I've been saying a while that the HHOF will be over-represented by
1,000-point scorers who played between 1979 and 1995, and will one
day become similarly over-represented by goaltenders who played
between 1995 and 2005.
He averaged a point a game over his career, and I think he placed 5th
in scoring one year and 7th another. And in a third, he was in the
top ten in assists. Hardly a dominant player. A very productive
player in an era when there were many very productive players.
But the 1,000-point standard is ingrained as a marker of excellence,
just as 500 home runs still seems to be. It used to mean something
because the players who had accomplished it were relatively scarce.
They got to be dead common, but the sense of the milestone's meaning
was never adjusted. Had Turgeon come along ten or fifteen years
earlier, there is no way he would have lasted 20 years or appeared in
the 1200-plus games necessary to pass 1300 points.
About 20 years ago, I remember reading an article about Gump Worsley.
One year with the Rangers, he had a GAA of 3.24. The writer described
it as "respectable." By the standards of 1986, absolutely
respectable. In 1957, it was bottom-of-the-league. Now, I realize
that Worsley was a superb netminder who played behind a lousy team in
New York. As evidence, we need only look at Plante's statistics after
he became a Ranger. But I really don't think the writer considered
these qualifiers for one second. All he knew was that, in his
environment, goals were scored at a rate of 7 or 8 per game, so 3.24
was slightly above average in that era.
To induct Turgeon would absolutely be a repeat of Federko. And just
because mistakes have been made (Gillies and Duff, as well), doesn't
mean they should be compounded on a lowest-common-denominator
I'd hold him up to a player of higher calibre who isn't in the Hall
and probably shouldn't be. I'm thinking of Doug Gilmour, who was a
more complete player (won a Selke, and wasn't it commonly said of
Turgeon that he was a one-way player?). On such grounds, I'd say no
But that doesn't mean he won't be inducted.
On 6-May-08, at 3:04 PM, DAVE SOUTTER wrote:
> My feeling is Turgeon will make it. He scored over 500 goals and
> over 1300 points. Although he never won a Stanley Cup and wasn't
> exactly a perennial All-Star, his high numbers and gentlemanly play
> (he did win a Lady Byng in '93) over the course of his career
> should be enough to earn induction, IMO.
> Anyone disagree with this? Is Turgeon the type of player who falls
> into the Bernie Federko/Dale Hawerchuck category, or is he a
> "legitimate" HHOFer who has earned the honor? If Clark Gillies
> made it in, shouldn't Turgeon?
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