Yesterday, witty and insightful Boston Globe columnist Kevin Paul Dupont used Twitter to pose the question: will Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and star forward Patrice Bergeron one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame?
Chara, Bergeron both destined for HHOF? If so…any other current #Bruins on track?
— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) January 27, 2014
Chara and Bergeron are strong Hall candidates you’d have to think. But what about Tim Thomas? The former Bruins netminder returns to Boston tonight to play against the franchise that gave him an opportunity to escape imprisonment in the minor league ranks and finally prove himself NHL worthy.
Not including four games in 2002-03, Thomas’s first real stint in the NHL came at the age of 32-years-old; a senior citizen as far as rookies go. He didn’t steal the show immediately, either. In his early NHL days Thomas was more popularized for his unique style than his great results. Who’s this weird goaltender on the Bruins?
But Thomas figured it out; he proved everyone wrong. The Bruins long-term over-aged project won a Vezina in 2009 and another in 2011 – the same year he earned his name on the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy signifying his status as playoff MVP.
Are these credentials impressive enough to get Thomas inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame? They might be. Few goalies can say they’ve won the Vezina once, let alone twice. In fact, only five netminders have won multiple Vezinas since the trophy’s inauguration in 1982: Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, and Thomas. Pretty elite company, but who knows if it’s enough… only the selectors know – Pat Quinn and Co..
Chara: his claim is strong. The big Slovak is arguably the most dominant defender of his era, and probably should’ve won at least one more Norris than he’s earned so far, but that’s a different topic for a different day. Z’s combination of accolades, longevity, and Cup will be enough for him to make the Hockey Hall Of Fame in all likelihood.
Patrice Bergeron? He’s a modern day Bob Gainey. And where Bergeron may hopelessly trail Gainey in total Cups and Selkes, the Bruins forward will smash the Habs legend in career points by the time he hangs ’em up. Bob Gainey was inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 1992 with Marcel Dionne, Lanny McDonald and former Bruin Woody Dumart.
Thomas’s destiny is a little more inconclusive. Personally, I believe he’s done enough by winning the Vezina twice, Conn Smythe, Stanley Cup, and Olympic silver. Furthermore, his inspirational road to the NHL, controversial White House snub, and random year-off only add to his legacy and the story-telling potential that exists with his possible enshrinement. But it’s debatable. Or at least, I understand people can raise a decent counter argument against the notion that Tim Thomas belongs in the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
Will Tim Thomas one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame? If you lean toward “yay” or adamantly declare “nay” drop a comment in the box below.