The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2020 class of inductees on Wednesday. The 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame class includes: Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Kevin Lowe, Doug Wilson, Kim St-Pierre and Ken Holland.
Yes, this means that both Iginla and Hossa are first-ballot Hall of Famers. Kim St-Pierre represents the sole woman inducted in this class (as many as two can be added each go-around), while Holland is being inducted under the “builder” category.
Inevitably, people will discuss snubs. Many will point to Daniel Alfredsson and Alexander Mogilny. There are plenty of women who are deserving, too, including Jennifer Botterill.
Both Iginla and Hossa make Hockey Hall of Fame on first (2020) ballot
No surprise with Jarome Iginla
Iginla spent 1,219 of his 1,554 NHL games as a member of the Flames. After breaking into the league in 1996, “Iggy” went on to score 625 goals, record 1,300 points, win two Rocket Richard Trophies, the King Clancy, the Art Ross, and the Ted Lindsay Award. The winger was a six-time All-Star.
Iginla managed two 50-goal seasons, and passed the 40-goal mark on four occasions. The power forward also distinguished himself before reaching the NHL, winning two Memorial Cups with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. On the international scene, he represented Canada at various levels, winning two World Junior Championships, one World Championship, one World Cup of Hockey, and two Olympic gold medals. Iginla set up Sidney Crosby‘s “golden goal” in overtime during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Marian Hossa recognized as a two-way star
Hossa joins Iginla as a first-ballot Hockey Hall of Famer.
Hossa won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, and was a playoff fixture, becoming the first NHL player to reach three consecutive Stanley Cup Final series with three different teams. So you might also consider his playoff production (149 points in 205 games) while noting his regular season accolades (525 goals and 1,134 points in 1,309 contests).
Hossa represented Slovakia at the World Championships eight times, Olympic Games four times, and played in two World Cup of Hockey tournaments — once for his home country and the other for Team Europe. In addition to those Stanley Cup victories, Hossa also won a Memorial Cup.
One knock against Hossa was a lack of individual awards, but success followed the two-way star.
[MORE: Who the PHT staff would have inducted into the 2020 HHOF]
Kim St-Pierre adds another deserving woman to HHOF
There are a lot of gold medals in St-Pierre’s trophy case.
Inside you’ll find three from the Olympics, five from the World Championships, and one from the Four Nations Cup. The netminder played 83 times for Canada, helping them win 64 times with 29 shutouts. She earned best goalie honors at the 2002 Olympics, as well World Championships in 2001 and 2004. St-Pierre also won the Clarkson Cup twice with Montreal Stars of the CWHL, and was named the league’s top goaltender two seasons in a row.
Wilson and Lowe get into Hockey Hall of Fame after long waits
Doug Wilson an easy case
Wilson scored 237 goals, 827 points as a defenseman, winning the 1982 Norris Trophy during his impressive and underrated career.
The current Sharks GM was an eight-time All-Star, and won Canada Cup gold. His name has sprung up in Hall of Fame discussions over the last few years, even after having been on the ballot for over two decades. He played during an era dominated by Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque, but examine his career and it was a pretty solid one. He finished his career in the top 20 in points by a defenseman and top 10 in points per game.
[MORE: Hall of Fame waits for Lowe, Wilson come to an end]
A fun piece of trivia via Sean McIndoe of The Athletic (sub required) that bolsters his case: “Here’s the complete list of players who both won a Norris Trophy (peak) and finished in the top 25 all-time in defenseman scoring (longevity), but haven’t been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Doug Wilson, and that’s it.”
As a side note, Wilson is putting together a decent Hockey Hall of Fame case with his GM work, alone.
Kevin Lowe’s best case — his trophy case
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson laid out defensive defenseman Kevin Lowe’s Hall of Fame case: he was the “conscience” of the Gretzky-era Oilers. Overall, Lowe won five Stanley Cups with Edmonton, and then one more with the Rangers.
“You look at Kevin’s Stanley Cups, the leadership on our team, the respect of all the players … that certainly would give me all sorts of statistical and psychological information to be in the Hall,” Glen Sather said. “You don’t have to pile up points to be a great player.
Lowe’s offensive stats won’t impress, but people stumped for his responsible game. It finally worked.
Lowe also served as a “builder” with the Oilers. Many would agree that it’s probably not the first point you’d argue for when saying Lowe deserved to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, though.
Ken Holland rounds out 2020 Hall of Fame class as a builder
The timing felt a bit surprising for Holland to be inducted as a builder. But, in the grand scheme of things, it was probably a matter of time.
The Detroit Red Wings won four Stanley Cups with Holland in prominent positions (one as assistant GM, three as GM). The Red Wings also won 10 Central Division titles with Holland at the helm, not to mention four Presidents’ Trophies.
Holland can still add to his resume if he can bring Connor McDavid and the Oilers to additional glories, too.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.
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