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
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.
THIS AND THAT
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.
HEAR AND THERE
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.