Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 HHOF: Did they GHT?

  The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its newest members on June 26th, 2012.  While the four players inducted are no brainers when it comes to their scoring skills, but the question on this blogger's mind is, how many Gordie Howe Hat Tricks did they get.

  Pavel Bure scored 437 careers goals in a career shortened by knee injuries.  A man with incredible hands and blistering speed, Bure is not known for playing rough.  Bure scoring a goal?  No problem.  An assist?  Not as likely as a goal, but still, no problem.  Bure getting into a fight?  Problem.  Pavel Bure was never accessed a five minute major for fighting in his career.  The closest Bure ever came was on December 18th, 1992 during a line brawl against the San Jose Sharks.  He did rack up 4 assists that night, but no goals.  

  Adam Oates led the league in assists three times, including back-to-back seasons while on the cusp of age 40.  Oates played set-up man to some of the leagues top snipers, Hull, Shanahan, Neely, and Bondra.  Oates was one of the best playmakers of the 1990s.  Oates came into the league in the 1985-86 season and had all of his career fighting majors, 2, in the 1986-87 season.  1987-88 is the first season I can access to boxscores, so I can't check to see if Oates also had a goal and an assist in those two games.  In 86-87 Oates scored 15 goals and 32 assists.  So the data for Oates is inconclusive.  *Update*  I have reviewed the boxscores of 1986-87, and Oates did not get a GHHT.

  Joe Sakic was considered, by most, to be a sure bet on the 2012 ballot, his first year of HHOF eligibility.  Ranked 9th on the career points list, Sakic consistently put up star numbers throughout his career.  Sakic's trophy case is well stocked, as he won two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, a Lady Byng and a Hart trophy.  Gentleman Joe is considered one of the classiest players from his generation.  On March 20th, 1999, Sakic got 2/3rds of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick on one play, scoring a goal and winning by decision against Doug Gilmour.  Sakic would pot another goal in the game but would not collect an assist.  That was the closest Sakic got to a GHT.

  Mats Sundin Is the only player inducted from the 2012 HHOF class that had over 100 PIM in a single season.  He had 103 in 1991-92.  While statistically, Sundin had his best seasons during his brief career as a Quebec Nordique, his consistency with the Leafs made him HHOF worthy, albeit debatable.  With the exception of the lock-out season of 1994-95, Sundin scored 70+ points in every NHL season other than his first and last.  While Sundin was a large player, 6-5, 230lbs, he was not a physical player.  He had two career fight, but no Gordie Howe Hat Tricks.

  The Gordie Howe Hat Trick total for the 2012 class is zero official GHT, and two incomplete due to insufficient data.  For fans of the GHT, the big story was who was left off the ballot, Brendan Shanahan, 17 career GHTs, Eric Lindros, 6, and Jeremy Roenick, 5.  Add those three to the new group of first year elgible players in 2013, Chelios, 2+, Tkachuk, 10,and there's a good chance the 2013 HHOF group will help represent the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2010-11: Season in Review

  There were 16 GHTs in the 2010-11 season, including one in the play-offs.  13 players recorded their 1st GHT.  Pavel Datsyuk got his first GHT on his first regular season fight in his career.  Ryan White's first career goal propelled him to his first career GHT.  Taylor Hall's first GHT was also his first career fight, which led to his first career season-ending injury.  Teams that had a player "Go Gordie" were a perfect 16-0 in those games.

Kevin Bieksa18/05/2011VANSJSBrent Burns18/01/2011MIN@EDM
Nathan Horton04/05/2011BOSPHIScott Hartnell11/01/2011PHI@BUF
Dan Boyle04/04/2011SJSLAKBrandon Dubinsky12/12/2010NYRWSH
Ryane Clowe26/03/2011SJS@PHXRyan Callahan15/11/2010NYR@PIT
Ryan White20/03/2011MTL@MINBrandon Yip06/11/2010COLDAL
Taylor Hall03/03/2011EDMCBJMilan Lucic19/10/2010BOS@WSH
James van Riemsdyk15/02/2011PHI@TBLKris Versteeg09/10/2010TOROTT
Travis Hamonic11/02/2011NYIPITPavel Datsyuk08/10/2010DETANA

Monday, June 18, 2012

2011-12: Season in Review

  In the 2011-12 NHL season, there were 25 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, including 2 in the Play-offs.  There were 54 Hat Tricks of the 3 goal variety last season, making the Gordie Howe Hat Trick the rarer event.  If you're in the guessing mood, then try to name all 25 Gordie Howe Hat Trick achievers from the 2011-12 season.  Otherwise, check in after the break.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Gordie Howe Hat Trick

One Goal.  One Assist.  One Fight.  All in one Game.  That is known as a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  Gordie Howe, nicknamed Mr. Hockey, was the complete player during his career, a professional career that spanned 34 years.  Howe led the NHL in scoring six times and ranks 3rd all-time in career points.  He was also known for his elbows and his toughness.  The origin of the term "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" is unknown.  It gained popularity during the 1990s and wasn't officially tracked until the 1996-97 NHL season.  The legend himself, Mr. Howe, only has two recorded Gordie Howe Hat Tricks during his career.  Still, it is a fitting tribute to one the leagues best and toughest players, Gordier Howe.
  The goal of this blog will be highlight recent Gordie Howe Hat Tricks and celebrate ones from the past.