Does Gerry Cheevers Belong in the Hockey hall of Fame?

Gerry Cheevers was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame only five years after he retired. And yet he has one of the weakest resumes of any Hall of Fame goalie, and that resume is significantly weaker than some goalies who are not in the Hall of Fame.

Boston Bruins, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Cheevers was never an end-of-season All Star (1st or 2nd Team) in the NHL, he never won an award and he never led the NHL in any regular season statistical category. His regular achievements all happened in the WHA.

However, he went to four Stanley Cup finals and won two Cups. And while he was in the WHA, he was one of the very best goalies in the league.

So, does Gerry Cheevers belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us discuss his case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1985: Gerry Cheevers, Bert Olmstead, Jean Ratelle

Gerry Cheevers’ Career:

  • NHL:
    • 1961-62; 1965-72; 1975-80; 13 seasons, 8 as a starter, 5 as a backup
    • Totals:
      • 227W (17th All Time at his retirement)
      • 104L
      • 76T (18th All Time at his retirement)
      • 26 SO in
      • 24,373 Minutes in
      • 418 Games (25th All Time at his retirement);
      • 74.5 PS (25th All Time at his retirement)
      • 46.7 GSAA (17th All Time at his retirement)
    • Averages:
      • 2.89 GAA
      • .901 SV% (19th All Time at his retirement)
    • Undrafted
    • Era: Of the 11 goalies who played in at least 410 games between 1965 and 1980, Cheevers is
      • 5th in Wins
      • Last in Losses
      • 6th in Ties
      • 1st in Goals Against
      • Last in Shots Against
      • 10th (2nd last) in Shots
      • T-4th in Save Percentage
      • 4th in Goals Against Average
      • 5th in Goals Saved Above Average
      • T-6th in Shutouts
      • 8th in Minutes
      • 6th in Point Shares
    • Season average: 17-8-6, 2 SO in 32 Games
    • 82-game average: 45-20-15, 5 SO
    • 3-year peak (1968-71): .916 SV%; 2.72 GAA
      • Season average: 26-9-9, 3 SO; 11.4 GSAA
      • 82-game average: 48-17-16, 6 SO ; 21.1 GSAA
    • Playoffs:
      • 88W (5th all Time at his retirement)
      • 34L (t-9th All Time)
      • 8 SO (6th All Time at his retirement)
      • .902 SV%
      • 2.7 GAA
      • 17 GSAA (12th All Time at his retirement)
      • 5388 Minutes (6th All Time at his retirement) in
      • 88 Games (6th All Time at his retirement)
      • Era: Of the 8 goalies to play in at least 41 games between 1965 and 1980, Cheevers is
        • 2nd in Wins (behind by 27)
        • 3rd in Losses
        • 6th in Goals Against
        • 3rd in Shots Against
        • 3rd in Saves
        • 7th (2nd last) in Save Percentage
        • 5th in GAA
        • 6th (3rd last) in GSAA
        • 2nd in Shutouts
        • 2nd in Minutes
        • 2nd in Games
    • Adjusted for Era:
      • 2.8 GAA
      • .905 SV%
      • 1.2 Goals Versus Average
      • 277.1 Goals Versus Threshold
    • Trades:
      • Waived at 24
  • WHA:
    • Totals:
      • 99W (9th All Time)
      • 78L (10th All Time)
      • 9T (9th All Time)
      • 14 SO (2nd All Time) in
      • 11352 Minutes in
      • 191 Games (8th All Time);
      • 93 GSAA (ish)
    • Per Game:
      • 3.12 GAA
    • Can’t calculate era
    • Season average: 25-20-2, 4 SO
    • 82-game average: 43-33-4, 6 SO
    • 3-year peak (1972-75): 3.04 GAA
      • Season average: 29-21-3, 4 SO
      • 82-game average: 44-32-4, 7 SO
    • Playoffs:
      • 19 Games (8th All Time), unknown record
      • 0 SO
      • .916 SV% (only recorded for 2 seasons)
      • 12 GSA above average (only recorded for 2 seasons)

Gerry Cheevers’ Accomplishments:

  • NHL:
    • Top Player:
      • Top 5 Goalie (by GPS) once (‘69)
      • Top 10 Goalie six times (‘67, ‘70, ‘72, ‘77, ‘80)
    • Wins:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Top in 5 in Wins six times
        • Top 10 eight times
    • Shutouts:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Top 5 in Shutouts twice
        • Top 10 in Shutouts seven times
    • Shots Against:
      • Top 10 in Shots Against six times
    • Saves:
      • Total Saves:
        • Top 10 in Saves six times
      • Percentage:
        • Leader-boards:
          • Top 5 in Save Percentage twice
          • Top 10 five times
        • Averages:
          • .920 SV% once
    • Goals Against:
      • GAA:
        • Leader-boards:
          • Top 10 in GAA six times
        • Average:
          • 2.5 GAA once
      • GSAA:
        • Leader-boards:
          • Top 5 in GSAA three times
          • Top 10 four times
        • Single-season totals:
          • +20 once
          • +15 twice
    • Minutes:
      • Top 10 in Minutes four times
    • Adjusted Peak:
      • 0.909 SV%
      • 61.9 Goals Versus Average
      • 247 Goals Versus Threshold
  • WHA:
    • Ben Hatskin (‘73) [WHA Vezina]
    • All Star:
      • 1st Team All Star once
      • 2nd Team All Star twice
    • Wins:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Top 5 in Wins twice
        • Top 10 in wins three times
    • Shut-outs:
      • Leader-boards:
        • Led the WHA in Shutouts three times
      • Single-season totals:
        • 5 shutouts once
    • Goals Against:
      • GAA:
        • Leader-boards:
          • Led the WHA in GAA once
          • Top 5 three times
      • GSAA:
        • +35 once
        • +25 three times

Gerry Cheevers’ Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Starter (led playoffs in games, wins, minutes, goals against, shots against and saves) on one Champion (‘70 Bruins)
    • Starter? (tied for playoff lead in wins with his teammate) on one Champion (‘72 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in games, losses, minutes, goals against and shots against) on one Runner Up (‘77 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in goals against) on one Runner Up (‘78 Bruins)
    • Starter (led playoffs in shutouts, shots against and saves) on one Final Four (‘69 Bruins)
    • Starter on one Final Four (‘79 Bruins)
    • Starter or 1A on one Final Four (‘76 Bruins)
  • WHA:
    • Starter on one Final Four (‘73 Crusaders)
  • Canada (World Cup):
    • Spare goalie (no GP) on one Champion (‘76 Canada)
  • Summit Series:
    • Starter on one Runner Up (‘74 Canada)

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