Ducks In The Hall: Who Will Eventually Join Niedermayer, Kurri and Oates?

Bruce Bennett

This week, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its inductees for the class of 2013, and Scott Niedermayer was among them. Which other Ducks will one day be made immortal?

Before Scott Niedermayer, only Jari Kurri and Adam Oates had played for the Ducks and gone on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. And between the two of them, they only played two seasons for Anaheim. Perhaps more significantly, Niedermayer is the first member of the 2007 Stanley Cup team to get the call. As Ducks fans, we are all fond of the notion that the team that won it all in 2007 could play toe-to-toe with any team in NHL history, and the more Hall of Famers that team produces, the better our argument looks. So who else from 2007 — or any other time in franchise history — could end up alongside the legends of hockey?

Teemu Selanne

Alright, this is an easy one. There isn't a hockey fan on the planet who thinks Selanne does not deserve to be in the Hall, and I know that because I have personally interviewed every hockey fan on the planet. If he retires this summer, he will finish eleventh all time in goals (675), fifth in game-winning goals (107), and third in power play goals (251). You want international play to be a more important factor in Hall of Fame consideration? Nobody in Olympic history has scored more than Selanne. That's good enough for me.

Chris Pronger

Judging by points alone, Pronger is a borderline Hall of Famer at best. In the last ten years, the Hall has inducted nine male blue liners, and all of them scored more points than Pronger. But as anyone who watched Pronger's game over the years knows, he brought a lot more than just his offensive abilities, which were considerable enough on their own. He was the premier shutdown defenseman in the NHL for the last decade of his career — assuming his career is over — and his hard hitting, edgy style made him the Scott Stevens of his generation. Oh, and he's the first defenseman since Bobby Orr to win a Hart Trophy (2000). That's got to count for something. As to whether or not he'll make the Hall? I say he does, but maybe not as a first ballot candidate.

Paul Kariya

During the prime of his career, Kariya was one of the most popular and electrifying players in the NHL, but like so many other great players, found his career cut short by concussions. Once the face of the Mighty Ducks franchise, Kariya ended up finishing his playing days rather ingloriously in St. Louis, relegated to a veteran presence rather than an elite scorer. The best case that can be made for Kariya is that he won gold at the World Junior Championships (1993), World Championships (1994), and Olympics (2002), and was a dominant offensive force for at least a decade, from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s. That, and the induction of Pavel Bure last year. Like Kariya, Bure never won a Stanley Cup and had his career cut short by injuries, but both players could score with best of them when healthy. Bure had to wait a handful of years before he finally got the call, and the same may well be true for Kariya. For my money, he will eventually get in, but it might be ten years before that happens.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Realistically, Giguere has very little chance of ever being even considered for the Hall of Fame. Only three goalies have made it in the last ten years, and all of them are lightyears ahead of Giguere in the career wins column. Despite the fact that he was one of the best goalies in the world for a few years, he likely won't get in because to get into the Hall, you need to be one of the best goalies in the world for longer than that. If he does get in, it will be years from now and the reasoning will be that he put on one of the greatest shows in hockey history in the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he could very well have won a second Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007.

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry

Unlike everyone else on this list, these two guys have at least half of their careers ahead of them. Neither of them have done enough yet to make the Hall, but if they up their game just a little and, most importantly, maintain that level for a good long while, they just might end up alongside Niedermayer one day. As of right now, it's way too early to tell.

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