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Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016: Who gets in?

The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2016 on Monday afternoon. It’s one of those classes that considered a “down year,” in that the first-time candidate crop is rather paltry (or in one instance, “Palffy”). This opens the door for some holdovers from previous years, including that paragon of controversy, Eric Lindros.

The following odds were established through previous votes, discussions with those around the hockey world and a feeble attempt at trying to guess what’s on the minds of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Keep in mind that there are also categories for Builders and Women’s Players. Don Cherry, Pat Quinn and Viktor Tikhonov are all eligible in the Builder’s Category. Please keep in mind that the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto.

Here are the latest odds for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2016:

2/1

Eric Lindros

Mark Recchi

If it’s ever going to be Eric’s year, it’s going to be this year.

Lindros is 19th in NHL history in points per game average with 1.138. He won the Hart and the Pearson in 1995. He has just 760 NHL career games, however, in a concussion-plagued career. But one only needs to point at Cam Neely and Pavel Bure as exceptions to the work history rule.  

Outside of games played, we all know why he isn’t in yet: He spoke out of turn too often, his clashes with Bobby Clarke, a general dislike of the way he carried himself during his playing days both on the ice and off. Lindros has worked hard to change his reputation after his playing days. We’ll see if he kissed the right rear ends this week.

The bottom line is that Lindros belongs in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, in a season that lacks a true star name to build a weekend around, the Hall of Fame could use Eric Lindros in 2016.

On the other end of the longevity scale: Mark Recchi, who played 1,652 games from 1989 through 2011.

Recchi was a scoring and winning machine, leading the NHL in assists in 1999-00 while being 12th in career point (1,533) and 20th in career goals (577). The names ahead of his on that points list are hockey deities. Recchi isn’t – just a really, really good player who happens to have all-time-great stats – but his numbers should earn him a place in their club.

We’d say these are the favorites, so adjust your vacation plans accordingly, Philadelphia Flyers fans.

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17: Dave Andreychuk, former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is introduced as part of the team's celebration of the tenth anniversary of their Stanley Cup win prior to a game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 17, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

5/1

Dave Andreychuk

Paul Kariya

Andreychuk being left out of the Hockey Hall of Fame with 640 goals is a complete sham. It speaks to the specious depiction of the “complete player” as a Hall of Famer, when in fact the Hall of Fame has in the past honored those who were simply the best at what they do.

No one’s confusing Rod Langway with Nicklas Lidstrom when it comes to being a force offensively and defensively. Clark Gillies is a Hall of Famer for basically being one of the best role players of all-time, and doing it on a dynasty team.

Andreychuk wasn’t a complete player, in the sense that his skating was laborious and he wasn’t exactly Adam Oates as a set-up man. But he has few peers in his ability to dominate around the crease. He was the best at what he did. And his contributions to the lone Stanley Cup team in Tampa Bay Lightning history, as its captain, should weigh heavier than they do.

From the Tampa Bay Times, on Andreychuk:

"I get the other side," he said. "No Olympic experience. Just two All-Star Games in 23 years, no NHL awards. But in some way that's what I'm most proud of. I quietly went about my business. I was consistent. I think the guys who played with my know that. But I get it, totally."

Okay, not totally.

"Someone wrote an article a few years ago that the actual longevity hurts you more than it helps you. You know, 'he's a goal scorer, he's played that many games, he should have that many goals.' That bothers me more than anything, because I'm more proud of games played than anything else. That's hard to do."

Andreychuk should be in the Hall. He played 23 seasons, 1,639 games, sixth most in NHL history. He scored a record 274 power-play goals. Andreychuk is starting to enter that Pat Burns “when will the Hall of Fame right this wrong?” category. Because when you score 640 goals in the NHL – and he’s the only one that has who isn’t in the Hall – it really shouldn’t matter if you scored them two feet or 15 feet away from the goalie.

Kariya is a name to watch.

The reexamination of his career has been intensifying over the last few years, as yet another player whose concussions affected his greatness. He was a point-per-game player through 989 games, much of it during the trap years. He his 50 goals in his second season, and has 402 for his career. He was a memorizing college player and owns Olympic and world junior gold.

He’s stepped away from the NHL and has been critical of their player safety aims in recent years. In other words, there might not have been enough campaigning done to get him on the selection committee short list.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Jeremy Roenick attends the NHL pre-awards party at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at the Paris Las Vegas on June 21, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/WireImage)

8/1

Chris Osgood

Jeremy Roenick

Both of these players have a very compelling, very specific argument.

Osgood has three Stanley Cups, and was the backstop for two of them with the Detroit Red Wings. He has a postseason GAA of 2.09 and a postseason save percentage of .916. In the regular season, he won two Jennings Trophies and led the NHL in wins in 1995-96, and is 10th all time in that category. If he’s ever elected, it’s for being a major piece of the Red Wings’ championship teams. He would be the Clark Gillies of goalies, which is why I still think he ultimately gets in

Roenick’s argument is fame. Simply put, he was one of the single most popular players in the NHL during his era, and perhaps of all time. But he never won an individual award in the NHL nor did he win the Stanley Cup. He won Olympic silver with the U.S. in 2002. Statistically, Roenick has 513 career goals (38th overall) and a 0.892 points per game average, placing him right with Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk.

He’s one of the few candidates whose induction would make as much sense as his continued exclusion would. 

10/1

Curtis Joseph

Sergei Zubov

CuJo is fourth in career wins (454) and second in career losses (352), so he played for a bit. He had a save percentage (.906) in line with that of Hall of Famer Ed Belfour, but none of his accolades. Still, Toronto gonna Toronto, and CuJo’s Ontario pedigree means he can’t be discounted.

At the risk of igniting yet another round of debates over our view that Sergei Zubov isn’t remarkable enough to be in the Hall of Fame, here’s Erin Bolen of Defending Big D explaining why we’re wrong.

12/1

Kevin Lowe

Sergei Makarov

Alexander Mogilny

Owen Nolan

Keith Tkachuk

Your “guys with Hall of Fame numbers that lack that extra thing that makes a Hall of Famer” list, although Lowe’s name has come in conversations lately and Sports Illustrated thinks Makarov deserves the call this year.

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 12: The Stanley Cup is on display prior to the HHoF induction press conference and photo opportunity at the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 12, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

20/1

Tom Barrasso

Brian Bellows

Rod Brind’Amour

Peter Bondra

Ron Hextall

Dale Hunter

Steve Larmer

Rick Middleton

Markus Naslund

Bernie Nicholls

Rogie Vachon

Doug Weight

Doug Wilson

Alexander Yakushev

Legendary players that all have something going for them but don’t have the total package. Although a Hextall and Hunter induction weekend would be a bloody good time.

30/1

Jason Arnott

Vincent Damphousse

Pavol Demitra

Theo Fleury

Adam Foote

Bill Guerin

Roman Hamrlik

Milan Hejduk

Miikka Kiprusoff

Olaf Kolzig

John LeClair

Claude Lemieux

Teppo Numminen

Sandis Ozolinsh

Zigmund Palffy

Brian Rafalski

Mike Richter

Gary Roberts

Brian Rolston

Mathieu Schneider

Petr Sykora

Jose Theodore

Marty Turco

Pierre Turgeon

Pat Verbeek

Mike Vernon

Alexei Yashin

Players with numbers that are right on the cusp of being Hall worthy but just can’t match up with their peers. 

500/1

The Field

Jamal Mayers is first-year eligible.

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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