Red Kelly was one of the best D of the 1950s and possibly the greatest offensive D to yet play in the NHL. And then he was traded to the Leafs and famously switched to centre. Throughout his career he won more Stanley Cups than any other non-Canadien player. He is one of only 10 players to ever have the three-year Hall of Fame waiting requirement waived.
So where does Red Kelly rank all time?
Listen to us talk about Red Kelly’s Hall of Fame and GOAT case here:
Tom Johnson won 6 Stanley Cups and he was the only D to break up Dough Harvey’s Norris streak.
But he has few Norris nominations outside of his win and only two end-of-season All Star Team appearances in a sixteen season career. There’s a chicken-or-egg question here: Did Johnson win all these Cups because he played for one of the greatest teams of all time or did the Canadiens win all these Cups in part due to a player like Tom Johnson?
So, we wonder, does Tom Johnson belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Tim Horton is now famous for Tim Horton’s than he is for hockey. But, while he was alive, he was reputed to be the strongest player in the league. He won four Stanley Cups (leading the Leafs in points one layoff) and is one of the greatest D in Leafs history.
But is also a bit of a proto Brad Park: he was a runner up in Norris trophy voting twice, with four other Top 4 finishes, but never won the award. He was also a minus on a couple of the Cup winning teams he played for.
So, does Tim Horton belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Marcel Pronovost played a long time, had some Norris nominations and won multiple Stanley Cups.
But was he ever the #1 D on his team? We don’t have ice time so we don’t know. On some of the Cup winners he was on, there are 8 Hall of Famers. Should we be inducting middle 6 and 2nd pair players of Cup winners?
In this episode, we discuss Marcel Provnost’s complicated case for the Hall of Fame:
There is a never-ending debate among hockey fans as to which player of Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr was the greatest. There are certain areas where each stands supreme.
Our vote is for Orr because we think he played the more difficult and more important position and because he revolutionized the position as well. (Also, the skating.) But at least one of us thinks there’s room for debate.
There are basically only 3 post-Bobby Orr defensive defencemen in the Hockey Hall of Fame. (And Savard actually is a contemporary of Bobby Orr, so maybe there are only two.) It’s hard to get in as a defensive defenceman when so many D score now.
On the other hand, there are few NHL players in NHL history to have a higher career plus minus than career points total. Savard is one of those players. And if Savard had never played for the Jets, his utterly insane plus minus would be even higher than his total points.
Is it possible that Savard’s remarkable goal differential is a product of his Hall of Fame teammates? In part, sure. But it’s a chicken or egg question, isn’t it?
So, does Serge Savard belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?