Does Bill Gadsby Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Bill Gadsby was one of the great pre-Orr offensive D, scoring more points than any other pure defender at his retirement. (Only Red Kelly had more and he’d bee playing centre for years when Gadsby retired.) He also has plenty of end-of-season All Star Team appearances and a number of Norris nominations.

But his teams never won and the Plus/Minus stats we have for the end of his career are flat out bad.

Does Bill Gadsby belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us talk about his case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1970: Bill Gadsby, Babe Dye, Tom Johnson

Bill Gadsby’s Career:

  • NHL: 1946-66; 21 seasons, 16 quality (by DPS)
  • Totals:
    • 130G (11th/3rd D All Time at his retirement – Clancy, Hollett),
    • 438A (7th All Time, 2nd/1st D, at his retirement – Kelly) for
    • 568P (16th All Time, 3rd/1st D, at his retirement – Kelly, Schmidt???)
    • -62* in
    • 1248 Games (3rd All Time, 2nd/1st D, at his retirement – Howe, Kelly);
    • 100.3 Point Shares (9th All Time, 4th/3rd D, at his retirement – Kelly, Harvey, Clancy);
    • At his retirement, Gadsby was 12th All Time in Defensive Point Shares
    • At his retirement, among D, Gadsby was t-4th/t-1st in Offensive Point Shares (Kelly, Clapper, Schmidt???)
  • Per Game:
    • T-25th All Time in APG at his retirement (last among qualifying players)
    • 4th/2nd D All Time in PPG at his retirement (Schmidt, Kelly, Harvey; last among qualifying players);
    • Gadsby doesn’t qualifying for GPG, but if the qualifier is lowered enough so he qualifies (125G), among D, he was
      • 11th/3rd All Time in GPG (last among qualifying players – Hollett, Clancy)
  • Era: Of the 11 D* to play in at least 820 Games (10 modern seasons) between 1946 and 1966, Gadsby is
    • 3rd in Goals
    • 3rd in GPG (doesn’t actually qualify, less than half of 1st)
    • 2nd in Assists
    • 3rd in APG
    • 2nd in Points
    • 4th in PPG
    • 8th in Plus/Minus
    • 2nd in Offensive Point Shares
    • 8th in Defensive Point Shares
    • 3rd in Point Shares
    • 2nd in Games
  • 82-game average: 8G, 29A for 38P, -4*; 6.6 PS
  • 3-year peak (1955-58): 70-game average of 10G, 38A for 64P; 7.9 PS
  • Playoffs:
    • 4G,
    • 23A (8th/6th D All Time at his retirement) for
    • 27P (13th/9th D All Time at his retirement);
    • +5* (7th D All Time at his retirement) in
    • 67 Games (18th/15th D at his retirement)
    • Per Game:
      • 6th/5th D in APG All Time at his retirement (Pilote, Harvey, Tremblay, Stanley);
      • Gadsby doesn’t qualify for the playoff GPG and PPG leaderboards, but if we lower the qualifiers (absurdly) so he does (4G, 25P), at his retirement, among D, he was
        • Last in playoffs GPG
        • 12th/9th in playoffs PPG
    • Era: Of the 34 D* to play in at least 41 playoff games between 1946-66, Gadsby is
      • t-15th/12th in playoff Goals
      • T-13th in playoff GPG
      • 6th/5th in playoff Assists
      • 7th in playoff APG
      • 8th/6th in playoff Points
      • 9th in playoff PPG
      • T-5th in playoff Plus/Minus
      • 12th in Games
  • Adjustment for Error:
    • Hockey-Reference:
      • Totals:
        • 154G,
        • 546A for
        • 700P
      • Adjusted 82-game average: 10G, 36A for 46P (+8P per 82 games)
      • Per Game: Gadsby doesn’t qualify for any PG leaderboards among D and we didn’t figure out what happens if we raise the qualifier to 820 Games
    • VsX:
      • Goals: doesn’t qualify
      • 742A
      • 780P
      • Per Game: we didn’t figure out separate leaderboards for D for VsX per game, and he’s obviously not on the skater ones
  • Trades:
    • Traded at 27 with Pete Conacher (22) to New York for Rich Lamoureux (20), Nick Mickoski (26) and Allan Stanley (28)
    • Traded at 33 to Detroit for Les Hunt (24)

Bill Gadsby’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Norris voting six times
  • All Star:
    • 1st Team All Star three times (possibly 10th most for a D All Time)
    • 2nd Team All Star four times
    • 8 All Star Games
  • Top Player:
    • Top 10 Player (by PS) once (‘58)
    • Top 10 Offensive Player (by OPS) once (‘54)
  • Assists:
    • Leaderboards:
      • Top 5 in Assists twice
      • Top 10 three times
    • APG leaderboards:
      • Top 5 in APG twice
      • Top 10 three times
    • Single-season totals:
      • 40 assists twice (1 of only 4/3 D at his retirement – Pilote, Kelly, Harvey)
  • Points:
    • Leaderboards:
      • Top 10 in Points once
    • PPG leaderboards:
      • Top 10 in PPG once
    • Single-season totals:
      • 50 points twice (1 of only 4/2 D at his retirement – Kelly, Schmidt??? Pilote)

Bill Gadsby’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Best Player (by points) on one Final Four (‘56 Rangers)
    • Best D (by points) on one Runner Up (‘63 Wings) and two Final Fours (‘57, ‘58 Rangers)
    • Top 2 D (by points) on two Runner Ups (‘64, ‘66 Wings) and one Final Four (‘65 Wings)
    • Top 4? D (by points) on one Final Four (‘53 Hawks)

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