Friday, November 10, 2023

Debating the Hall of Fame case for Joe Pavelksi, John Tavares and other active stars

The Hockey Hall of Fame will welcome its class of 2023 tomorrow. That’s always fun, but I prefer to look ahead. In this case, several years ahead, because we’re going to study the candidacies of a half dozen players who are still active. The question is simple: Are they on a Hall of Fame track?

This is something I like to poke around with every so often, usually around HHOF time. Here are the columns I did during the 2019 offseason, another from later that year, and one from 2021, plus one that reevaluated a few of those cases last year. (If you’re going to hit me with a “I can’t believe you didn’t mention…” comment, know that there’s a decent chance the guy you’re thinking of was already covered in one of those pieces.)

This time, it’s six brand new names, some based on your suggestions over the years. And just to make sure I’m not too far off track with my own judgements, I’ll be checking in with Paul Pidutti's Adjusted Hockey, the excellent system that boils a player’s Hall qualifications down to a single number. Paul’s formula is hardly an argument-ender – nor should it be, because the argument is most of the fun – but it helps ground the discussion in some historical reality.

Let’s do this. Six names, starting with a fan favorite…

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