Does Gordon Duke Keats Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Duke Keats was, by many measures, the best player in the history of the WCHL. Does that mean he belongs in a Hockey Hall of Fame containing mostly NHL players?

In our latest episode, we discuss Keats’ case. Listen here:

Keats’ stats:

Career:

  • NHL: 1926-1929; 3 seasons, 2 quality
  • 30G, 19A for 49P in 82 games; 11 PS
  • At his departure for the AHA, Keats was 18th in APG
  • Never made the NHL playoffs
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 56G, 122A for 178P
  • With a qualifier of 82 games, Keats is 9th All Time in Adjusted Points Per Game
  • Trades:
    • Traded at 31 into the NHL for cash
    • Traded when he was about to turn 32 with Archie Biden (28) for Frank Fredrickson (31) and Harry Meeking (32)
    • Traded at 32 for Gord Fraser (about to turn 26) and cash
    • Traded out of the NHL at 33
  • WCHL:
    • 1921-26; 5 seasons, all quality
    • 117G (1st All Time), 67A (1st) for 184P (1st) in 137 games (2nd)
    • Keats is 1st All Time in GPG, APG and PPG (by over .1 PPG)
    • 30-game average: 26G, 15A for 40P
    • Didn’t calculate a 3-year peak because it’s too difficult
    • Playoffs: 2G, 5A for 7P in 8 games
  • NHA:
    • 1915-17; 2 seasons, both quality
    • 37G, 10A (as high as 21st All Time) for 47P in 37 games
    • Didn’t bother with Keats’ per game rankings because he didn’t even play 2 full seasons
    • 24 game average: 24G, 6A for 30P
    • No playoffs
  • Big 4 (professional league posing as an amateur league):
    • 1919-21; 2 seasons, both quality
    • 41G, 20A for 61P in 27 games
    • Playoffs: 2G, 2A for 4P in 2 games.

Accomplishments

  • Top 10 in Assists both full seasons he was in the league
  • Top 10 in Points once
  • WCHL:
    • Led the WCHL in Goals once, Top 5 every season he was in the league
    • Led the WCHL in GPG once, Top 5 probably every season he was in the league
    • Led the WCHL in Assists once, Top 5 probably four times, Top 10 every season he was in the league
    • Led the WCHL in APG once (doubling the second best player), Top 5 probably four times, Top 10 every season he was in the league
    • Led the WCHL in Points once, Top 5 four times, Top 10 every season he was in the league
    • Led the WCHL in PPG twice (in his best season, nearly .8 PPG ahead of second), Top 5 four times, Top 10 every season he was in the league
  • NHA:
    • Top 5 in Goals once
    • Top 5 in GPG once
    • Top 5 in Assists maybe once
    • Top 5 in Points once
    • Top 5 in PPG

Great Teams

  • NHL: No playoffs
  • WCHL:
    • Best Skater? (by points) on one Stanley Cup Runner Up and WCHL Champion (’23 Eskimos)
    • Top 3? Forward (by points) on one WCHL Runner Up (’22 Eskimos)
  • NHA:
    • No playoffs
  • Big Four:
    • Best Player (by points) on one Big-4 Champion (’20 Eskimos)
  • Minor League:
    • Reserve? on one AHA Champion (’31 Oilers).


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