The Hall of Fame Debate: Patrik Elias Is Worthy
The MSM last week began circulating buzz on the question of whether Patrik Elias was a Hall of Famer. Although Elias says he wants to continue playing after this season, possibly for another another two to four years, it seemed like an appropriate time to begin the debate. So I asked a friend of mine, a lifelong Devils fan named Mike McCabe, whether he thought Elias was worthy of the Hall. He said yes, I said no and the following piece was born. Below is a guest piece from Mike and my response will be posted tomorrow. Enjoy and weigh in with comments below!
He shouldn’t be in for his impressive offensive numbers. His 366 goals, 550 assists and 916 points are all bests in Devils’ franchise history. His 74 game-winning goals are a franchise best, too. Playoffs? Oh yeah, goals (45), assists (80), points (125)… best, best, best. But that’s not why he should be in.
He also shouldn’t be in for having numbers greater than those that are already in. He’s got more assists and points than Cam Neely, Pavel Bure, Clark Gilles. Plenty more goals than Adam Oates and Bobby Clarke. His numbers already top these legends and I’ll remind you he just told Tom Gulitti he wants to play “at least another two, three, four years.” He’s going to put up numbers that pass a bunch more Hall of Famers in two years, what about four? Still, that’s not why he should be in.
He should be in for something that exists scarcely now in the world of sports: loyalty. As of February 25, 2013 he’s played in 1,061 games in one uniform—red and black. Sure, he tested the free agent market…once. Didn’t like it much either, ended up back in Jersey. What’s 1,061 plus two years’ worth of games? Three years? Four? Don’t forget to add in this year’s remainder when you do the math.
He should also be in because the 2000 cup is not in New Jersey without him (7 goals, 13 assists and 20 points in the playoffs). Forget numbers, though, who remembers Jason Arnott’s double overtime cup clincher? Well, sure you do. But who put a perfect backhanded shovel pass right on the tape for Arnott to bury? Pat did. He’s been to four cups, he’s got two rings. Outside of Brodeur and Stevens, who’s been more important?
The point is, Patrik Elias is a heck of a hockey player. That’s a plain fact. But I’m going to make a bold statement: we love you Ken Daneyko (we really, really do), but when Pat finally hangs up the skates, who’s the new “Mr. Devil”?