Babe Pratt had a reasonably strong career as an offensive D in the NHL with the Rangers, at least in terms of total points. (The early NHL had some D score a lot in 20-ish-game seasons.) Then he was traded to the Leafs, he broke D single-season scoring records and won the Hart.
Pratt’s Hall of Fame case rides almost entirely on his Hart season (and the season after). Does he belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Walter “Turk” Broda was a workhorse with some decent regular season goalie stats. But, when it came to the post-season, especially after Broda returned from World War 2, there was no better goalie in the NHL. Broda’s post-war run is among the greatest playoff performances of any NHL goalie, winning four Stanley Cups in five years, and leading the playoffs in shutouts every year, including the year the Leafs didn’t win the Cup. Broda’s playoff record from when he returned from WWII to his retirement is 32-12. He led the playoffs in GAA four years in a row. There aren’t many other goalies to have dominated in the playoffs like he did.
Listen to us talk about Broda’s GOAT case and Hall of Fame case here:
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:
From 1962 until 2000, nearly 40 years, Terry Sawchuk was the All Time leader in Wins. From 1964 until 2007, Sawchuk was the All Time leader in Shutouts, a record many thought was unbreakable. From 1961 until 2001, a half century, no other goalie had more Point Shares.
These metrics make it seem like Terry Sawchuk was one of the greatest goalies of all time. But the bloom is off the rose and now a lot of people think that’s not true; that, aside from a stretch at the beginning of his career when he was truly great, he was more of a compiler.
Listen to us talk about Sawchuk’s case for goalie GOAT status here:
Though seemingly forgotten by many Leafs fans, Busher Jackson was one of the greatest Left Wings in Maple Leafs history, leading both the league and the playoffs in scoring once and making four All Star 1st Teams.
The question is, does he belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us talk about Busher Jackson’s Hall of Fame case here:
Hap Holmes appears to have some pretty mediocre regular season numbers – pedestrian GAAs and losing records in two of the four professional leagues he played in.
However, Holmes won a Stanley Cup in four professional leagues he played in. He is the only player in Stanley Cup history to win a Cup with four different teams. (Which makes him the only one to do it in four different leagues.) He was the starter on all four of those teams. Between 1917 and 1920 he was in the Stanley Cup final every single year, regardless of what team he was on.
Was he just lucky? Listen to us talk about Hap Holmes’ Hall of Fame case here.