You heard it as much as I did the past few weeks.
Future Hall of Famer Marian Hossa this…. Future Hall of Famer Marian Hossa that… Did the Chicago Blackhawks’ right winger officially add that moniker to his passport? Hossa has had a terrific 16-year NHL career, but he’s hardly a lock for the Hall of Fame. Hearing so many hockey analysts calling him one is both premature and dangerous. He’s a very good player entering the final few seasons of a very good career. But a lot of very good players have retired in the past decade and not made it to the Hall of Fame. Here are some names: Mark Recchi, Owen Nolan, Adam Foote, Paul Kariya, Rod Brind’Amour, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Gary Roberts, Curtis Joseph, Trevor Linden, Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Dave Andreychuk, Alex Mogilny, Keith Primeau. And that’s just the past decade.
They’ve all been eligible multiple years, except for Recchi, Nolan and Foote, who were first-timers in 2014. Hossa, 36, is still another three productive seasons away from being a good bet for the Hall of Fame. He does have three Stanley Cups in the past six seasons working in his favor, but Recchi also won three Cups. And Recchi has 1,533 points, which is almost 500 more than the 1,056 Hossa has. Hossa has 486 goals, still a long way away from Recchi’s 577 goals and Andreychuk’s 640 goals.
Hossa is bound to become the 43rd player to join the NHL’s 500-goal club next season, but members of that group not in the Hall (though eligible) are Andreychuk, Recchi, Tkachuk (538), Pat Verbeek (522), Pierre Turgeon (515), Roenick (513) and Peter Bondra (503). So just getting there isn’t a sure ticket in. In each of the past three seasons, Hossa has averaged 60 points. If he can do that three more times until the age of 39 (he’s under contract for six more seasons), he’ll get about 1,230 points. Recchi, Andreychuk, Turgeon and Phil Housley are non-Hall of Famers who exceeded that mark. Working in Hossa’s favor is the fact he’s an excellent defensive player as well and it’s more than just scoring statistics with him. Even though he doesn’t have any individual awards to his credit (he was a second-team all-star in 2009), he was runner-up for the Calder in 1998-99, 10
th in voting for the Selke Trophy in 2012-13, fifth for the Selke in 2013-14. But don’t forget the three Stanley Cups. So that begs the question, can winning multiple Cups put a very good player over the top into the Hall? It worked for Clark Gillies of the New York Islanders and Glenn Anderson of the Edmonton Oilers, to name just two recent examples. Maybe that will work in Hossa’s favor. Excellence by association. We know Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith are well on their way. Maybe all Hossa really needs is 500 goals, 1,200 points and four or five Stanley Cups. – – – This is the 10th in a series of Hall Monitor blogs. Others have been on:
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN