Rod Gilbert is certainly someone deserving of the title “Mr. Ranger.” Along with Brian Leetch and Henrik Lundqvist, he has a claim to the title of Greatest New York Ranger of All Time (certainly if length of career with the franchise is taken into account).
But he was never one of the best players in the league during the regular season and his playoff numbers are not great.
So the question is, is his importance to the Rangers franchise and his compelling story of overcoming injury enough to put him in the Hall?
Listen to us talk about Rod Gilbert’s Hall of Fame case here:
By regular season numbers, Jean Ratelle was one of the best forwards of his era. And, had he been healthy in his best season, he might have competed for the scoring title. (His peers awarded him with the Pearson for that.)
However, his playoff numbers are noticeably worse. And, of course, he never won a Cup.
So, how great was Jean Ratelle? Is he one of the greats of his era or does his longevity make him look better than he was? Listen to us discuss Ratelle’s Hall of Fame case here:
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?
Bobby Clarke is one of the most notorious players in NHL history but he’s also one of the most decorated, one of only a few players to ever win the Hart three times. (He also became a star in spite of his diabetes.)
He was extremely hard to play against but also an offensive star. He only won one Selke because it was introduced half way through his career.
So where does Clarke rank all time among defensive forwards? Listen to us discuss his Hall of Fame case here:
Cam Neely is one of only 8 players to unofficially score “50 Goals in 50 Games”. (He did it in the Bruins’ 66th game of the season, so it doesn’t count in the NHL’s eyes.) And, when healthy, he was one of the most dominant goal-scorers of his era. On the Bruins…
But his career numbers are not as good as you think they are and, beyond some 2nd All Star Teams, he didn’t really get much acknowledgement as an elite player during his career.
So, does Cam Neely belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us discuss his case here: