Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

I NOW Consider Patrick Kane A Hall Of Famer

I like to try to gage the point when a current hockey player reaches the point in their career that they have earned a Hall of Fame berth regardless of what happens in the rest of their career.  Today I think that Patrick Kane has made it to that level. 

Kane has been a star since he made it to the NHL.  He was a first pick overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in his first NHL season.  He won the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in one of his three Stanley Cup victories with the Chicago Blackhawks.  He has scored at point per game rate or better in six seasons in his NHL career but this one is the crowning glory that cements his Hall of Fame case.  He has 100 points so far this season and is almost certain to win the Art Ross Trophy.  He is 12 points ahead of second place Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars who has two games left.  Kane is the leading candidate for the Hart Trophy as MVP this year.  There is a good case that Kane has been the best player in the NHL this season and also with his Conn Smythe Trophy victory.

A problem with Kane's case has been his behaviour off the ice.  This is something that the Hall mandates should be taken into account when a player is to be inducted.  It isn't the only factor in an induction but it matters.  Kane was arrested when he and his cousin assaulted a Buffalo cab driver in 2009 when he was unable to make proper change for a fare.  He was also investigated for a sexual assault in the summer of 2015 but no charges came from it.  This has hurt Kane's reputation.

In fact Patrick Kane probably would have won the 2013 Lady Byng Trophy had voters not taken his off-ice issues into account.  Last season he posted almost identical statistics to Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings who was a Lady Byng nominee but Kane was not.  There is a strong argument that he has won fewer awards as a result of some off-ice problems.   Nevertheless he has won a few NHL awards and is poised to win a few more this year.

Patrick Kane is arguably the best player in the NHL right now and that makes him a Hall of Famer.  He has been an All Star calibre player his entire career.  He has been important in several Stanley Cup victories.

This gives us a 16 man list of future Hall of Famers who are active hockey players.  They are:

Zdeno Chara
Sidney Crosby
Pavel Datsyuk
Marian Hossa
Jarome Iginla
Jaromir Jagr
Patrick Kane
Erik Karlsson
Duncan Keith
Ilya Kovalchuk
Roberto Luongo
Evgeni Malkin
Alexander Ovechkin
Henrik Sedin
Joe Thornton
Shea Weber

This list may continue to grow as the playoffs are played this year.  It may shrink if any of these players retire in the off season.

There are two players who are on Hall of Fame tracks that I think I should address at this point.  Chicago's rise in the standings came when Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews gave them a strong core.  Toews is not on this list - at least not yet.  He has not had a season where he has been clearly the best player in his position.  Both Kane and Keith have.  That is likely coming for Toews.  Even if it doesn't he is clearly on a Hall of Fame track but he hasn't completed a Hall of Fame case yet.

Also Henrik Sedin is on this list but Daniel Sedin is not yet.  Henrik has outscored Daniel in his career.  He is yet to get to the point total Henrik had when he made the Hall of Fame threshold.  He also has not won the Hart Trophy as Henrik has.  Daniel is clearly on a Hall of Fame track and is close to making the threshold for a Hall of Famer.  Given that he is not going to make the playoffs in Vancouver, it looks like that will not happen until next year.

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Comments

d ca's avatar

...you forgot to mention the Las Vegas Award show afterparty incident and the Vancouver limo incidents…

Posted by d ca on 04/04/16 at 12:46 PM ET

d ca's avatar

...and the University of Wisconsin incidents particularly Cinco de Mayo since it’s been well photographed.

http://deadspin.com/5909246/reconstructing-patrick-kanes-drunken-weekend-in-madison

Posted by d ca on 04/04/16 at 12:51 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I forgot the Chicago Cup parade too..

http://deadspin.com/tag/patrick-kane-drunk-at-victory-parade

A guy that’s been accused of: raping a girl in 2015, choking a girl with both hands in 2012, screaming anti-Semitic things at cops 2012 when they told him to walk away or be arrested, groping a showgirl in Vegas, assaulting a cab driver in Buffalo over 20 cents.

...so it’s not just innocent offenses and this isn’t the 1970 or 80’s when such behavior could be shrugged away by a HOF committee.

Posted by d ca on 04/04/16 at 01:06 PM ET

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No way Thornton gets in before Hank

Posted by leftwing on 04/04/16 at 01:46 PM ET

El Gringo's avatar

Nah, not yet, give the guy a few more years to see if he can hit true HoF numbers.  Less than 800 points in a career doesn’t cut it. 

I think you jumped the gun on Dats as well.  After this year I would consider him HoFer. 

Karlsson is miles short of HoF.

You need to cool your jets and let events unfold.

Posted by El Gringo on 04/04/16 at 01:53 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Kane’s a boozer so that should disqualify him from the HoF? When are they going to erase every mention of Babe Ruth from Cooperstown?

Kane’s a douche to the 9th degree for sure, but (and this is the part I hate) he’s very good at what he does on the ice. Will he be HoF bound? I don’t know. He’s still got years left to prove that, but to somehow suggest that someone who over does it with the hooch shouldn’t be in is ridiculous. Since when is the HoF only for those with some moral high ground?

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/04/16 at 02:22 PM ET

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I think you jumped the gun on Dats as well.  After this year I would consider him HoFer.

Nope. He’s a shoe in now. Too many personal and team awards to be ignore. He’s very well liked by the press and players. Plus, people have been dazzled by his skills for years.

Zetterberg is a trickier one but I still think he gets in. Although it is possible a slide at the end of his career could taint that. But keep in mind that his international accomplishments help his cause as well.

Posted by evileye on 04/04/16 at 02:37 PM ET

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I respect your opinion and I think at this point Kane’s odds of making the Hall by the time he retires are 99%+, but if he suddenly decided to quit forever and never play another game effective immediately I think I would have to put him just outside.

Including this season he will have finished top-10 in NHL scoring just three times. That is not on its own disqualifying (there are HOF quality forwards with as few or even fewer) but not an especially strong resume. In terms of offensive output I think he’s really only had 3 seasons that I would consider strong by HOF standards (2010, 2013, and 2016) and one of those was shortened considerably by lockout.

This season will also be just his second postseason all-star appearance, which is on the low side historically for a HOF right winger. He would have made a third team (if it existed) in the lockout-shortened 2013 season and a fourth in 2014, but in all other years has finished much farther down-ballot (no higher than 9th among RW).

Finally, I don’t think there is a good reason to think Kane offers significant value beyond his scoring, the way that guys like Datsyuk or Toews or Bergeron are much better than their raw numbers. Kane is not noted for his defense and in his entire career has only ever appeared on a Selke ballot one time (a 2nd place vote from a stray voter in 2013). Datsyuk I think is a meaningful comparison here—based on their 5 best offensive seasons combined Kane is only barely ahead offensively while sitting far behind defensively.

Looking at some other comparables, if Kane were to end his career right now, even assuming he’d win the Hart and Art Ross, I would place his Hall credentials somewhat above Theo Fleury and somewhat below Eric Lindros and Paul Kariya, none of whom are currently enshrined (though I’d argue in favor of Lindros and Kariya being inducted). Obviously virtually everyone who wins a Hart eventually ends up in the Hall (only 5 eligible exceptions so far) but they also backed up that Hart with many other seasons of HOF-caliber play. Kane’s still a little light on dominant offensive seasons, though he’s still got lots and lots of time.

In the end it’s probably splitting hairs. I expect Kane will make the HOF easily as he is still just 27 and is very nearly there already. However I think he probably needs at least one more season to move from the “just outside” to “just inside” category.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 04/04/16 at 02:46 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Kane’s a boozer so that should disqualify him from the HoF?

Accusations of rape, sexual assault/groping, and assault on two occasions (one where he put his hands around a young woman’s throat) are just a bit more serious than public intox don’t you think.

Just because you can buy your way out of trouble doesn’t mean people will celebrate your accomplishments outside your hometowns. 

This isn’t the 1970’s or 80’s, with the corporatization of today’s NHL you have to play by corporate America’s (and Canada’s) standards and that’s increasingly less tolerant to boys will be boys behavior.

https://www.hhof.com/htmlGeneralInfo/sponsors.shtml

And by mentioning Babe Ruth as the example you don’t seem to understand it’s hockey—not MLB—which likes to hold itself to higher moral grounds as the players being good approachable citizens (just ask Don Cherry). But even with that….Pete Rose has the numbers for the HOF….what do you think his chances are getting in just looking at his numbers as a player/manager.  Player enshrinement isn’t limited to their playing careers anymore.

...besides does anyone honestly think Kane won’t “mess” it up again with his actions.

Posted by d ca on 04/04/16 at 03:08 PM ET

Avatar

...besides does anyone honestly think Kane won’t “mess” it up again with his actions.

Posted by d ca on 04/04/16 at 03:08 PM ET

Right….because he’s totally fuc*ed his career up so far. You can’t stand the fact that a player who plays for a team that you hate just happens to be one of the better players in the league. I get it. He’s young, successful and rich. Oh no!...he was drinking at Mardi Gras and at a Stanley Cup parade! The horror!

Also please stop bringing up the rape accusation. It’s pretty slanderous considering he wasn’t even charged and the DA dropped the case entirely after about 2 weeks.

Posted by godblender on 04/04/16 at 04:35 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Also please stop bringing up the rape accusation. It’s pretty slanderous considering he wasn’t even charged and the DA dropped the case entirely after about 2 weeks.
Posted by godblender on 04/04/16 at 04:35 PM ET

No, the case was dropped because the victim signed an affidavit declining prosecution because of the toll it was taking on her family. Without a witness there was no case.

The DA ran for state judge and didn’t want the case for political reasons that’s why he issued the press release right after the election (that he won) talking about reasonable doubt and basically saying it wasn’t provable so people would stop talking about how he could be a fair judge when he was already giving preferential treatment to celebs. A release that he has been heavily criticized for issuing. But since you mention him, he did state, “There seems to be a pattern developing with this young man,”

Oh no!...he was drinking at Mardi Gras and at a Stanley Cup parade! The horror!

Think you mean Cinco de Mayo where he assaulted a girl that told him to go away by chocking her with two hands. And where he was making anti-Semitic comments to cops. Otherwise I don’t know about Mardi Gras. And the point of mentioning the Stanley Cup parade is how the organization forced him to apologize for his drinking yet he does it at team functions where public interactions are required. Sorry but your favorite team is acting exactly like the Wings of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The guy clearly has a problem with alcohol.

And yes, alcohol has derailed potential HOF careers. That Flyers goalie that killed himself in a DUI car crash and was still named an All Star (the one that started keeping the water bottle on the net). How about two Blackhawks since you want to talk about your favorite team Theo Fleury and Bob Probert.

Finally, I hated the douche since he lived and Ann Arbor and saw what he was like going to parties around the area (I never took the time to talk to him and I didn’t pay attention to him while there so I can’t give you 1st hand accounts of him), but hearing how he treated a few girls and really anyone else including from some teammates at A^2: the guy is just a d!ck. I could care less what organization he played for in the NHL—my mind was made up on him long ago. Actually I think it is a great tragedy that Toews gets lumped in with him.

Posted by d ca on 04/05/16 at 05:35 AM ET

El Gringo's avatar

I think you jumped the gun on Dats as well.  After this year I would consider him HoFer.

Nope. He’s a shoe in now. Too many personal and team awards to be ignore. He’s very well liked by the press and players. Plus, people have been dazzled by his skills for years.

Yes, I agree, but was he 2 years ago as suggested?  I am not convinced.  I have a lot of time for Dats as he has battled injuries his entire career.  To come back this year and play for what is decidely a mediocre Wings team with zero chance of competing for the Cup must be hard.  No question Dats has lost two steps and is nowhere near as hard on the puck as in the past.  Yet Dats somehow manages to lead the Wings in points this year.  Yes, this is the year which has put Dats over the top for me. 

Conveniently, I think this is the year which has put Hank over the top as well. I have been very critical of his play during the second half of the season, but he may be in desperation mode and trying to do too much.  Having the C is an extra responsibility which I think Hank takes very seriously and is a point of pride.

Posted by El Gringo on 04/05/16 at 06:02 AM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com

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