Should Neil Colville Be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Neil Colville was one of the great passers of his era and a member of the last Ranger team to win a Stanley Cup for half a century. He was likely on pace to be one of the better forwards of his era, at least in terms of total assists. When he got back from WWII, however, he was converted to D, and his offensive production fell off a cliff.

We’re a little mystified why Colville is in the Hall of Fame. Listen to us discuss his Hall of Fame case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1967: Neil Colville, Turk Broda, Harry Oliver

Neil Colville’s Career:

  • NHK: 1935-42 (as Centre), 1944-49 (as D); 12 seasons, five seasons quality as a forward and a further three as a D by modern standards of PPG/DPS
  • Totals:
    • 100G,
    • 166A for
    • 266P in
    • 465 Games;
    • 36.8 Point Shares;
  • Per Game: Coville obviously doesn’t qualify for any leaderboards, but if the qualifiers are lowered so he does, at his retirement Coville was not on any leaderboards; however at his departure for WWII, he was
    • T-7th All Time in APG
    • T-13th All Time in PPG
  • Era:
    • Of the 38 skaters to play in at least 246 games (3 modern seasons) between 1935 and 1942, Colville is
      • 10th in Goals
      • 7th in GPG
      • 7th in Assists
      • t-3rd in APG
      • 10th in Points
      • T-4th in PPG
      • T-8th in Offensive Point Shares
      • 18th (9th/6th Forward) in Defensive Point Shares
      • 13th in Point Shares
      • 29th in Games
    • Of the 16 D to play in at least 164 games (2 modern seasons) between 1944 and 1949, Colville is
      • 11th in Goals
      • T-10th in GPG
      • 13th in Assists
      • T-8th in APG
      • T-13th (3rd last) in Points
      • T-10th in PPG
      • 12th in Offensive Point Shares
      • 14th (3rd last) in Defensive Point Shares
      • 14th (3rd last) in Point Shares
      • 13th in Games
  • 82-game average: 18G, 30A for 47P
  • 3-year peak:
    • As a forward (1938-41): 48-game average of 17G, 22A for 39P
    • As a D (1945-48): 60-game average of 5G, 11A for 16P
  • Playoffs:
    • 7G,
    • 19A (t-13th All Time at his retirement, t-4th All Time at his departure for WWII – Apps, Syd Howe, Boucher) for
    • 26P (t-12th All time at his departure for WWII) in
    • 45 Games
    • Per Game: Colville doesn’t meet any PG requirements (obviously), but if they are lowered so that he does, at his departure for WWII, Coville was
      • 2nd All Time in playoff APG (Cowley – ahead by .09)
      • T-8th All Time in playoff PPG
    • Era:
      • Among the 74 skaters to play in at least 20 playoff games between 1935 and 1942, Colville is
        • T-27th in playoff Goals
        • T-36th in playoff GPG
        • T-3rd in playoff Assists
        • 5th in playoff APG
        • 6th in playoff Points
        • T-12th in playoff PPG
        • T-14th in playoff Games
      • Colville only played 6 playoff games once he switched to D and he scored a single point
  • Adjustment for Era:
    • Hockey Reference:
      • 151G,
      • 283A for
      • 434P
      • Adjusted 82-game average: 27G, 50A for 77P (+30P per 82 games)
      • Per Game: doesn’t qualify for the leaderboards
    • VsX: Doesn’t qualify
  • Trades: Never traded

Neil Colville’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Hart voting once
  • All Star:
    • 2nd Team All Star three times
    • 1 All Star Game appearance
  • Top Player:
    • Top 10 Offensive Player (by OPS) three times (‘38, ‘39, ‘40)
  • Goals:
    • Leaderboards:
      • Top 10 in Goals three times
    • GPG leaderboards:
      • Top 10 in GPG three times
  • Assists:
    • Leaderboards:
      • Top 5 in Assists once
    • APG leaderboards:
      • Top 5 in APG once
  • Points:
    • Leaderboards:
      • Top 10 in Points four times
    • PPG leaderboards:
      • Top 5 in PPG once
      • Top 10 twice

Neil Colville’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Best Player? (by points) on one Runner Up (‘37 Rangers)
    • Top 3 Forward (led playoffs in assists and points) on one Champion (‘40 Rangers)
    • Best D? (by points) on one Final Four (‘48 Rangers)
    • Top 3 Forward (by points) on one Final Four (‘42 Rangers)
    • Top 9 Forward (by points) on one Final Four (‘39 Rangers)
  • Amateur:
    • Probably the best player on one Allan Cup Champion (‘43 Commandos)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *