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"
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.
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.
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.