The inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame for 2016 have been officially announced. They include builder, Pat Quinn, and players Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, and Rogatien Vachon, none of whom are eligible for the call to the Hall for the first time. Below is a breakdown of every player’s career, and why they made it into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Originally a defenseman in the NHL, Pat Quinn played over 600 career games in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Flames. He wasn’t exactly a star, but put up a respectable 131 career points, and picked up 950 PIM, a sign of his tough style.
It turns out that Quinn’s calling was in coaching. He began his first stint as a coach with Philadelphia in 1978-79, taking over from Bob McCammon halfway through the season. His Flyers beat Vancouver in the preliminary round, but lost out in the quarterfinals to the New York Rangers in 5 games. The next season is when Quinn really broke out. In his first full season as a coach, Quinn posted a 48-12-20 record, good enough for 116 points! He led the team on a 35 game unbeaten streak, and suddenly, after victories against Edmonton, the New York Rangers, and Minnesota, found himself in the Stanley Cup finals against the New York Islanders. Heartbreakingly, Quinn’s Flyers lost to the Trottier, Potvin, Smith, and Bossy led Isles. But, the season wasn’t a total failure, as Quinn was awarded the Jack Adams Award, something he would win twice in his career. The only coach in history with more is Pat Burns, who won a total of 3. Quinn was unable to replicate his initial success with the Flyers, and by the end of the 1981-82 season, he was out of the job, despite having a 141-73-48 record, and a 22-17 record in the playoffs.
Quinn took the time off to attend law school at Widener University, but soon he was back in the game as coach of the Los Angeles Kings. He led a rag-tag bunch to a 23 point improvement, and their first playoff appearance in 3 seasons in 1984-85, but they were swept by the Edmonton Oilers in 3 games. Unable to do much with a group that, outside of an aging Marcel Dionne, Bernie Nicholls, and Dave Taylor, was not worth much, Quinn resigned as coach of the Kings in 1986-87, with a 75-101-26 record and an 0-3 playoff record.
The next stop in Quinn’s career was Vancouver, and it was here that he earned his legacy. He began as GM of the team in 1987-88, and in 1990-91, took over as head coach. He won a Jack Adams in 1991-92, traded for Kirk MacLean, and drafted stars like Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden. He continued as coach until 1995-96, bringing them to the playoffs 5 times in 5 seasons, including an appearance in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. In total, he posted a 141-111-28 record, and a 31-30 playoff record. His ability to take the Canucks from the team that was last in the Smythe division to a team contending for the Stanley Cup made him not only a great coach, but a great GM. Wanting to focus more on being a manager, Quinn resigned as coach 6 games into the 1995-96 season. He stayed on as GM until the beginning of the 1997-98 season, but was unfortunately fired as GM by the new ownership, who did not see eye to eye with him.
His next opportunity came quickly though, and Quinn found himself GM and Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1998-99 season. Once again, Quinn turned the team around, going from 69 points (9 points out of the playoffs) to the Conference Finals in 1998-99 (with 97 points in the regular season)! The next season he got the Leafs the Northeast Division title, and had 6 seasons with 40+ wins in 7 seasons as the Leafs’ coach. He also had 2 Conference Finals appearances, and all in all a 41-39 playoff record. His 300-196-52-56 record in the regular season was incredibly impressive, and his Leafs teams from 1998-2006 were arguably the most successful Leafs teams since the 1960s. The Leafs didn’t qualify for the playoffs in 2005-06, and as a result, Quinn was fired, even though he had the most wins among active coaches at the time.
Quinn spent 3 years out of the NHL, and coached internationally, bringing Canada World Juniors Gold in 2009. In 2009-10, he replaced Craig MacTavish as the Edmonton Oilers coach, but had a disappointing 27-47-8 record, finishing last in the NHL. This signalled the end of a successful career for Quinn, who, unfortunately passed away in November of 2014.
Stats and Accolades
- 684-528-188 All Time Regular Season Record
- 94-89 All Time Playoff Record
- 2x Stanley Cup Finalist (1980, 1994)
- 2x Jack Adams Winner (1980, 1992)
- 1x Olympic Gold Medalist (2002)
- 1x World Cup of Hockey Gold Medalist (2004)
- 1x World Junior Gold Medalist (2009)
Controversy is what Eric Lindros’ professional career began with. A phenom in junior hockey, Lindros was coveted by every NHL team, and Quebec Nordiques won the 1991 draft lottery, and the rights to select Eric Lindros. In a bold move, Lindros refused to sign the Nordiques, demanding a trade. We all know the rest, how Lindros ended up in Philly for a package involving Peter Forsberg, two first round picks, and a slew of other players.
Lindros overcame the controversy, and immediately became a star in the City of Brotherly Love. He was third on the Flyers in points with 75 in 61 games as a 19 year old rookie, also posting 147 PIM. Lindros continued his success, pounding in 44 goals and 97 points in 65 games the following season.
In 1994-95, the Flyers brought in John LeClair from the Montreal Canadiens, and a deadly partnership was formed. Lindros tied for the league lead in points with 70 through 46 games, and then had a career high 115 points in 73 games in the 1995-96 season. Lindros was 2nd in the NHL in points over this two year span with 185 (behind only Jagr), and finished 3rd in points-per-game (behind only Jagr and Lemieux).
1996-97 was a tougher year for Lindros, as injuries kept him out of 30 games (but he still managed 79 points). However, the disappointing season was soon forgotten as Lindros began his first ever run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Through 19 games he had 26 points, but was unable to lift his team to victory over Steve Yzerman’s Detroit Red Wings.
Lindros continued to have moderate success with the Flyers, having seasons of 71, 93, and 59 points in 63, 71, and 55 games respectively. However, his injuries kept him from being a true force in the league, and his play slowly diminished.
In 2000-01, Lindros sat out of the entire season, having suffered two concussions in 1999-00, and two more previously. He would never play with the Flyers again, and in 2001-02, was traded to the New York Rangers. In his first year in New York, Lindros still had some success. In 2002, he won a gold medal with Canada at the Olympics, while posting 73 points in 72 games in the NHL. In 2002-03, he suffered a noticeable decline in production, going down to 53 points in 81 games. The next season saw him play only 39 games, in which he had 32 points.
After the 2004-05 lockout, Lindros tried to restart his career, signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite having a year off to recuperate from his injuries, Lindros played only 33 games and had 22 points before he was forced out the lineup due to more injuries. The Dallas Stars took one final chance on the Big E, and in 2006-07 he had 26 points in 49 games, but once again, succumbed to injuries.
All in all, Lindros was a wonderful player. During his prime, he physically dominated the game in a way nobody outside of Mario and Jagr could. He did it all, defense, offense, and physical intimidation. However, his bad habit of keeping his head down with the puck cost him, and multiple concussions forced him into an early retirement and many disappointing seasons. Even with the injuries, Eric Lindros is one hell of a player, and definitely deserves this induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Congrats!
Stats and Accolades
- 372 goals, 493 assists, and 865 points in 760 career NHL regular season games
- 24 goals, 33 assists, and 57 points in 53 career NHL playoff games
- 1x Hart Memorial Trophy Winner (1995)
- 1x Lester B. Pearson Award Winner (1995)
- 1x NHL First-Team All-Star (1995)
- 1x NHL Second-Team All-Star (1996)
- 1x Olympic Gold Medalist (2002)
Initially a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, Vachon broke into the NHL in 1966-67. He was the backup to Lorne “Gump” Worsely during the season, but was given a chance to start in the playoffs. Much like Matt Murray, Cam Ward, Ken Dryden, and other great goalies, Vachon impressed majorly, with a 2.38 GAA and a 6-3 record. His Canadiens lost in the finals to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his efforts did not go unnoticed. Vachon was the Canadiens starter, or at least split-time starter, until 1970-71, posting 20+ wins in all 4 seasons as starter, despite playing in under 40 games twice.
In 1970-71, Ken Dryden popped onto the scene in the playoffs, and Vachon was suddenly unneeded. He demanded a trade, and was subsequently sent to Los Angeles, one of the worst teams in the league at the time. Vachon put in his best effort anyways, and had one remarkable season in 1974-75 with a 2.24 GAA and a .926 SV%. He had 171 wins with the L.A. Kings, and was even the runner up for the Vezina Trophy in 1975.
He became a free agent after the 1977-78 season, and signed with the Detroit Red Wings. He spent two seasons in Detroit, winning only 30 games, and having a goals against above 3.50. Vachon then spent a brief stint in Boston for the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons, garnering 44 wins in 91 games, and goals against averages of 3.34 and 3.66, respectable for the era.
All in all, Vachon had a successful career, going 355-291-127, with a 2.99 GAA (SV% not given due to playing in some seasons where SV% was not recorded). These don’t seem like the best numbers, but one has to remember that Vachon played in a high scoring era, and on some teams that offered little to no support. Congrats on a well deserved induction Rogie!
Stats and Accolades
- 355-291-127 record in 795 career NHL regular season games
- 23-23 record in 48 career NHL playoff games
- 51 career regular season shutouts, 2 career playoff shutouts
- 3x Stanley Cup Champion (1968, 1969, 1971)
- 2x NHL Second-Team All-Star (1975, 1977)
- 1x Canada Cup Gold Medalist (1976)
- 1x Vezina Trophy Winner (1968)
- 1x Canada Cup MVP (1976)
While he didn’t play in the NHL for very long, nor for much of his prime, Makarov still goes down as one of the greats. Born in the Soviet Union in 1958, Makarov was forced to play in his home country, not able to leave for the NHL. A product of the Red Army, he quickly became a star in league play, and on the international stage. In the 1977 and 1978 WJC, he had 12 goals and 23 points in 14 games.
Between 1978 and 1991, Makarov played in 145 games for the Soviet Union’s senior team, winning 11 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and never finishing lower than 3rd place. He had 83 goals and 172 points in these 145 games, playing mostly on a line with Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov. In terms of league play, Makarov had much success as well, playing for CSKA Moscow. In 519 games he had 322 goals and 710 points, remarkable totals.
In 1989-90, the Iron Curtain to the NHL finally fell, and Makarov was one of many Soviet players, including his linemates Larionov and Krutov, who migrated to the NHL. He was an immediate success, scoring 86 points in 80 games and winning the Calder Trophy in his first season. He would be a point per game player with 149 points in 146 games over the next two seasons. In 1992-93 he had only 57 points in 71 games, and the next season he was a San Jose Shark.
Makarov had a larger role in San Jose, and tied his career high of 30 goals in his first season there, totalling 68 points in 80 games, and then 8 goals in 14 playoff games. In the lockout season, a 36 year old Makarov’s game finally started to slip. He had only 24 points in 43 games, and after a season off in 1995-96, played only 4 games with the Dallas Stars in 1996-97 before retiring from hockey.
All in all, Makarov was one of the most talented, and incredible Soviet players of all-time. His career before the NHL was remarkable, and his achievements in the NHL were still quite amazing despite his age. Makarov is well deserving of this induction. Congratulations Sergei!
Stats and Accolades
- 322 goals, 388 assists, and 710 points in 519 career Soviet Championship League games
- 134 goals, 250 assists, and 384 points in 424 career NHL regular season games
- 12 goals, 11 assists, and 23 points in 34 career NHL playoff games
- 83 goals, 89 assists, and 172 points in 145 senior international games
- 11x Soviet Championship League Winner (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)
- 8x World Championship Gold Medalist (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990)
- 2x Olympic Gold Medalist (1984, 1988)
- 2x World Junior Championships Gold Medalist (1977, 1978)
- 1x Calder Memorial Trophy Winner (1990)
Better Luck Next Time
Some players who came close to getting the call to the Hall include Mark Recchi, Paul Kariya, and Dave Andreychuk.