Does Harry Oliver Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Harry Oliver was a WCHL star who mostly didn’t have the same kind of success in the NHL, except during the 1927 playoffs when he led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup.

When we discuss Harry Oliver’s Hall of Fame case, the big thing we struggle with is, was he a big enough star in the WCHL?

Listen to us talk about it here:

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

Harry Oliver’s Career:

  • NHL: 1926-37; 11 seasons, 5 quality by modern standards of PPG
    • Totals:
      • 127G,
      • 85 A for
      • 212P;
      • 39.1 Point Shares in
      • 465 Games;
      • At his retirement, Harry Oliver was
        • 22nd All Time in Offensive Point Shares
        • T-25th Forward All Time in Defensive Point Shares
    • Per Game: Oliver does not qualify for any PG leaderboards but if we lower the qualifiers so he does (125G/75A/200P), at his retirement he still doesn’t make the Top 25
    • Era: Of 30 skaters to play in at least 410 games (5 modern seasons) between 1926 and 1937, Oliver is
      • 15th in Goals
      • 15th in GPG
      • 22nd in Assists
      • T-22nd in APG
      • 17th in Points
      • 18th in PPG
      • 14th in Offensive Point Shares
      • T-13th Forward in Defensive Point Shares
      • 18th in Point Shares
      • T-15th in Games
    • 82-game average: 22G, 15A for 38P
    • 3-year peak (1928-31): 44-game average of 17G, 9A for 25P
    • Playoffs:
      • 10G (t-15th ALL Time at his retirement),
      • 6A (t-30th All Time at his retirement) for
      • 16P (t-20th All Time at his retirement) in
      • 36 Games
      • Per Game: Harry Oliver doesn’t qualify for any playoff PG leaderboards, but if they’re lowered, at his retirement Oliver was
        • T-14th All Time (t-2nd last among qualifying players) in playoff GPG
        • T-16th All Time in playoff APG
        • 20th All Time in playoff PPG
      • Era: Of the 77 skaters to play in at least 20 playoff games between 1926-37, Oliver is
        • T-12th in playoff Goals
        • T-14th in playoff GPG
        • 28th in playoff Assists
        • T-32nd in playoff APG
        • 17th in playoff Points
        • T-19th in playoff PPG
        • 24th in playoff Games
    • Trades:
      • Traded at 27 into the NHL for cash
      • Traded at 36 to the Americans for cash
    • Adjustment for Era:
      • Hockey-Reference:
        • 241G,
        • 294A for
        • 535P
        • Adjusted 82-game average: 42G, 52A for 94P (+56P per 82 games)
      • VsX: Doesn’t qualify
  • WCHL: 1921-26; 5 seasons, all quality
    • Totals:
      • 90G (3rd All Time – Keats, Hay),
      • 48A (t-4th All Time – Keats, Bill Cook, Art Gagne) for
      • 138P (5th All Time – Keats, Hay, Cook, Gagne) in
      • 130 Games (t-4th All Time – Ty Arbour, Keats, Stanley)
    • Per Game:
      • T-5th All Time in GPG (Keats, Hay, Cook, MacKay)
      • T-4th All Time in APG (Keats, Cook, Gagne)
      • 5th All Time in PPG (Keats, Cook, Hay, Gagne)
    • 30-game average: 21G, 11A for 32P
    • Playoffs:
      • 3G,
      • 2A for
      • 5P in
      • 11 Games

Harry Oliver’s Accomplishments:

  • NHL:
    • Top Player:
      • Top 10 Player (by PS) once (‘29)
      • Top 5 Offensive Player (by OPS) once (‘29)
      • Top 10 twice (‘27)
    • Goals:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Top 5 in Goals twice
      • GPG Leaderboards:
        • Top 5 in GPG once
        • Top 10 twice
    • Points:
      • Top 10 in Points twice
  • WCHL:
    • Goals:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Top 5 in Goals three times
        • Top 10 probably five times
      • GPG leaderboards:
        • Top 5 in GPG three times
        • Top 10 probably five times
      • Single-season totals:
        • 25 goals once
        • 20 goals three times
    • Assists:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Probably led the league in Assists once
        • Top 5 three times
        • Top 10 four or five times
      • APG leaderboards:
        • Probably led the league in APG once
        • Top 5 three times
        • Top 10 four or five times
    • Points:
      • Leaderboards:
        • Top 5 in Points three times
        • Top 10 five times
      • PPG leaderboards:
        • Led the league in PPG once
        • Top 5 three times
        • Top 10 five times

Harry Oliver’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Best Skater (led playoffs in points) on one Runner Up (‘27 Bruins) and one Final Four (‘28 Bruins)
    • Top 3 or 6 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘29 Bruins) and one Final Four (‘36 Americans)
    • Top 6 Forward (by points) on one Runner Up (‘30 Bruins)
    • Unknown role (didn’t score) on two Final Fours (‘31, ‘33 Bruins)
  • WCHL:
    • Unknown role (1 PPG in WCHL playoffs but didn’t score in SCF) on one WCHL Champion/ Stanley Cup Runner Up (‘24 Tigers)
  • Amateur:
    • Unclear role on one Allan Cup Runner Up (‘19 Fishermen)

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