Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ciccarelli vs. Bure vs. Gilmour: The case for the Hall of Fame

Raise your hand if you don't belong in the Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee announced the 2010 inductees today, and they came with plenty of controversy.

The women's side saw the induction of Angela James and Cammi Granato, choices that most hockey fans are applauding. The builder's category excluded Pat Burns, which I won't write about because it makes me so angry that I'll end up slamming my face into my keyboard until my neck is nicknamed "Stumpy".

But on the men's side, the committee selected only one player: Dino Ciccarelli. The instant reaction bordered on disbelief, as most fans had expected players like Doug Gilmour or Pavel Bure to get the call instead.

I admit, I was one of those outraged fans. But then I decided to sit down and look at things rationally, and I have to admit: Ciccarelli has a good case. Don't believe me? Let's compare the three players:

Most memorable stat
Bure: Had 437 career goals, 120 of which came in back-to-back 60 goal seasons.
Gilmour: Had 1,602 career points, 188 of which came in the post-season.
Ciccarelli: Had 608 career goals, 13 of which came from outside the opponent's crease.

Bure: "The Russian Rocket"
Gilmour: "Killer"
Ciccarelli: "The Poor Man's Dave Andreychuk"

Unique use of stick
Bure: Was among the first players to intentionally kick the puck up to their own stick to confuse a goalie during breakaways.
Gilmour: Used a stick without a curve to allow for accurate backhand passes.
Ciccarelli: Once tried to see whether it was possible to swat Luke Richardson's brain into the Maple Leaf Gardens greys.

When you saw him play, you thought...
Bure: "This guy is the most electrifying winger of his generation."
Gilmour: "This guy is one of the best two-way centers of all time."
Ciccarelli: "This guy is the second or third best right winger on his team."

Unfortunate fashion choice
Bure: Apparently wore lipstick during every game of his career.
Gilmour: Donned embarassing cow tights for a milk commercial.
Ciccarelli: Wore an orange jumpsuit for one day.

Would have been ever more productive if...
Bure: Knee injuries hadn't cut his career short.
Gilmour: The 1995 lockout hadn't interupted his Maple Leaf momentum.
Ciccarelli: The league hadn't enacted the controversial "you can't cross-check the goalie in the throat, Dino" rule.

Notable flaw
Bure: Would occasionally pick up his defensive man too late to prevent a scoring chance.
Gilmour: Would occasionally pick up retaliatory penalties without regard to game situations.
Ciccarelli: Would occasionally pick up his newspaper without wearing pants.

What you thought about him when you were a kid
Bure: Wow, he's almost impossible to stop once he gets a full head of steam.
Gilmour: Wow, he's almost impossible to beat in puck battles along the boards.
Ciccarelli: Wow, he's almost impossible to spell.

Believe it or not
Bure: Has more 58+ goal seasons than Brett Hull or Rocket Richard.
Gilmour: Has more career playoff points than Steve Yzerman or Mario Lemieux.
Ciccarelli: Has more Hall of Fame plaques than Doug Gilmour or Pavel Bure.

Lasting legacy
Bure: Along with Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny, paved the way for a generation of dynamic Russian superstars.
Gilmour: Along with Pat Burns and Wendel Clark, rebuilt the Maple Leafs franchise from the ashes of the Harold Ballard era.
Ciccarelli: Along with Doc Seaman and Jimmy Devellano, ushered in an era where the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee doesn't get to pick the inductees any more.


  1. I sense a little bit of hate and anger... not real sure though.

  2. Back to your usual standards, DGB. Laughed out loud, especially at the "has more Hall of Fame plaques than Gilmour and Bure".

  3. Awesome!!! Back in form in a big way.

    Nice work DGB!

  4. Agreed on all points, Dino probably didn't deserve to be in the HHoF ahead of Doug Gilmour, Pavel Bure, or several other eligibles this year.

    Great post DGB.

  5. This is no where near as good as your "Signs you're not getting drafted" article...

  6. Nice to see the HHOF is being politically correct. They induced (sp) 3 women. James, Granato, and Sissyrelli.
    I can't WAIT for Damien (the demon seed) Cox to tell us how wonderful this is.

  7. Perfect!!!...Lets see the HHOF, Cox, Simmons, and the rest of the MSM explain this one.
    Well done, as always DGB!!!



  8. I guess the HHoF Selection Committee was upset over the amazing induction classes recently and decided to make this one average with two universally applauded inductees, three, umm, not-so-much and several egregious oversights.

  9. Amen.

    I can't believe it's freaking Dino. Dino in the hall of fame.

  10. I actually don't see anything wrong with him being in the Hall of Fame. The real travesty is leaving Burns and Nieuwendyk out. Dino put good numbers and designed a style of play that is still used to today by Holmstrom and Byfuglien.

  11. God, that picture.

    Too funny.

    (Hooray for Dino!)

  12. Bure is one of my favorites. Going to Panther games while he was there was nice. Loved Gilmore's ability to recognize Wendel was king in Toronto. Dino.... could probably out drink the rest of the nominees under the table. I enjoyed watching him growing up, but Bure and Dougie rank higher on my list. Boo-urns was way better than Roger Neilson. F.U. Bettman (and HHOF)

  13. The builder's category excluded Pat Burns, which I won't write about because it makes me so angry that I'll end up slamming my face into my keyboard until my neck is nicknamed "Stumpy".

    I'm as pissed as you are about this. Didn't think it would be possible to laugh about this subject, but I was wrong. Well played.

    Great job skewering Dino, too. A terrible selection. Currently ranks #6,868,328,001 on the most deserving HHoF nominees list.

  14. Hmm...run through those questions with Eric Lindros and you find how worthy Big E is.

  15. Thanks for this post....Ciccarelli is a terrible choice for the Hall, due to his vile game and inflated statistics. He could score but couldn't skate, slash but not hit, and always hid behind teammates when the real stuff started. His numbers are due to longevity more than pure skill.

  16. "Poor Man's Dave Anderchyuk" Oh man that was hilarious.

  17. If Pavel Bure gets into the Hall of Fame, then there better be a spot reserved for Bonzai Bondra!

    Even though I think Dino deserved to be in the hall, this is still a terrific post.

    Dunno why Gilmour didn't/doesn't get his due respect

  18. Still, are you advocating Bure for the Hall?

  19. @Anonymous ...

    Yes, I would put Bure in the Hall. I think you have to look at what he did at his peak, and make an allowance for the injuries -- same as Cam Neely.

    He's not a slam dunk choice by any means, but I'd have him in my hall.