Since it’s been brought up, let’s put Cujo through the hockey version of the Keltner List.
1. Was he ever commonly thought of as the best player in hockey while he played?
2. Was he ever commonly thought of as the best player at his position while he played?
Outside of Keswick, Ontario? Not likely.
3. Was he ever among the top 10 leaders in any key stats? (G, A, Pts, W, SO, etc)
Yes, in most key stats. (1)
4. Did the player ever lead the league in any key stats? (G, A, Pts, W, SO, etc)
In 1993, Joseph led the league in SV%. (2)
5. Did he ever have an impact on a deep playoff run?
He had a huge impact in the Oilers upset win over Dallas in 1997, but really… He also led the playoffs in losses 3 different times. I’m willing to listen to counter-arguments, but I have a tough time giving him this one. No. (2)
6. Was he a key member of a Stanley Cup winner?
7. Was he ever a team Captain?
He was a goalie, of course, and it’s exceptionally rare. But, still a no (2)
8. Was he ever team Captain of a Stanley Cup winner?
Same. No. (2)
9. Did many regard him to be an excellent defensive player?
Not applicable. (2)
10. Did many regard his physical play/hitting to be an intimidating factor? (NOTE: We're not looking for pests here)
I think that this can potentially be applicable to goaltenders. Billy Smith and Ron Hextall come to my mind. Also, no for Joesph here. (2)
11. Did he play a lot/well after he passed his prime?
Cujo played 557 games in his 30s, so we have to say yes, but I think it extremely relevant to point out that the league expanded 3 times, adding 4 teams during that same period. This only helped his chances of continued employment. Still. Yes. (3)
12. Was he ever elected to the 1st or 2nd All-Star team?
13. Are many any other players with similar statistics in the HHOF?
Of the 10 most statistically similar players to Cujo, 6 are in the HHOF, with the 7th (King Henrik) a possible candidate later. Seems yes is the answer here. (4)
14. Did he win a Hart, Lindsay, Norris or Vezina Trophy? (NOTE for goalies: prior to 1982, use 1st All-Star selections)
He had some top 5 finishes in voting, but never a winner. (4)
15. Did he win a Conn Smythe Trophy? (pre-1965: see resources)
16. Is there any evidence to suggest (due to circumstances beyond his control) that he was significantly better than is indicated by his statistics? (NOTE: We're looking for things like time missed due to global conflict, world politics, league wars, etc... NOT INJURY!)
I don’t see a possible argument here. (4)
17. Did the player bring bring positive and intense focus on the game of hockey?
Cujo was, by all accounts, a good citizen, but there’s no way he qualifies for a point here. (4)
18. Was the player innovative, inspire a new style of play, or cause the league to change any of its rules as a result of the way he played?
Give Tony Esposito or Jacques Plante a point here. Not Curtis Joseph. (4)
Of the 16 questions for which we ask, 16 are applicable to goaltenders, and Joseph scores "only" a 4. To score any points on this list means that you had a noteworthy career, but that's not the yardstick here. We're looking for Hall of Famers here, and Cujo just doesn't fit the bill.
With the Hall of Fame inductions behind us the new class is being discussed and I have been hearing a lot about Curtis Joseph being inducted soon and it makes me think: Are they freaking serious??
I simply do not get it. I never thought he was nothing more than a good to very good goalie at any point in his career and looking at the Stats now all that I see is a guy who hung around a long time in that role. A quick look at his numbers:
943 games (6th all time)
454 wins (5th all time)
352 Reg losses (3rd all time)
96 shootout losses/ties (22nd all time)
6th most goals against all time
While playing he only appeared in 2 all star games, never was a first or even second team All Star never won a Vezina (although he came in second in voting once and third twice)He never led the league in much of anything, save percentage once and saves twice, that is it. His teams never won a Stanley Cup, in fact quite a few of his teams were favored in the postseason only to fizzle. For his career he went 63-66 in the postseason.
I see CUJO as a Don Sutton type, Sutton chugged along year after year with a bunch of 16-11 seasons and hung around forever so he eventually won 300 games and had 3000 strikeouts which of course got him into the Hall. If Joseph makes it, it will be the same thing.
@JR Ewing has done a fine job of using the Bill James black ink test and converting it to the NHL which asks hard analytical questions such as was the player ever considered the best in the game at any given time and things like that, I have no doubt he will come up short in a long hard look at his numbers.
I would put Chris Osgood in way before Cujo and to be clear, I am not a homer when it comes to Ozzie, I do not believe that Osgood was a HOFer either. Ozzie for his career was 401-216-95 led the league in wins once and was a second team All Star once, after a slow start as far as the postseason went, he won three Stanley Cups and appeared in two other finals His postseason record was 74-59. I think he measures up quite well compared to Joseph. But I think that neither belongs in the Hall unless they buy a ticket like the rest of us.
I just do not see it. Anyone else have an opinion?
What a "ho-hum" mediocre career. He hung around long enough to pile up some stats, but hardly impressive. For a while, he was considered a top 10 goalie, that may be one of the only things he can hang his hat on. I really like your Don Sutton comparison, it works nicely. You could probably throw Gaylord Perry into that grouping. Simply outrageous that Cujo's name is being mentioned in the same sentence as the HOF. NO way, NO how.
Goalie wise, I put him in the same grouping as John VanBiesbrok. Good goalie for his time period, never great, just like Cojo. If Curtis makes it, you might as well start nominating Mike Palmateer (the Popcorn Kid!)....lol.
I remember back in the day, the Flyers had a choice between Cujo and the Beezer. They choose Beezer of course, and it was probably a mistake. A few years later, the Flyers met the Leafs in the 2nd round of the playoffs. It ended up being the lowest scoring 6 game series in NHL history (think it still stands, not sure)....anyways, Game 6 went into OT and the Leafs scored on Beezer....that goal still haunts me to this day, it was the ugliest trickling stinker of all time, one of those slow-motion horrific dribblers. Like a lot of Flyer fans, I felt we could have won the Cup with Cujo....who knows?
I agree with the three of you. I really liked Curtis Joseph throughout his career, especially with the Leafs but the big wins just aren't there.
There's a pretty good article about him and the Hall of Fame here ->
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I won't totally rule him out, but he won't be in the Hall of Fame anytime soon.
A few more comparables, both from different eras. The 60's and early 70's version of Cuo would be Roger Crozier. I wonder how he would score on J.R's test?? If the 60's were Crozier and the 80's were Cujo, the 70's comparison might just be Phil Myre. Phil was like the other two, considered one of the top 10 goalies during some years, but always fell short of the big prize.
Roger did make the finals 3 times, never winning the Cup. He did, however, win a few trophies along the way. His rookie year he brought home the Calder. He also has a Conn Smythe in his back pocket. According to the Wiki page on Roger, he was responsible for perfecting the butterfly style that Glenn Hall started. He also made an NHL 1st team all star selection, another couple boxes checked off.
Some other Crozier tidbits.....
-Roger was the first player to ever win the Conn Smythe in a losing effort.
-Crozier was the goalie of record in the infamous "Fog Game" against the Philadelphia Flyers in 74-75. After starter Jerry Desjardins got smoked in Game #3 (Gerry let in 3 first period goals) Roger came in relief and only allowed 1 more goal the rest of the game, giving his Sabres a 5-4 win in Overtime.
-The Red Wings liked Crozier so much as a rookie, they left the great Terry Sawchuk exposed in the expansion draft, allowing his time in Toronto to begin.
-Roger helped his OHA-Jr team (the league is now called the OHL) team, the St.Catherines TeePees win the Memorial Cup in the 59-60 season. Despite winning the championship, he let in 58 goals in 14 Memorial Cup Games, posting a gaudy 4.08 Goals Against Average.....The TeePee's must have had a wicked good offense, huh? Just a guess, but I'm betting the name TeePee's could not be used in our current society....LMAO!