To the surprise of many hockey insiders, Brendan Shanahan did not receive the requisite number of votes to join the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, which was announced Tuesday. Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin all made the cut, but Shanahan and his 1,354 career points will have to wait until at least 2013.
This was Shanahan’s first appearance on the Hall ballot, but he looked like a near-lock to earn admission. The ex-Red Wings forward still sits 13th in NHL history with 656 goals, sixth in power-play goals (237), fourth in game-winning goals (109) and won the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championships gold.
His absence from the list of 2012 entrants to the Hall left many scratching their heads:
Shocked that Brendan Shanahan didn’t get in on 1st ballot- was a fearless player who was the leagues best power forward for a decade
— David Amber (@DavidAmber) June 26, 2012
Like many others, I, too, am surprised that Shanahan did not get the call today.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 26, 2012
Congrats to Joe Sakic, Mat Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure, Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2012. Surprised Brendan Shanahan didn’t make it.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 26, 2012
Shocker: Brendan Shanahan did not get elected to Hall of Fame in first year of eligibility. Bure, Oates, Sakic, Sundin are in.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) June 26, 2012
Oates, who was also named head coach of the Capitals on Tuesday, is also a former Red Wing — he spent 1985-89 in Detroit, making his NHL debut there during the 1985-86 season. He finished his career with 1,420 points, with 1,079 of those coming on assists.
It’s hard to knock any of the guys that made it into the Hall (especially Sakic), but Shanahan’s three Cups are one more than the other won combined during their careers. Perhaps Shanny’s presence on a bunch of loaded Wings teams worked to his disadvantage — he was never quite the superstar that, say, Steve Yzerman was. Still, you cannot discount what he accomplished as a goal-scoring and hard-nosed forward.
Shanahan should hear his name called for the Hall eventually, but it’s shocking that it did not happen this year.