Paul Coffey’s offensive stats are just staggering. He owns the single season goals record for a defender and almost topped Orr’s points record. He had both an extremely high offensive peak and also did things consistently through his career that few have ever done before. If he was healthier at the end, he probably would be the highest scoring D in NHL history.
But, especially in the ’80s, there were huge concerns about his defense. And some people still believe he should have played forward.
So where does he rank all time? Does such a player belong in the Hall of Fame?
Ron Francis undoubtedly belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Skaters who played as long as he did and were as consistently good as he was always get in.
But the real question is, how good was he? He was never really a top offensive star and his best years came as the second line centre on a team with two of the best forwards in history (and one of the two candidates for best centre ever).
Until very recently, Doug Weight was one of the Top 5 American passers in the history of the NHL, and he did so while playing his prime in the Dead Puck (Clutch and Grab) era, at one point scoring over 100 points in a season.
We both fondly remember Weight from those classic Oilers-Stars series of the late ’90s and early ’00s. But does he really deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame?