Earlier this week my son went to the library, and brought home a new hockey book he found on display, the Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Players. It's like a virtual trip through the hallowed halls one position at a time (left wing, center, right wing, etc.), with career summaries of every player and feature articles on especially notable greats, such as Bobby Hull, Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, and more.
Naturally, after the wee folks were tucked away for the night, I grabbed the book and cozied up for a while with it myself. It's a gargantuan piece of work, and for every familiar face like "Terrible" Ted Lindsey or Stan Mikita, you have less familiar names like Harry Trihey and Si Griffis. This is the kind of tome that makes you want to shut out the world for a day (or two, or three) and soak in the breadth and depth of hockey's history.
Flipping through this pantheon of hockey heroes got me thinking, however - what will it take for a member of the Nashville Predators to someday join these lofty ranks? David Poile, despite never having won the Stanley Cup, is presumably a shoe-in for eventual membership in the Builders Category, considering his decades of well-respected work building competitive teams in Washington & Nashville.
But what about players?
These days, enshrinement in the Hall is a tough feat to achieve - much harder than when there were only 6, 12, or 21 teams in the league. With 30 teams competing it's hard than ever for individuals to rise above the pack, especially for the decade-plus that is usually required for Hall of Fame selection.
#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators
Aug 14, 1985
|2013 - Shea Weber||16||4||3||7||-6||16||3||0||0||35||11.4|
Shea Weber probably has the best shot among current members of the team, as someone who has been among the best in the game at his position for a few years, and could remain so for the next 10 years or so. More than just being a Norris Trophy finalist, however, he'll have add some major wins to his resume. The 2010 Olympic gold medal was a nice start, and he'll presumably get another chance to play a major role for Team Canada this February in Sochi.
#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators
Nov 03, 1982
|2013 - Pekka Rinne||9||493||4||4||1||19||2.31||229||210||.917||0|
Just as Peks was establishing himself as one of the NHL's best keepers, he put up underwhelming numbers last season and is in danger of having this campaign flushed down the drain too, due to the ongoing issues with his hip. Add in the fact that as a late bloomer, Rinne will have trouble putting up the kind of milestone numbers (like 300 wins or multiple Stanley Cups) that typify Hall inductees, and he'd probably be considered a long shot at this point.
Any Other Candidates?
Once you get past Weber & Rinne, I don't think we can say that any of Nashville's veterans are on a Hall of Fame-worthy career arc, so that brings you to the kids, who have only just begun to write their NHL story. Is it fair to speculate about the ability of guys like Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis to establish themselves among the game's all-time greats? Are there any forwards who have that sort of potential?
Just something to think about while watching the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which you can catch Monday evening at 6:30 on NHL Network.
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- Nashville Predators News: Filip Forsberg Sent to Milwaukee, Taylor Beck Called Up