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Your! Call: Which players would you send to the HHOF?

Shane McNeil, TSN.ca
7/8/2013 4:41:54 PM
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The Hockey Hall of Fame's class of 2013 will immediately set off a fresh batch of debate when it is unveiled on Tuesday.

The merits of those chosen to join hockey's all-time elite against those that were left to wait another year is an annual pastime that only gets renewed with each new class of honourees.

So our question to you: Which four players and one builder would you choose for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

There are undoubtedly a number of players in their first year of eligibility that will eventually get the call to the Hall, but only one is an absolute no-doubter: four-time Stanley Cup winner and two-time Olympic champion Scott Niedermayer. The former Devil and Duck did nothing but win throughout his entire hockey career, with pages worth of hardware to pad his resume.

There are a number of near-locks, but the class of 2012 may have taught us that there's almost always a chance of omission.

Brendan Shanahan - who won three Stanley Cups and scored more than 600 goals and 1,300 points over his 21-year career - was believed to be an automatic Class of 2012 choice, but was passed over in favour of first-year choices Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic and greats-in-waiting Pavel Bure and Adam Oates.

A pair of first-year eligible defenders also come with hefty resumes that could likely find them in the Hall come Tuesday: Chris Chelios and Rob Blake.

A three-time Stanley Cup champion and Norris Trophy winner, Chelios was a dominant force in his prime and a model of longevity that certainly warrants eventual Hall status. Blake, too, had a lengthy career of 20 seasons, winning one Stanley Cup, a Norris Trophy, several All-Star selections and an Olympic gold medal.

From there, the debate opens up.

There are perennial All-Stars a-plenty amongst just the first year-eligible players.

Rod Brind'Amour won a Cup and a pair of Frank J. Selke Trophies and is a member of the 1,000 point club.

Paul Kariya was once amongst the NHL's most gifted offensive players, but his career was derailed by concussions. He was still a point-per-game player, finishing with 989 on his career and won a pair of Olympic medals for Canada: silver in 1994 and gold in 2002.

Markus Naslund will undoubtedly draw support from Vancouver fans. While his point totals don't stack up to the volume of Brind'Amour's or the pace of Kariya's, he was still a dominant player in a low-scoring era in the League's history. 

From there, the waiting list still includes many potentially Hall-worthy names that come into 2013 having already been passed over.

There are 17 other players eligible for induction this year that have eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau beyond those already listed here.

That list includes a 600-goal scorer in Dave Andreychuk, Olympic- and Cup-champion Theoren Fleury, and another first-time eligible forward in Keith Tkachuk.

Phil Housley remains on the outside looking in, despite outscoring all but three defencemen in NHL history.

Beyond those names there are some polarizing figures that grabbed headlines regularly throughout their NHL careers.

Eric Lindros played 14 injury-plagued seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars and dominated the NHL through his early career. He would net 865 career points in only 760 career games and despite never winning a Cup, played in three Olympics - winning silver in 1992 and gold in 2002 to accompany a 1991 Canada Cup title and the 1994-95 Hart and Lester B. Pearson Trophies.

Jeremy Roenick was one of the most colourful players of his generation and - despite also retiring Cup-less - scored 513 goals and 1,216 points in 1,363 NHL games. He was a nine-time All-Star and two-time Olympian, winning silver in 2002.

Speaking of international achievement a pair of Russian trailblazers remain on the waiting list in Soviet-era dynamo Sergei Makarov and one of the NHL's first Russian defectors Alexander Mogilny – who is also a member of the 1,000 point club.

In the Builders' Category, the late Pat Burns and Fred Shero remain strong candidates for induction.

Burns is the only man to have won a Jack Adams Award with three different teams and led the New Jeresy Devils to a Stanley Cup. Shero, meanwhile, led the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s to their only two Stanley Cup victories in addition to a regular season career winning percentage of .612.

And the list from there – in both the players' and builders' categories - goes on and on and on.

So which four players and one builder would you choose for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

As always, it's Your! Call.

You can watch the Hockey Hall of Fame announce the Class of 2013 on TSN, Tuesday at 3pm et/Noon pt.

Eric Lindros (Photo: Craig Melvin/Getty Images)


(Photo: Craig Melvin/Getty Images)
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