Joe Sakic was one of the great centers of his era, dominating during a hard time to score and then scoring consistently for a very long time. The question isn’t whether he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but where he ranks among the greatest centres of all time.
Peter Forsberg combined elite passing with elite defensive ability and elite effort. His offensive rate statistics put him among the very best centres in the history of the NHL. Add to that his defense, and it feels as though he has a case to be considered one of the best centres to ever play the game.
Kariya’s career was marred by injuries but he was inducted relatively quickly after his retirement compared to a lot of players who have played fewer than 1,000 games. Was that warranted? Where does Kariya rank in his era?
Pierre Turgeon is our first truly eligible player that we’re considering. And he’s a bit of a litmus test, as he has the most points of any eligible (inactive for 3 years) player not in the Hall of Fame (as well as the most assists). If he belongs, others do to. But if he doesn’t, maybe he’s a good cut-off point for counting stats.