by Patrick Hoffman on 11/17/11 at 06:15 PM ET
With the most recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductions having taken place, I figured now would be a good time to bring up a player that I think deserves a call into hockey’s hallowed hall one of these days.
While many would think that I would go with obvious ones such as may be a Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, or even Eric Lindros, I decided to take the road less travelled by and go with someone who is more than likely going to stay on the cusp. You can call me crazy but I think this particular player deserves some serious recognition.
One player that I think deserves to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame is former New York Rangers’ netminder Mike Richter. Sure, he may not have the amount of wins that a Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, or Terry Sawchuk or even the pedigree of a Grant Fuhr, but Richter was one of the game’s elite netminders for several seasons and paved the way for how U.S. netminders play in today’s NHL.
For starters, Richter is one of the Rangers’ franchise’s greatest players of all time. Richter spent his entire career with the Blueshirts, 14 seasons in all, and did so in fine fashion. He is the leader for wins by a Rangers’ netminder (301) and one of few Rangers’ goaltenders to lead the franchise to a Stanley Cup, which he did back in 1994.
Secondly, his stats are pretty solid for a goaltender. Having 300 wins is something that the Hall of Fame tends to like and his career goals against average of 2.89, a save percentage of .904 and 24 shutouts. Again, not Brodeur numbers but solid numbers for a goaltender that played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League.
Richter also appeared in three NHL All-Star games. The most memorable one being the one in 1994 at Madison Square Garden when he was the game’s most valuable player.
Richter’s achievement in International Hockey as a member of USA Hockey also needs to be looked at. In 1996, he put USA Hockey back on the map by leading his country to victory at the World Cup of Hockey. For his stellar play, he was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Six years later, he almost led USA Hockey to another victory when the team won a Silver Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. For his fine play, Richter made the tournament All-Star team.
Again, Mike Richter is probably not the most obvious choice when it comes to players who should be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Then again, Richter is a player that deserves some serious recognition.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.