Who deserves the Hockey Hall of Fame first? Eric Lindros or Daniel Alfredsson

alfielindros

Each year, a select few hockey players get their names etched into the prestigious Hockey Hall of Fame. Naturally there are also a select few who seem to get snubbed; sometimes year after year. Usually, it’s when it’s too late that they get thrown in. The inductee does not get to witness the fruits of being inducted into the Hall as they are sadly no longer with us.

This drives me nuts to no end. Why wait until they pass away to do tributes or induct them in after the fact? Do these things while they’re alive so they can bask in their accomplishments.

But I digress.
eric_lindros2-640x360
Two of the players I’m writing about in this article are both very worthy to reach the Hall. One just finished up his career so it’ll take a bit of time before he gets thrown in BUT, I bet he’ll make it before a certain black and orange pedigree.

It seems like The Hall hates Eric Lindros.

Maybe it’s because Bobby Clarke is on the selection committee and sort of has it in for him. We all know they don’t get along. However, back in 2007 in an interview with CBC, Clarke said by all means that Lindros deserves a place in there. And he does.

This is where the selection committee needs to throw all the politics and drama aside and just focus on the hockey. The stats and the facts for Eric Lindros are plain as day. Who cares that his family made him refuse to play in the Soo, or that he refused to play for the Nordiques. It’s been almost 30 years (!?); time to grow a pair.

There’s no mistaken the dominance that was displayed by the Big E in the later half of the 90’s. He carried the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1998 and got ever so close to Lord Stanley. He managed 70 points in a 46 game lockout season in 1995 which garnered him the Hart Trophy. He knew how to throw his big body around to his advantage but yet still kept small with his skill. It was a new breed of hockey player that was built for the time; you hardly see guys like him anymore.

But you know what? Look back at his career before he even hit the NHL. The man was a beast; he was tearing up every league he played in. He played a bit of junior down in Detroit where he had 52 points and 123 PIMs in 14 games.

FOURTEEN. GAMES.

You want to know how bad Philadelphia wanted this kid? This is what the Quebec Nordiques got in return for trading Lindros to Philadelphia: “Traded to Philadelphia by Quebec for Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Philadelphia’s 1st round choices in 1993 (Jocelyn Thibault) and 1994 (Nolan Baumgartner) Entry Draftsand $15,000,000.”

This kid was good and he made the Flyers a contender about five or six years in a row.
Who knows what kind of player he could’ve morphed into if it wasn’t for the injuries and concussions. That kind of label stuck after Scott Stevens threw his shoulder into him on the blue line during the playoffs in 1999. I remember sitting on my couch, watching it as a 12 year old and saying to myself “He’s done.” Lindros never played out a full season either which is shocking when you look at his point totals.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lindros will be in the Hall of Fame. It’s just a question of when.

danielalfredssonWhich brings me to Daniel Alfredsson.

Now unless you live in Eastern Ontario, are a diehard Ottawa Senators fan, or Swedish, chances are you don’t know too much about Alfie’s accomplishments and chances are you don’t really care. Let’s face it. Fans of the NHL often forget that the Ottawa Senators are even a team except for those in Leaf Nation.

Aside from Alfredsson’s  two most known moments, (the hit on Darcy Tucker and the stick throwing incident) nobody can really name off what Alfredsson has done in his career. The guy carried an entire team on his back for almost two decades yet nobody seems to care.

Instead of rhyming off reasons why Daniel Alfredsson is pretty damn amazing, I’m going to let Steve Dangle tackle this in a video he did for Sportsnet a couple weeks back.

So with all that in mind, it begs the question. Does Daniel Alfredsson belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Uh, yes. A big, huge, YES.

Whether you like it or not, you have to admit it.

Who goes into the Hall of Fame first? Well, naturally in the order of things Eric Lindros would get the nod but we’ve been saying this for years and he’s yet to capture his rightful place. Alfredsson is going to have to wait his three years before he’s eligible to be nominated and with the way things are going, hell, we could see them on the same ballot!

In the end of all this, both men deserve their shot. Their contributions to the game of hockey, not only NHL but internationally as well surpass many. The Flyers and the Senators might each win Cups before this happens though.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments, send me a tweet @MarchHockey, or like the page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marchhockey

Advertisements

Hartnell Down to Columbus…..for BJs

(Photo: Rich Lee, flickr)
(Photo: Rich Lee, flickr)

 

I don’t usually comment or write about the bigger stories that the NHL warrants because they’re a dime a dozen. Every hockey blogger on earth will have a reaction, either positive or negative, to every single thing that happens in the NHL. I like focusing my time and words to the lesser known stories and not as popular hockey leagues and teams of the world.

However being as my favourite NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers, has made the first blockbuster trade of the offseason, (and…a bit of a stupid one at that), I figured I’ll poke my head into the dilemma and give my two cents.

Newly acquired General Manager Ron Hextall has made his first big splash since becoming reacquainted with the Flyers organization. Today he sent forward Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for another former Flyer, Columbus assistant captain R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in 2015.

For those of you who have heard the name R.J. Umberger before but can’t remember why, well, this is probably the reason:

Hextall’s reasoning for the trade is trying to get the Flyers quicker up front and have more leverage and cap space to work with. Granted, that’s exceptional reasoning but to throw one of the teams’ best forwards in recent memory and one of the best players who do so much for the community down the drain and to another squad? Well, I think there has to be more to it than that.

Columbus was going to buy out Umberger and he was set to become a UFA; that was no secret. For the Blue Jackets, trading him and keeping their buyout is a fantastic win and probably one that shocked them. On Philly’s side, they retain a shorter contract with Umberger with gives them flexibility with the cap even though they’re only saving $150,000.

(AP Photo/Terry Gilliam)
(AP Photo/Terry Gilliam)

This deal seemingly came out of nowhere which leads me to believe that something went on behind the scenes and Hexy had to scramble and go for anything that was out there to unload Hartnell. Hell, Hartnell even changed his Twitter bio to “Columbus, Ohio” not even 10 minutes after the trade was announced. He even also would have had to waive his No-Trade Clause. I don’t know any insider info so take what you will of this with a grain of salt.

On another note, is the Columbus Blue Jackets the only team the Flyers can trade with?! Over the past three years, the Flyers have traded Jeff Carter, Sergei Bobrovsky and now Scott Hartnell to the BJs.

One more little stat: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, James Van Riemsdyk and now Scott Hartnell were all traded on June 23rd. A day that lives in Flyers infamy now.

Now let’s get ready for the Leafs to do something stupid this summer so we can put this behind us.

An apology from a disgruntled Philadelphia Flyers fan

32008_440250514621_4995458_nFor some of you that know me, you will know that I’ve grown up a die hard and faithful fan of the black and orange, my beloved Philadelphia Flyers.

While I’m not old enough to remember the magic of winning back to back Stanley Cups, the days of the Broadstreet Bullies or the dreaded Cooperalls, I am old enough to have witnessed the glory days of Ron Hextall, the “Legion of Doom” line, Roger Nielson leading the team from behind the bench and many more exciting and amazing memories.

However, what happened last night has left me disgusted and embarrassed for the first time for being a fan of my team.

Granted the year is not playing out like we have hoped. A couple of bone head moves made by Paul Holmgren and company can leave the team deflated. I’m sure the tension throughout the entire organization is not something I’d like to endure but this is hockey and in times of rebuilding, these things happen.

I miss Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)
I miss Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)

Tension, frustration, the pressure from the ridiculous Philly media and fans came to an abrupt halt in last night’s game against the Washington Capitals. While I commend Wayne Simmonds for trying to spark some life into the arena and his team, I don’t think it was warranted when your team is already down by 7(!?). Should’ve tried a little earlier Wayner. All jokes aside, I have nothing bad to say about your actions.

What happened next was appalling and I KNEW something like this was going to happen when we announced the signing of Ray Emery. Did nobody remember him attacking a trainer in the KHL? Guess not.

For those of you who don’t know what happened or don’t follow hockey, Emery is a goaltender who skated the length of the ice to fight the opposing Capitals goaltender, Brayden Holtby. Holtby did not want anything to do with this and tried backing away. Instinctively, Emery grabbed him and started a 2 minute assault by pounding fists into the back of his head. The referee stopped players from jumping in to aide Holtby. What’s even more disgusting is that Emery gave up 4 goals, earned 29 penalty minutes, beat the shit out of Holtby and the Philadelphia media gave him third star of the game. Ridiculous.

Brian McGratton once said that Ray Emery would be a top 5 fighter if he wasn’t a goaltender. The man is a boxer on skates with a screw loose. This is just the sort of thing that is going to get people to jump on the “fighting should be banned from hockey” bandwagon.

I cover a lot of the LNAH which is a league known for its fights, whether staged or not. I am disgusted to think that guys like Emery and Jon Scott will most likely ended up in this league based on that reason alone.

How do you fix this mess? I’m not sure. With Ed Snider around, I’m not sure if Paul Holmgren will be leaving anytime soon. Homer, take a page out of Bobby Clarke’s book and maybe step down. A whole overhaul needs to take place.

In closing, on behalf of this Flyers fan to the rest of hockey fans across the globe, I apologize for the stupid actions in last night’s game. I will be sitting with a paperbag over my head for the rest of the season.

It’s Always Money In Philadelphia?

Oh Paul Holmgren. Never change.

Rumors have been circulating around the Flyers this past week over player buyouts. Starting the ball rolling was the signing of former New York Islander captain Mark Streit to a 4 year, 21 million dollar contract. TSN first confirmed the signing leaving people to wonder what will come of the salary cap.

Enter stage left: Danny Briere.

Danny Briere. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr.)
Danny Briere. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr.)

35 year old Daniel Briere as indeed been told by management that he will be bought out as early as 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Finals have ended. Confirmed by ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun, Briere was on the downhill anyways. He never materialized into the power offensive forward he was once toted at. It will be good to get his 6.5 million off the books.

Enter from humongous big universe: Ilya Bryzgalov.

Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)
Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)

I was rooting for Bryz. I really was. I really wanted him to turn into something spectacular. His lovable demeanor off the ice made everyone root for him I think. But once again, poor Bryzgalov never panned out as Philadelphia’s hot goaltender. There have been rumors of whether or not he will be bought out, but it really is inevitable.

As a long time Flyers fan, I’m patiently waiting for the next Ron Hextall. I think I might be waiting awhile.