Eight years later, the Hall of Fame got it right.
Glenn Anderson, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and fifth all-time in playoff goals (93), was finally deemed Hall-worthy after first being eligible in 2000. It’s a well-deserved honor for a player who, as they say (or at least, as I said), always saved his best for when it mattered most.
Now that Anderson has his plaque, here are 14 other retired players – in order of being overlooked – who deserve an everlasting moment of Fame.
Sergei Makarov – He led the Central Red Army in Russia for 11 years, then joined the NHL at 31. One of the best players ever who’s not in the Hall. His time will come.
Doug Gilmour – He was the best player in the game for a short while in the early ’90s…just ask any Leafs fan. Not to mention, he racked up more than 1,400 points.
Pavel Bure – Simply, one of the most electrifying players in hockey history. His combination of speed and scoring ability made him a must-watch player. Injuries cut his career painfully short, but that’s what they said about Cam Neely, and he’s in. (Different type of players, yes, but both made huge impacts on their respective teams when they were healthy and in the lineup.)
Phil Housley – He sits fourth all-time in scoring by defensemen and second among U.S.-born players. One-dimensional? Maybe, but it was a very good dimension for a very long time.
Vladimir Krutov – OK, so his NHL foray was a complete flop. Don’t forget he was a ‘Tank’ for the Russians for more than a decade and is considered one of the best left wingers ever.
Tom Barrasso – One of the first American goalies to truly make the grade in the NHL, he won the Calder and Vezina Trophies in his rookie season. Two Cups and 369 wins, too.
Claude Lemieux – All he did was win, with four Cups on three different teams. Correct that: All he did was win and peeve off opponents – by scoring or stick-work; it didn’t matter to Claude.
Steve Larmer – Mr. Ironman didn’t miss a game in his first 11 full seasons and collected five 40-plus goal campaigns in that stretch. (And he only dipped below 30 goals twice, scoring 28 and 29.)
Guy Carbonneau – Three Selke Trophies and three Cups for one of the best-ever defensive forwards. Another player who excelled in the playoffs; how many key faceoffs did he take in his 19-year career?
Adam Oates – He learned to share at a young age and never forgot the lesson – he’s sixth all-time with 1,079 assists. Oates had 90 assists in 61 games with St. Louis in 1990-91 and 97 assists – plus 45 goals – with Boston in 1992-93.
Alexei Kasatonov – Everyone else on the ‘Russian Five’ is going to get in; Kasatonov should, too.
Esa Tikkanen – Here’s hoping Tikkanen and Claude Lemieux get honored in the same year. It’ll be the first time a stick fight breaks out at the induction ceremony.
Dino Ciccarelli – More than 600 goals for a scrappy player who’d probably be more than happy to join the Lemieux-Tikkanen stick fight.
Lorne Chabot – And one for the ages. Old-time goalie had 73 shutouts, two Stanley Cups and 2.04 lifetime goals-against average (1.54 GAA in the playoffs) in the 1920s and ’30s. You can make the argument he’s the best goalie not in the Hall.
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