Does Leo Boivin Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

TGC-Topps Gum Cards, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

With the exception of a strong playoff run in 1957, Leo Boivin had a decent career that sure doesn’t look like a Hall of Fame one.

He never won an individual award or the Stanley Cup and he only ever finished Top 5 in Norris voting once. (And he played most of his career during the Norris-trophy era.)

He is among the most controversial Hockey Hall of Fame inductees ever. And so in this episode we ask whether or not Leo Boivin belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Listen to us talk about his Hall of Fame case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1986: Leo Boivin, Dave Keon, Serge Savard

Leo Boivin’s Career:

  • 1951-70; 18 seasons, 16 quality
  • Totals:
    • 72G
    • 250A (9th D All Time at his retirement) for
    • 322P (11th D All Time at his retirement),
    • -212* (5th last All Time, last at his retirement) [2/3rd of his career] in
    • 1150 Games (10th D All Time at his retirement);
    • 69.6 Point Shares (16th D All Time at his retirement);
    • 14th All Time in Defensive Point Shares at his retirement;
    • 25th D All Time in Offensive Point Shares at his retirement
  • Per Game: Boivin doesn’t qualify, but if the qualifier is lowered so that he does, Boivin was
    • 8th D All Time in APG at his retirement (9 qualifying players)
    • 12th D All Time in PPG at his retirement (12 qualifying players)
  • Era: Of the 10 D to play in at least 820 games between 1951 and 1970 (all of which are in the Hall of Fame), Boivin is
    • 7th in Goals
    • Last in GPG (no actual qualifying players)
    • 8th (3rd last) in Assists
    • 9th (2nd last) in APG (only 5 actual qualifying players)
    • 8th (3rd last) in Points
    • Last in PPG (no actual qualifying players)
    • Last in Plus/Minus (by over double 2nd last, -119 lower)
    • 8th (3rd last) in Offensive Point Shares
    • 9th (2nd last) in Defensive Point Shares
    • Last in Point Shares
  • 82-game average: 5G, 18A for 23P, -15*; 5 PS
  • 3-year peak (1953-56): 70-game average of 4G, 12A for 16P, 5.25 PS
  • Playoffs:
    • 3G,
    • 10A for
    • 13P,
    • +2* [in 15 games] in
    • 54 Games
    • Per Game: doesn’t qualify
    • Era: Of the 32 D to play in at least 41 playoff games between 1951 and 1970, Boivin is
      • 14th in Goals
      • 11th in GPG (zero qualifying players)
      • 17th in Assists
      • 15th in APG (5 qualifying players)
      • 15th in Points
      • 14th in PPG (2 qualifying players)
      • 16th in Plus/Minus
      • 21st in Games
  • Adjusted for Era:
    • Hockey Reference:
      • 79G
      • 283A for
      • 362P
      • 82-game average: 6G, 20A for 26P (+3P per 82 games)
      • Per Game: obviously doesn’t qualify
    • VsX: Doesn’t qualify
  • Trades:
    • Traded at 18 with Fern Flaman (23), Phil Maloney (23) and Ken Smith (26) to the Leafs for Bill Ezincki (26) and Vic Lynn (25)
    • Traded at 22 to the Bruins for Joe Klukay (32)
    • Traded at 33 with Dean Prentice (33) to the Red Wings for Gary Doak (nearly 20), Bill Lesuk (19), Ron Murphy (32) and Steve Atkinson (17)
    • Left unprotected at 34 in an expansion draft
    • Traded at 36 for Duane Rupp (30)

Leo Boivin’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Norris voting once
  • Top 5 in Calder voting
  • All Star:
    • 3 All Star Game appearances
  • Top Player:
    • Top 10 Defensive Player (by DPS) once (‘53)
  • VsX Peak: doesn’t qualify

Leo Boivin’s Great Teams:

  • Best D (by points) on one Runner Up (‘57 Bruins)
  • Top 2 D (by points) on one Final Four (‘59 Bruins)
  • Top 4 D (by points, led playoffs in PIM) on one Runner Up (‘58 Bruins)
  • Top 4 D (by points) on one Final Four (‘55 Bruins)
  • Role Player (by points) on one Runner Up (‘66 Red Wings) and one Final Four (‘54 Leafs)

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