Sadly, what was announced today was expected and very sad. If he
declared himself healthy no chance Sather was moving the goalie from
Edmonton or Dunham so his Ranger career was over.
As for the Hall Of Fame I would have to say no, even if today is the
fashionable day to say yes.
Bottom line seven of eleven years as a starter and no playoffs.
Including his play in Internation Competition I think would be
reaching for reasons to include him. Those were loaded teams that
were expected to win against lesser talent. Tom Barasso is an
American Goalie with cup rings, more wins, an Olympic goalie and no
one is putting him in the HHOF. Chris Osgood has two rings and
will pass Richter in wins within the next year or two and has no
business being in the Hall of Fame to this point.
As for Richter's NHL career he did win the 1994 cup and his play was
a big reason but IMO his best moment was against New Jersey in 1997-
98, where he outplayed Brodeur to an upset. As much as folks like to
think the Rangers were underdogs in 93-94 they were not. New Jersey
was a young team on the rise and it took seven games, Vancouver was a
five hundred team and the series took seven games.
If Gigure wins game seven does he go into the hall of fame based on
one playoff, especially if someday Anaheim goes six years without
In the end there were too many years without playoffs where the
Rangers should have been a better team (to say nothing of a winning
team) with every possible advantage added to his team are a
reflection of the result. Off the ice he has been very classy and
will be remembered as the best goaltender in Ranger history but that
does not mean he belongs in the HHOF.
I'll guess we'll see. Cue Stan Fischler to tell us he is better than
Billy Smith and Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.