Every year, the HHOF selection committee has a tougher job as more and more superstars become eligible each year but they can only elect so many. Today, they announced the Class of 2020 and I was pretty surprised initially but then rememembered how these things play out sometimes. They went with Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Ken Holland, Kim St. Pierre, Kevin Lowe, and Doug Wilson. Congrats to all of them.
Marian Hossa and Jarome Iginla are clearly Hall of Fame players (as were others eligible). Kenny Holland built a dynasty in Detroit and earned his spot. And goalie Kim St. Pierre has more gold than Fort Knox. But I did not see either Kevin Lowe or Doug Wilson getting in. Especially over Alexander Mogilny.
I think Mogilny, and you can certainly make the case for many others, got screwed here. Not only his ridiculous numbers or world-class talent. Or the Cup he won. Or the fact he has better numbers than current HHOFers. But he was the first fucking Soviet who defected so he can play in the NHL. That history-making shit alone should be enough to get him in. He risked his life to get paid in North America. In the process, he essentially called the wilting U.S.S.R.'s bluff (the KGB never tried to drag back home). Also, only Hull, Gretzky, or Lemieux scored more goals than him in a single season.
Instead, we got two defensemen who played decades ago that also happen to be current or former GMs from Canada that have had working and/or personal relationships with most of the voters for decades. I watched Lowe and Wilson play. But never thought they were HHOF-caliber players. Wilson was your prototypical consistent All-Star offensive D-man who won a Norris thanks to a monster '81-'82 season. Lowe won six Cups as a pretty solid if unspectacular defenseman on the Oilers dyansty then their '94 reunion tour in New York. Neither was worthy in numerous previous votes but they were today. It was Wilson's 25th year of eligibility and Lowe's 20th.
The 18 person selection committee is made up of three Americans, a Swede, a Finn, a Russian, and a dozen Canadians. I've said for awhile that the HHOF voting process can be unintentionally political and tends to lean north. I think sometimes with these things, personal feelings can get involved because of decades-long relationships and people talk themselves into one guy over a more worthy player. Nobody is bad person here or has bad intentions and probably doesn't even realize they're doing it. But people are human and the results speak for themselves.
How do Alexander Mogilny or Daniel Alfredsson or Patrik Elias or Sergei Gonchar or Jeremy Roenick or Boris Mikhailov not get in before Doug Wilson and Kevin Lowe?