2023 Hockey Hall of Fame predictions: 6 players who should get the call

This past weekend was a celebration of hockey history writ large as the 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees were honoured for their contributions to the sport.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin headlined a class that also included Daniel Alfredsson, Roberto Luongo, Riikka Sallinen and the late Herb Carnegie. It’s a stellar class that stands out among the Hall’s illustrious history.

By its very nature, the Hall is an exclusive place and we’re going to look ahead to identify who may get inducted next year. The Hall still has an archaic rule in place, allowing a maximum of four men’s players and two women’s players per year. This is a prediction of next year’s class, and there were some tough cuts.

In his first year of eligibility, legendary goaltender Henrik Lundqvist should be a lock for the 2023 Hall of Fame class. (Getty Images)
In his first year of eligibility, legendary goaltender Henrik Lundqvist should be a lock for the 2023 Hall of Fame class. (Getty Images)

Alexander Mogilny

Mogilny’s omission from the Hall makes no sense. He scored prolifically in bunches at every level he played at, he’s a member of the Triple Gold Club (a Stanley Cup, IIHF World Championship and Olympic gold medal) and ranks 81st all-time with 1,032 points. For a history museum, it’s an affront to a pivotal era of hockey to ignore Mogilny, who became the first NHL draftee to defect from the former Soviet Union to play in North America. Without him, we simply may not have the influx of Russian players who have made their immeasurable impact on the league. Mogilny made the All-Star team six times and tied for the league lead with 76 goals during the 1992-93 season. It’s time for the Hall to correct their greatest oversight.

Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist headlines all first-year eligible players next year and he’s almost certainly a lock for 2023. An all-time legend for the New York Rangers, Lundqvist ranks sixth in career wins (459) and became the first goalie to post 11 30-win seasons during his first 12 years in the league. He was the best goaltender during the 2006 Olympics, leading Sweden to a gold medal, to go along with his gold medal from the 2002 IIHF World Championships. Affectionately nicknamed King Henrik, it makes too much sense to induct the goaltender with the most wins by any European.

Rod Brind’Amour

Putting aside the fact that Brind’Amour looks like he could still log 20 minutes per night, he’s a popular candidate to join the Hall in 2023 as one of the premier two-way players of his generation. A two-time Selke Trophy winner, Brind’Amour captained the Carolina Hurricanes to their lone Stanley Cup victory in 2006 and he was a nightmare to play against. But don’t let Brind’Amour’s attention to the defensive end fool you; he posted 452 goals and 1,184 points in 1,484 games. Start sculpting the Rod the Bod statue now.

Caroline Ouellette

It’s somewhat astonishing Ouellette wasn’t inducted into the 2022 class and the Hall’s current rules of capping selection to just two women’s players per year is a sexist and outdated rule. Ouellette should be a lock for 2023, winning four Olympic gold medals for Canada, along with six gold and six silver medals at the IIHF Worlds. Ouellette could simply shoot the lights out and was appointed as a member of the Order in Canada in 2009. One of the best scorers in the history of women’s hockey, Ouellette ought to be a lock.

Curtis Joseph

Joseph played in a golden era of goalies and ranks seventh all-time with 454 career wins. He endeared himself to a locked-in and perpetually moody Maple Leafs fan base, and was named a runner-up for the Vezina Trophy three times during his career. Although he never won a Stanley Cup, Joseph is undeniably one of the best goalies of his generation, he has an Olympic gold medal on his resume, he’s a three-time All-Star and was simply better than a lot of goalies that have already been enshrined in the Hall.

Jennifer Botterill

Botterill won three Olympic gold medals with Canada and was named the MVP of the IIHF Women’s World Championships in 2001 and 2004. She became the first player to win the Patty Kazmaier Award twice, awarded annually to the NCAA’s best women’s player. Botterill is one of the most prolific scorers in women’s hockey history, she showed up in the big times, including an incredible performance in the 2010 Olympic gold medal game, and is now paving the way in the media as one of Sportsnet’s lead hockey analysts.

Just missed the cut: Henrik Zetteberg, Sergei Gonchar, Julie Chu, Shannon Szabados, Keith Tkachuk, Jay Bouwmeester, Rick Nash

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