by Iain Fyffe
On June 22, the Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its induction class for 2010. There are a number of quality players in their first year of eligibility, and a few holdovers that deserve consideration. Now that last year’s ridiculous class (Yzerman, Hull, Robitaille, Leetch) has cleared the boards a bit, we’ll see some less-sure-fire candidates this year.
I’m putting the finishing touches on the Inductinator, a system to predict who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame based on the standards of recent players who have been inducted. It’s not necessarily about who should be in, but who will be, based on implicit standards developed from how the selection committee inducts players. A series of articles is upcoming to detail the Inductinator, but for now we can use it to make some predictions; I wanted to get something out before this year’s class is announced. All of the following players meet the implicit standards used in the system.
- Class of 2010: Alexander Mogilny, John LeClair, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pierre Turgeon
- Class of 2011: Ed Belfour, Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk
- Class of 2012: Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Mats Sundin, Jeremy Roenick
Note that Lindros and Andreychuk are both eligible in 2010, but are the fifth- and sixth-most qualified players according to the system. One or both of them might go in this year, in which case the players they replace get shifted to 2011.
If the fourth available spot is to be filled in 2011 (and it doesn’t have to be), the most likely candidates are Adam Oates and Pavel Bure, both of whom miss the Hall of Fame standards by the slimmest of margins, according to the Inductinator. A wildcard is Sergei Makarov, who the Inductinator is not calibrated to evaluate, since he played most of his good years in Europe. The system is designed to examine current players, and Makarov was among the last of a type of player who doesn’t really exist any more: superstar players who play their prime in Europe and their declining years in the NHL. These days it’s the other way around.