Feels like we write this story once a year at this point. Oh, wait. That's because we do.
The story remains the same for Fred Shero. There are no eligibility requirements for the builders category of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it continues to be a travesty that he goes unnoticed by the committee. Because there are no eligibility requirements, the committee has no excuse not to vote him in at this point. As we wrote last year on Shero:
He was the head coach that brought Philadelphia our only two Stanley Cups, and he did it as one of the most influential head coaches in the history of the game.
He was the first North American coach to actually study and learn from the Soviets, which certainly helped when his Flyers beat them in 1976. He was one of the first coaches to use film to study opponents, and he was the first coach to utilize the help of assistants. He'd be inducted in the Builders category if he were to ever make the Hall, and it's hard to argue that Shero isn't one of the more innovative builders hockey has ever seen.
But on Eric Lindros, the story seems less than clear. There are surely some even in Philadelphia who may feel he's unworthy of the Hall. Those people are wrong.
Lindros was eligible for the Hall of Fame beginning in 2010, yet for the third season in a row Lindros will not join the ranks of hockey's elite. The Hockey Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that Adam Oates, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure and Joe Sakic will be inducted into the player's category in 2012 -- a deserving class, to be sure. A maximum of four players are able to be inducted each year, and players must be retired from the game for at least three years to be eligible.
But with this class now headed for enshrinement, Lindros and Brendan Shanahan are the two notable snubs left on the list. Shanahan will almost certainly get in sooner than later -- this year was his first of eligibility and there's been general shock that he didn't make the cut this time around. Lindros is a different story.
Maybe it's because he's unpopular. He's only repaired ties with the Flyers organization over the last several months and we know how many bridges were burned throughout his hockey career. Maybe it's because his career was cut short by injury, which hurts his case considerably.
Nevertheless, Lindros was one of a handful of players who defined hockey in the 1990s. He's the only Hart Trophy winner since the 1970s who's eligible for the Hall but not in the Hall. He's also one of only two players in the top 30 in career points per game who's eligible but not in the Hall.
Players in green in these charts are Hall of Famers. Players in red are eligible but not in the Hall. Players in yellow are not eligible. Wayne Gretzky won the Hart Trophy a lot.
|Year||Hart Trophy Winner||Team||Rk||Career Points/Game Leaders|
|1975–76||Bobby Clarke||Flyers||1||Wayne Gretzky||1.921|
|1976–77||Guy Lafleur||Canadiens||2||Mario Lemieux||1.883|
|1977–78||Guy Lafleur||Canadiens||3||Mike Bossy||1.497|
|1978–79||Bryan Trottier||Islanders||4||Sidney Crosby||1.403|
|1979–80||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||5||Bobby Orr||1.393|
|1980–81||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||6||Marcel Dionne||1.314|
|1981–82||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||7||Peter Stastny||1.268|
|1982–83||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||8||Peter Forsberg||1.250|
|1983–84||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||9||Kent Nilsson||1.240|
|1984–85||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||10||Phil Esposito||1.240|
|1985–86||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||11||Evgeni Malkin||1.234|
|1986–87||Wayne Gretzky||Oilers||12||Jaromir Jagr||1.228|
|1987–88||Mario Lemieux||Penguins||13||Alex Ovechkin||1.228|
|1988–89||Wayne Gretzky||Kings||14||Guy Lafleur||1.202|
|1989–90||Mark Messier||Oilers||15||Joe Sakic||1.191|
|1990–91||Brett Hull||Blues||16||Dale Hawerchuk||1.186|
|1991–92||Mark Messier||Rangers||17||Pat LaFontaine||1.171|
|1992–93||Mario Lemieux||Penguins||18||Steve Yzerman||1.159|
|1993–94||Sergei Fedorov||Red Wings||19||Eric Lindros||1.138|
|1994–95||Eric Lindros||Flyers||20||Bernie Federko||1.130|
|1995–96||Mario Lemieux||Penguins||21||Denis Savard||1.119|
|1996–97||Dominik Hasek||Sabres||22||Jari Kurri||1.117|
|1997–98||Dominik Hasek||Sabres||23||Bryan Trottier||1.114|
|1998–99||Jaromir Jagr||Penguins||24||Gilbert Perreault||1.113|
|1999–00||Chris Pronger||Blues||25||Pavel Bure||1.110|
|2000–01||Joe Sakic||Avalanche||26||Bobby Hull||1.101|
|2001–02||Jose Theodore||Canadiens||27||Brett Hull||1.096|
|2002–03||Peter Forsberg||Avalanche||28||Paul Coffey||1.087|
|2003–04||Martin St. Louis||Lightning||29||Jean Beliveau||1.084|
|2004–05||Not awarded due to the NHL lockout.||30||Mark Messier||1.075|
Maybe 2013 will be Eric Lindros' year. He's sure as hell deserving.