An interesting subject my older son likes to discuss is who among today's NHL players will eventually make the hockey hall of fame. The interesting part to talk about is the players who are or might be on the bubble. Lock players like Martin Brodeur or Nicklas Lidström aren't interesting because they are basically already in. Players like Tim Thomas or Vincent Lecavalier are good because it's a bit more subjective where they will fit in.
I got thinking it could be looked at or projected more systematically. The way is by setting a "number" of active players who will make the hall of fame each season. Suppose the number is two. Then each decade 20 players will make the hall. Now that fits well with hockey as a starting unit is six players, goalie, two defence and three forwards.
So in a given decade it should roughly fall to three full units plus two floaters from any position should be about right. So 3 goalies, 6 defencemen, 9 forwards, and 2 worthy extras from any position.
Now from this start the guesswork can actually be largely be taken out using a spreadsheet and publicly available seasonal information. Create a spreadsheet for the 2000s decade which will be the players under discussion. Create slots for the 20 inductees by position.
Now for each season 2000-2001 through 2009-2010 get the major data from that season. The major trophy winners, all stars, scoring leaders (esp. 50 goals and 100 points), goalie leaders such as wins, GAA and shutouts, scoring leaders among defencemen, playoff leaders. also notable achievements such as the captain and starting goalie of the Stanley Cup winning team, and career milestones such as 500 goals, 1000 points, or setting a record or positional record.
By showing this category data side by side for the 10 seasons the leaders will quickly jump off. Use those to fill the slots by position. There's a bit of judgment involved as some players like Brodeur belong to the 1990s decade so leave them off. Still after going through it that would make it a lot clearer among the bubble players. This would be a good exercise for my son or any hockey fan interested in a do it yourself Hall of fame projector.
The main driver among these bubble players is the crucial "per year" number. In this example I set it at 2 which I feel is fair and no truly worthy player is left out of the Hall here (especially with the two extra floater slots). In my next post I'll use the actual NHL numbers and draw some conclusions.