Does Allan Stanley Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Allan Stanley played a really long time, won a bunch of Stanley Cups and was briefly considered one of the best D in the NHL.

But his name doesn’t come up very often in discussions of great D of the past.

So, does Allan Stanley belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Has he been unjustly forgotten?

Listen here:

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Is Bobby Hull the Greatest Left Wing of All Time?

Many 21st century hockey fans likely think the answer to the question “Who is the Greatest Left Winger of All Time?” has an easy answer, Alex Ovechkin.

But it’s possible we don’t remember how dominant Bobby Hull truly was. Hull won 2 Hart trophies and 3 Art Ross trophies. But he was a Hart finalist for most of a decade. Additionally, he was, by most standards, the best offensive player of his era, both in the regular season and, crucially, in the playoffs.

And then he went to another league and dominated it in his late 30s. (It’s possible his departure to the WHA colours how we think of his career.)

So, is Bobby Hull the Greatest LW of All Time? Listen here:

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Is Stan Mikita a Top 5 Centre All Time?

If you didn’t see him play, it’s possible Stan Mikita’s resume is better than you think it should be. In addition to winning multiple Hart trophies, Art Ross trophies and the Stanley Cup, he’s likely the 2nd best centre of the ’60s and among the best centres of the ’70s.

So it’s clear Stan Mikita belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The question is, where does Stan Mikita rank among centres all time?

Listen here:

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Is Phil Esposito one of the Greatest Centres of All Time?

Why is it that we (our generation anyway) have trouble thinking of Esposito as one of the greatest hockey players of all time? Is it because he was on the same team as Bobby Orr, whose legend has endured far better? Is it because of Esposito’s extraordinarily unathletic physique? Is it because everything he did has since been done multiple times by multiple players so those records feel less important?

We have no idea, but Espo was the most dominant offensive player between Howe and Gretzky. (We read somewhere that Lafleur was the most dominant offensive player between Howe and Gretzky, but we don’t see evidence to back that up.)

Sure, Espo benefited from playing more games per season in the newly expanded league (someone was going to set records) and, yes, he benefited from playing with the Greatest of All Time, but lesser players wouldn’t have excelled the way he did, over such a long period of time.

Listen to us talk about Esposito here:

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Does Bert Olmstead Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Bert Olmstead was one of the premier passing wingers of his era, leading both the regular season and playoffs in assists two times. He also won five Stanley Cups.

But his playoff numbers are significantly worse than his regular season numbers, despite the Cups. And he never made a end of season 1st Team in a league with only 6 franchises.

So, does Bert Olmstead belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us discuss here:

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Is Tony Esposito one of the Greatest Goalies of All Time?

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We recorded this just after he died, so RIP.

Tony Esposito has one of the best regular season careers of any NHL goalie ever, not just in germs of his peak but in terms of how long he was among the best goalies in the league (at least by Goals Saved Above Average). Also, he helped change goalie masks for the better.

Yet his playoff numbers are significantly worse. He underperformed in one of his two good playoff runs and he was only ever on one truly great international team, as a backup.

So, it’s obvious Tony Esposito belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame but where does he rank all time?

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Should Clint Smith be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Clint Smith set the single-season record for assists in the ’40s. So of course he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Right?

Well, he did it during World War II, when talent in the league was quiet watered down. He doesn’t have a lot of other accomplishments. And he doesn’t have the Cups that many other “veterans committee” inductees of the ’90s have.

So, does Clint Smith belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us try to sort it out here:

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Is Lionel Conacher Canada’s Greatest Athlete of All Time?

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Lionel Conacher was one of the best defenders of his era.

But that’s not what impresses when you look back at his career. Rather, it’s his incredible versatility.

Listen to us talk about the greatest Canadian athlete of the first half of the 20th century here:

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Why is Harry Watson in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Harry Watson won five Cups. And, uh, he was on some leader-boards when he retired in 1957. And, um, he was a pretty good scorer a couple of times.

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This, it appears, was enough to get him inducted into the Hall of Fame nearly 40 years after he retired.

Listen to us discuss Harry Watson’s Hockey Hall of Fame case here:

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Does Roy Conacher Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Roy Conacher scored the second most goals of his era, behind only Maurice Richard. And he also won an Art Ross.

But it took the Hall of fame decades to induct him, and he wasn’t inducted until the late 1990s.

In this episode, we discuss Roy Conacher’s case for the Hall of Fame. Listen here:

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