The NHL announced yesterday that the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame class will include Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios and Scott Niedermayer. While the debate will rage on about who was skipped over and who deserves to be in the Hall, all three players are deserving of the recognition. Which brings me to the daily poll question of which former Oiler will be the next to get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Currently the list of Oilers or former Oilers include the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Jari Kurri and captain Mark Messier. A list of who’s who that played in Edmonton and enjoyed their greatest successes before suiting up for other clubs.
Coming up with a list of potential Hall of Famers that dawned the Oil drop over the majority of their career was more difficult than I thought it would be, but here are a few that came to mind.
Kevin Lowe – known more for his successes on the blue line than in the front office role that he currently holds, Lowe was the beneficiary of being a part of the dynasty years in Edmonton. His stats are less than impressive which could hold him back from the hall. Only 84 goals and 371 assists for 431 points in 1,245 career games. He does have his name on the Stanley Cup an impressive six times but that alone won’t be enough to get Lowe into the Hall.
Doug Weight – currently sitting seventh on the all-time scoring list in Oilers history, Weight has the numbers that could warrant a call from the HHOF. For his career he scored 278 and registered 755 assists, good for 1,033 points in 1,238 career games. Certainly worthy numbers and does have a Stanley Cup ring thanks to the Carolina Hurricanes victory in 2006 (as painful as it is to acknowledge).
With the Oilers, Weight scored 157 goals and added 420 assists for 577 points in 588 career games in Edmonton. Just under half of his playing time in the NHL was with the Oilers with the other 650 games sprinkled amid stops in New York with the Rangers, the St. Louis Blues, the aforementiond Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders where he is currently employed as an assistant coach.
Ryan Smyth – it’s hard to discuss Smyth and the Hockey Hall of Fame given he’s still actively playing. But when looking at his numbers, whenever number 94 decides to hand em’ up, he could be in the Hall discussions.
His stats aren’t on the same level as Weight’s but still worth recognizing. To date he’s played in 1,198 career games (899 with the Oilers). He’s scored 376 goals and added 443 assists for 819 career points. Of course that number will only increase with Smyth expected to be on the Oilers roster next season.
He continues to search for that elusive Stanley Cup championship and with time running out in his career, the odds are against him. Outside of Kevin Lowe, Smyth is the longest serving Oiler in franchise history. The Hall of Fame may not be calling but the argument could be made that he deserves to have his number hanging in the rafters in Rexall Place.
Are any of these three that were mentioned Hall of Fame candidates? Are they worthy to be put placed in hockey’s holy shrine along with the true legends of the game? It’s an argument that could be discussed for years to come but for now we want your opinion on which former Oiler you feel will be the next to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Take part in our poll and let your voice be heard.