By Michael Walters
The Hockey Hall of Fame is expected to reveal its Class of 2016 at 12:30 p.m. PT on Monday June 27. The 18-member selection committee will convene and vote in Toronto on Monday.
There are no clear cut first-year candidates this year. This means the possibility of some former NHL players who have been passed over could finally be inducted. Some possible players include Dave Andreychuk, Curtis Joseph, Eric Lindros, Mark Recchi, and Jeremy Roenick. One player of particular interest to Anaheim fans is Paul Kariya.
In 1993, Kariya won the Hobey Baker Award in the NCAA and led the University of Maine to the national championship. He recorded 100 points in 39 games that season. In the same year he won gold with Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship. In his second season with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, he scored 50 goals and has 58 assists for 108 total points. He also recorded more than 100 points in the 1998-99 season, scoring 39 goals and recording 62 assists for 101 total points.
Kariya was awarded the Lady Bing trophy twice and named to the first All-Star Team three times(95-96′, 96-97′, and 98-99′). He won gold with Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. In the 2002-03 NHL season, he led the Ducks(without Teemu Selanne) to the Stanley Cup Final coming up just one game short of winning it all.
There aren’t many negatives to his career. He was 11 games short of reaching 1000 and he didn’t win a Stanley Cup either, which could be reasons that the committee doesn’t select him. However, Kariya’s career was ended sooner because of concussions issues. He played 15 seasons in the NHL averaging one point per game, recording 989 points(402 goals + 582 assists) in 989 games. He retired when he was 35, but could have had a few more seasons left if not for the concussions he suffered.
Kariya should have a good chance of being inducted without any first year candidates in the mix. What do you think?
Want to be an Editor or Writer? Join The Puck Network!
DucksNPucks is part of The Puck Network, which covers the entire NHL. There are openings to cover your favorite team(s) and earn school credits! If you are interested, then apply by filling out the form here: Join Our Team