Joe Sakic headlined a group of 4 NHL superstars that were inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday. Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure were also enshrined in the hallowed halls, joining so many other great players.
While all 4 are very deserving, this year’s class removes the opinion that winning a Stanley Cup is a major criteria for enshrinement. Sakic is the only member of the class of 2012 to also have his name on the Cup. While it helps a resume, it seems to be easier to get in without one, which makes sense to me. With 30 teams, it is incredibly difficult and obviously a huge percentage of great players will never touch the Cup.
Sundin, a hated rival for Ottawa fans for so many years, was introduced by Senators Captain and fellow countryman Daniel Alfredsson before his induction speech.
It could be only a matter of time before Alfie switches positions and gets the call himself. While not a lock for the Hall, his numbers and what he has meant to the Senators should make him worthy enough to take his place among the greats of the game.
But this night belonged to the four newest members, who were elected ahead of so many worthy candidates, who will have to wait their turn.
There are so many superstars that are eligible, that it is time to remove the cap of entrants in any given year. Currently the induction is limited to 4. I believe that any player who garners a certain percentage of votes from the selection committee should get in. Those rules are archaic and based on a time when there were 120 or so NHL players. Now with over 700 players annually, certainly there are more than 4 retiring in any given year that deserve enshrinement.