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This year belongs to Lindros. Next year belongs to Selanne. Which players not yet ready to retire have the best chances to be first-ballot Hall of Famers?
Few hockey topics spark debate better than Hall of Fame inductions. Eric Lindros, he of the dominant yet injury-shortened career, was a popular barroom discussion subject ever since he became Hall eligible in 2010. As of Monday, 'The Big E' is enshrined. The discussion is over. Next season, we'll see Teemu Selanne earn a slam-dunk Hall nod, and Marty Brodeur the year after that.
Time for a new discussion. Which current NHLers have the best chances at first-ballot Hall treatment once they bid the game farewell?
1. JAROMIR JAGR
Piece of cake. Jagr has the best odds at having his three-year eligibility wait waived since Wayne Gretzky in 1999. Few players in history have an accomplishment list as phonebook-thick as Jagr's. He's third all-time among NHLers in goals with 750 and points with 1,874. He needs just 14 more points to pass Mark Messier for second. Jagr ranks sixth in assists with 1,124 and in games with 1,644. He has five scoring titles, a Hart Trophy as League MVP, was voted MVP by the players three times and is an eight-time first-team All-Star. He has two Stanley Cups and a 1998 Nagano Olympics gold medal. On top of all that, he's accomplishing feats in his mid 40s no player has ever done, albeit Gordie Howe did so in his 50s.
What's especially remarkable about Jagr, of course, is he spent three seasons from 2008-09 to 2010-11 playing for Avangard Omsk in the KHL. His records would be even more amazing had he padded his stats with three extra NHL years. Regardless, he's among the most talented and accomplished players in hockey history, blessed with dazzling hands, a powerful build and unrivalled work ethic off the ice.
2. ALEX OVECHKIN
'Ovie' just churns out goal-scoring crown after goal-scoring crown. Despite not playing in the Live Puck glory days of the 1980s, he lights the lamp almost as well as Wayne Gretzky or Mike Bossy did. Ovechkin joins those two as the only NHLers with seven 50-goal campaigns and needs two more to match them. He's led the league in goals six times, he's a three-time MVP, and he's an eight-time first-team all-star. Ovie is among the most decorated snipers who ever lived…already. He's still just 31. He's nowhere near finished filling the net. He's already a surefire Hall of Famer.
3. SIDNEY CROSBY
Jagr and Ovie get the nod above 'Sid the Kid' based on sheer volume of accolades, but Crosby will likely finish his career held in higher regard. He's the best player of the past 15 years, a two-time MVP, a two-time scoring champ, a two-time Stanley Cup champ, a Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP and a two-time Olympic gold medallist, scoring the game-winning goal in both tournaments. Crosby's 1.33 points per game rank him fifth all-time behind only Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bossy and Bobby Orr. Crosby's counting stats likely won't be eye-poppingly elite by the time he retires since concussion problems robbed him of some prime years, but he's a borderline top-10 player of all-time.
4. PAVEL DATSYUK
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Source : http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/five-active-players-who-will-be-first-ballot-hall-of-famers