An­dr­ey­chuk, Rec­chi were ex­cep­tional play­ers, but Hall of Famers? ... Creat­ing of­fence key for Marner ... Cobb would be great ad­di­tion to Jays ro­ta­tion ... An­der­sen might not be good enough for Leafs

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

Dave When watch­ing An­dr­ey­chuk — and I cov­ered him the year he scored 53 goals for the Leafs — never once did I think, “there’s a Hall of Fame hockey player.” I watched an Mark Rec­chi’s aw­ful lot of ex­cel­lent ca­reer: And I thought the very same thing. He was a good player — Mike Bab­cock as would say, an ef­fec­tive player. But a Hall of Famer? That’s the high­est stan­dard. Teemu Se­lanne With and Paul Kariya, it was easy. You couldn’t take your eyes off ei­ther of them. They jumped off the page. They an­nounced their ar­rival. They played an in­stru­ment and con­ducted the orches­tra all at the same time.

You watched them and said “wow.” They did things other play­ers couldn’t do and, like most of the all-time greats, they in­vented and cre­ated new ways to play.

The vot­ing com­mit­tee of the Hockey Hall of Fame, which has changed over the years and tough­ened over time, has an un­even class of 2017. The ob­vi­ous player picks were Se­lanne and Kariya — and wouldn’t their

Don Bai­z­ley, agent, the late have been so proud of that.

The chal­lenge with An­dr­ey­chuk and Rec­chi are their num­bers, which are off the charts. An­dr­ey­chuk scored 640 NHL goals. The 15 scor­ers who fol­low him on the all-time list, save for ac­tive play­ers, are all in the Hall. An­dr­ey­chuk and Rec­chi are hockey

Don Sut­ton ver­sion of — never top-of-the-ro­ta­tion pitch­ers — ac­cu­mu­la­tors, in Rec­chi’s case he scored 1,533 points, 12th most in history. The next 18 scor­ers after him are all en­shrined.

The com­mit­tee voted all four, Se­lanne, Kariya, An­dr­ey­chuk and Rec­chi to this year’s class, where one of these things, or in this case two, are not nec­es­sary like the other.


I say this ev­ery year

Fran so I’ll say it again: Rider

should be in Builder cat­e­gory of the Hall. There would be no women’s world hockey cham­pi­onship, no women’s hockey in the Olympic Games with­out her work. Tan­gi­bly, she has played a huge role in grow­ing the game the past 50 years ... Bos­ton Bruins’

Jeremy Ja­cobs owner will be in­ducted to­mor­row in the Builder cat­e­gory, and if build­ing an­i­mos­ity be­tween play­ers and own­ers is a strength, he should have been in years ago ...

Mitch It doesn’t mat­ter if Marner

scores goals. What mat­ters is whether he cre­ates of­fence for the Leafs. He has just four goals in his past 41 reg­u­lar-sea­son games, but 22 as­sists in that time. That’s 52-point pace. That’s not where he should be, but it’s a start ... The longer Aus­ton Matthews

is out, the more ap­par­ent it is just how much he does for the Leafs. As the quar­ter-sea­son ap­proaches, Matthews is an early Hart Tro­phy can­di­date,

Steven Stamkos along with

Nikita Kucherov and in

Anze Ko­pi­tar Tampa, in Los Angeles and maybe Vladimir Tarasenko

in St. Louis ... The com­bi­na­tion of

Nazem Kadri Matthews and at cen­tre gives NHL teams fits: They lead all pair­ings of cen­tres with 19 goals. By com­par­i­son, the first

Con­nor McDavid over­alls,

Ryan Nu­gent-Hop­kins and have scored 12 times ... Be­cause they’re McDavid

Sid­ney Crosby, and ex­pect them to work their way into the Hart con­ver­sa­tion. They’re not there just yet.

The longer Aus­ton Matthews is out, the more ap­par­ent it is just how much he does for the Leafs.


Roy Hal­la­day The story I can’t get out of my head. He was first taught to pitch by a lo­cal Den­ver coach, Bus Camp­bell,

who later went on to scout for the Jays. After Hal­la­day was drafted, Camp­bell came home one day to see a satel­lite dish on his roof. It wasn’t some­thing he or­dered or could af­ford. Hal­la­day had put it there. He also paid for his ma­jor league


From left, Paul Kariya and Teemu Se­lanne be­long in the Hall of Fame. As for Dave An­dr­ey­chuk and Mark Rec­chi, prob­a­bly not.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.