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This past Monday saw the induction of another 4 of the greatest players to ever play the game into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Hall saw the likes of Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, and Pavel Bure take their spot among the game's greats. Now with that in mind lets take a look at some of the players who may get their call come next year.
Brendan Shanahan (HFD/DET/NJ/STL/NYR)
Brendan Shanahan was a dominate force on the ice and in his prime was one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the league. Shanahan ranks 11th on the all-time goals list with 656 to his name. He ranks 25th on the all time points list and racked up 100+ penalty minutes in 17 seasons. Shanahan played over 1,500 games in the NHL and on top of that had the chance to represent his country on several occasions including capturing gold as a member of Team Canada during the 2002 Olympics.
Rob Blake (LAK/COL/SJ)
Rob Blake was one of the game's most complete defensemen. Blake could do it all, he could put the puck in the net or he could put players through the boards. Blake captained the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks and finally hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. Blake finished his career with 777 points in 1,270 career games, finding the back of the net 240 times. Blake took part in 6 NHL all-star games, won gold with Canada in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, and was fortunate enough to win the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 1997-98.
Chris Chelios (MON/CHI/DET/ATL)
Chris Chelios was another one of the game's great defensemen in his prime. Chelios played both a physical and offensive game finishing his career with 185 goals and 948 points. Chelios played in 11 all-star games and ranks 12th all-time in penalty minutes with 2,891. Chelios will also go down having played 1,651 games (5th all-time) and for 26 seasons tying a record set by Gordie Howe. His 1,651 games is also the most by a defenseman. Chelios captained the Blackhawks from 1995-1999 and won 3 Norris Trophies and 3 Stanley Cups along the way.
Eric Lindros (PHI/NYR/TOR/DAL)
Eric Lindros burst into the league as by far the one of the greatest and most talented players to play in the NHL. He had size, physicality, and soft hands. Lindros was expected to finish his career among the greats, and although he put up impressive numbers ultimately lingering injuries plagued Lindros' career. Lindros suffered from several concussions during his career, his most severe coming from a devastating hit from Scott Stevens. Lindros would finish his career with 865 points in 760 games and a MVP title in 1994-95. Lindros could have put up much higher numbers in his career had injuries not plagued him, but he was still talented enough to be seen as one of the league's greats.
Curtis Joseph (STL/EDM/TOR/DET/CAL/PHO)
Curtis Joseph or "Cujo" as the fans called him was one of the top goalies of his time. Although Joseph never lead the league in major categories he was always among the best in the league, being consistent throughout his career. Joseph ranks 4th all-time in wins and 5th all-time in games played. Cujo was part of the 2002 Olympic hockey team that won gold despite only playing in one game. Joseph was a 3-time all-star and was the recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1999-2000 for his leadership and his on and off ice contributions to his community. Joseph is tied for 22nd on the all-time shutouts list with 51 and should definetlly be a consideration for the Hall.
Alexander Mogilny (BUF/VAN/NJ/TOR)
Alexander Mogilny may be on the list because he is my favourite player, but he has also put up the numbers to make it to the Hall. Mogilny finished his career with 1,032 points in 990 games. He scored 437 goals, with his most impressive year coming in 1992-1993 when he scored 76 goals and 127 points in 77 games. Mogilny won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2002-2003 as the league's most gentlemanly player while also playing at a skilled level of play. He is tied for the NHL record for the fastest goal to start a game, scoring just 5 seconds in to a game. In 2000 Mogilny was a member of the Stanley Cup winning New Jersey Devils. Mogilny will also be remembered for his part in the 1996 World Championship when Russia despite a dominating performance lost in the semi-finals. It will be remembered because Mogilny was part of, what many believed to be the greatest forward line ever assembled, playing on a line with Pavel Bure and Sergei Federov.
All 6 of these players have achieved a lot throughout their careers and may one day be immortalized in the Hall of Fame. Who do you think will make the class of 2013?
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