olympic gold in 2002, 06 and 10. She also won five IIHF World Championships and two MVPs in them. Yet it's her NCAA dominance that gives her the best case, as while playing with Harvard she amassed 319 points in 113 games, scoring a point in all but one of her college games. Botterill is also the first player to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award twice as the top player in the US Women's College hockey.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Chase Howard


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