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The Puck Stops Here

I NOW Consider Shea Weber A Hall Of Famer

I like to try to pick out the point where a currently active hockey player crosses the threshold where he establishes himself as a Hall of Famer regardless of what might happen in the remainder of his career.  I believe that Shea Weber has passed that threshold.

Shea Weber is a four time post season All Star.  He made the First Team All Star in 2011 and 2012.  He made the Second Team All Star in 2014 and 2015.  That iin and of itself is likely a Hall of Fame resume.  You would be very hard-pressed to find a two time First Team All Star who is Hall of Fame eligible but not inducted.  They do exist.  For example John LeClair is in this group.  You would be even harder pressed to find a four time post season All Star who is Hall of Fame eligible and not inducted.  They do exist.  Paul Kariya has made five post season all star teams.  Notably these counter-examples tend to play left wing, which is historically the weakest position in the league.  There isn't a defenceman with four post season All Star berths who is eligible for the Hall of Fame and not there.  Thus as long as Weber has a full career to go with thse berths he is a Hall of Famer.

Weber has more to his career than his post-season All Star berths.  He is a two time Olympic gold medalist in both 2010 and 2014.  In 2010 he was named to Winter Olympic All Star Team.  He has international success.

Most recently, he has been a success in the All Star Skills Competition.  He won the hardest shot competition in 2015 and 2016.  Both years he is very close to breaking the all time record.  Success in the skills competition helps to cement a player as an All Star and a Hall of Famer.  It helps to create a narrative behind the player's success.

Weber has over 700 NHL games played and over 400 career points.  This is a substantial portion of a career.  They are solid offensive numbers for a defenceman.  We have seen enough of his career to be certain that he is a Hall of Famer.

The knocks on Weber are that he has not won a Norris Trophy.  He has been close but he has never won.  While a Norris would go a long way toward cementing a Hall of Fame career, several defencemen are in the Hall of Fame without any Norris Trophy wins.  There is no reason Weber cannot be one.  It would also be nice if he had some playoff success.  Weber has never been past the second round in the playoffs.  This is largely the fault of his team and not Weber alone, although it is hard to point at any playoff series and argue that Weber dominated it.  It is possible that Nashville (or a future team) will have a significant playoff run with Weber playing a key role, but this is unnecessary for his induction.  He has shown himself to be a top defenceman over the last few years.  There is an argument to be made that he has been the best defenceman in the league since 2009/10 began.  I am not sure I would accept the argument, but it has its merits.

With Shea Weber's addition to my Hall of Fame list, there are 14 players on it.  Here they are:

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

I expect this list will continue to grow as hockey is played this season.  I do not expect any players to retire at least until the off-season and it is possible that none will retire from this list this summer.

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Comments

Paul's avatar

via Twitter,

I am incredulous that you put Erik Karlsson on your list. He is often a defensive liability (not just a matter of style).

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/16 at 07:29 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.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com