Whether they deserve it or not, Vancouver Canucks legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin have a decent chance of being selected as inductees for the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday on their first ballot due to connections and politics.
“Whether they deserve it” does not suggest they’re not worthy of enshrinement at some point, but given the competition and some of the names that have been waiting for awhile, their numbers and accomplishments don’t favour the nod.
There’s another catch. Each of the 18 HHOF selection committee members are only allowed to nominate 1 player, 1 builder, and 1 referee or linesman. That would mean two different people, in cahoots, would have to nominate Daniel and Henrik and then 75% (14) of the 18 selection committee members would have to vote for them.
Whatayaknow, Vancouver Canucks Assistant General Manager Cammi Granato is on the selection committee, as is the man who drafted the two players into the NHL for Vancouver in 1999, Brian Burke. In a year when the other first-year candidates are let’s say ‘light’, this might be a good opportunity to turn the trick.
One committee member nominates Daniel, another nominates Henrik. As we’ve suggested and seems rather obvious considering the twin brothers’ history together, one would think the two would have to go in at the same time. Whether that should happen this year brings about a valid argument against.
Yet, also as we know, ‘politics’ and ‘the small hockey world’, a.k.a. connections, reign over our finite community often more so than anything else. Burke could hypothetically touch on community, history, ‘Vancouver-getting-its-due’ at the HHOF, in his argument for the Sedin boys.
Fellow Swede and a native of the Sedin’s hometown of Örnsköldsvik, Anders Hedberg is also a member of the selection committee.
Covid cancelled the 2020 induction and the 2021 selection committee vote. So the 2020 class had to wait a year and were inducted this past November. It’s why the Sedins have waited four years instead of three to be considered for the first time, as there was no vote last summer.
Two first-year eligible players were inducted last year from the induction vote handled in 2020, Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa.
Jarome Iginla – 1,554 games played, 625 goals, 675 assists, 1,300 points, no Cups, 2 Memorial Cup wins, 2 Olympic Gold Medals
Marian Hossa – 1,309 GP, 525 goals, 609 assists, 1,134 points, 3 Stanley Cups, Memorial Cup champion
Daniel Sedin – 1,306 GP, 393 goals, 648 assists, 1,041 points, no Cups, 1 Olympic Gold Medal
Henrik Sedin – 1,330 GP, 240 goals, 830 assists, 1,070 points, no Cups, 1 Olympic Gold Medal
The comparison to the Sedins we should really be making is with Pierre Turgeon, Keith Tkachuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Rod Brind’Amour, Bernie Nichols, or former Vancouver Canucks winger Alexander Mogilny. Players who have superior numbers, a Stanley Cup win, or both.
I didn’t bring up Jeremy Roenick’s name due to some of his off-ice shenanigans, even though he’s close to having the strongest numbers of any HHOF eligible player, including 513 goals and 1,216 points. Maybe the Hall will surprise us, but JR’s ‘foot in mouth’ disease probably needs to go dormant for little while longer.
Peter Bondra and Pat Verbeek are two more players with 500+ goals.
Look to the Crease
Quite honestly, former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo makes a much stronger case for first-year induction than the Sedins. His 489 career NHL victories are far and away more than any other goaltending candidate regardless of wait time.
No Stanley Cups, but two Olympic Gold Medals including the one in Vancouver in 2010 when Luongo was the Gold Medal Game winning goalie. He’s also won two world championships.
The Sedins have Olympic Gold as well from 2006, and a World Championship Gold, plus one NHL scoring title each and each a different version of the league MVP award.
Maybe that caveat and some convincing will earn the twins the nod.
— Committee Chairperson, Mike Gartner. Members, Cammi Granato, Brian Burke, Anders Hedberg, Michael Farber, David Branch, Mark Chipman, Igor Larionov, Cassie Campbell-Pascal, Jari Kurri, Bob Clarke, Marc de Foy, Ron Francis, Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, Mike Murphy, David Poile, Luc Robitaille.