... you'll need it.
Mike Richter is among the players under consideration for a spot in the hallowed Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
The 17 men who will choose up to four new inductees for the Hall are: NHL senior vice-presidents Jim Gregory (who also chairs the committee) and Colin Campbell; former general managers Emile Francis, Pat Quinn, Serge Savard, Harry Sinden and Bill Torrey; former players Lanny McDonald, Peter Stastny and John Davidson; former coach Scotty Bowman; media members Dick Irvin, Mike Emrick, Eric Duhatschek, Mike Farber and Yvon Pedneault and former International Ice Hockey Federation general secretary Jan-Ake Edvinsson.
Now none of those people have done the Rangers any favours - including J.D., who gave us gonorrhea, I mean Christian Backman, as a parting gift. But J.D. appeared to be good friends with Mike Richter so who knows? Maybe he will help get his buddy a pass, even if he is a former Ranger who helped erase J.D.'s failure in '79 from the minds of most Ranger fans.
Other former Rangers eligible for consideration include Rick Middleton, Pavel Bure, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Steve Larmer and Pat Verbeek. Adam Oates, Doug Gilmour, Dino Ciccarelli, Phil Housley, Igor Larionov, Guy Carbonneau, Dale Hunter, Kevin Dineen, Claude Lemieux and Tom Barrasso.
This is an incredibly mediocre group so pretty much any of them have a shot. Richter vs. Barrasso is a good battle but in the end, the former Pen prevails. He has more wins, one more Cup and a Vezina while Richter has one Stanley and the World Cup of Hockey win and - as many Russians know - international achievements are often overlooked when it comes to the Hall. But I don't think either of them deserve to be enshrined.
That being said, I think Larionov will make it. The Professor earned three Stanley Cups in over 900 NHL games along with two Olympic golds, a Canada Cup gold, four World Championship golds and two World Junior golds for USSR/Russia. That's a lot of hardware right there. Sure Anderson won six Cups, but he was never a major contributor to any of the six.
Puck Daddy makes a good case for Bure, Ciccarelli and Gilmour but I would have a hard time putting two of those three in. The one I wouldn't mind seeing was Bure. The Russian Rocket was an injury case but scored a ton of goals so while I think he came up well short of his potential, I can see him Cam Neely-ing his way in. As for the other two: Ciccarelli never won anything and racked up some points in the goaltending-poor '80s and Gilmour never reached superstar status (at least outside of Toronto - he was good in Calgary but Toronto needed a hero and he gave them one).
So who do I put in the Hall? Larionov.
The committee should not feel forced to fill out the draft class just for the sake of filling out the draft class. It's that philosophy that got such mediocre players as Bernie Federko, Dick Duff and Larry Murphy into the Hall. As the saying goes, its the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good. Ushering in middling talent who did not reach the pinnacle of their positions, who did not exemplify the best qualities of hockey players or that did not dominate in any way, means or form belittles the true honour that a place in the Hall bestows.