Whether or not you think George Hay belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame depends a lot on how much weight you put on a player scoring at a point-per-game pace in the Western Canada Hockey League. It’s worth noting that Hay lost the scoring race to both Duke Keats and Bill Cook in different WCHL seasons – i.e. he was never clearly the best offensive player in the WCHL/WHL. Nor was he ever a true star in the NHL: His brief NHL career isn’t particularly distinguished compared to the careers of his contemporaries, given the size of the NHL at the time.
To say Lester Patrick played in the NHL is a bit of an exaggeration – he played two games over two seasons in his mid 40s while he was the coach of the Rangers. His career as a player was mostly spent in the PCHA (which he co-founded).
Lester Patrick is one of the major figures in the early history of hockey. His role as a builder is so important you could argue there were few others as important.
But how about his career as a player? Was he a Hall of Famer?