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NHL Notebook: Which potential Hall of Famers are playing in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final?

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Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
It’s no argument that the two teams facing off in this year’s Stanley Cup Final are nothing short of a star-studded affair. How many of those players will wind up in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
The Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers boast lineups filled with tremendous talent and names that have impacted the NHL now and in the future.
In Daily Faceoff‘s latest roundtable discussion, contributors discussed which potential future Hall of Famers are playing on the most significant stage in the Finals right before our eyes

Edmonton Oilers

Connor McDavid
Every latest roundtable contributor voted in for Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid. Not only is he one of the biggest names in the game, McDavid has continued to show his offensive prowess season after season. After recording 132 points this year, McDavid became the third NHL player to have seven 100-point-plus seasons before the age of 28.
“I had McDavid as the #11 forward of all-time BEFORE this season,” said Paul Pidutti. 
With 17 awards across nine seasons and a lengthy list of accomplishments, McDavid is arguably one of the greatest modern-day players in the NHL. 
Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl has already passed the 700-game mark at 28 years old, securing his unofficial induction into the Hall of Fame. He has proved that he, too, is one of the best players in the game; if you take each NHL player who has debuted since 1967 and adjusted their career point production through the age of 28, Draisaitl sits 10th on an iconic list of players with an adjusted points per game of 99. 
“Draisaitl is a three-time 50-goal scorer and an amazing playoff performer, even if his Stanley Cup Final showing has left something to be desired,” said Mike Gould.
Corey Perry
Corey Perry already has a Stanley Cup ring on his finger in addition to a Hart trophy, two Olympic gold medals, and 900 career points, and he is the first player to make it to the Stanley Cup Final with five different franchises. Although he may not have made every contributor’s list, he is definitely a notable candidate.
“Perry makes for an interesting case because I always considered him to be a Hall of Very Good player that would probably get into the Hall in a weak class,” said Scott Maxwell. 

Florida Panthers

Matthew Tkachuk
Similar to Perry, Matthew Tkachuk wasn’t a shoo-in for every contributor. Tkachuk has been a two-time 100-point player and became a Hart trophy finalist last year. His determined style of play makes his presence known on the ice, and surely playing in two back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals has to add to his case, though he may have much more to prove to solidify his case.
Aleksander Barkov
Aleksander Barkov is easily one of the most significant two-way centers in the game. After winning his first Frank J. Selke award, he is almost guaranteed to follow the same path year after year. Even Wayne Gretzky commented on Barkov’s abilities on the ice, acknowledging him as the best defensive player since Bryan Trottier. 
Sergei Bobrovsky
Bobrovsky’s Stanley Cup Final performance thus far has left the hockey world talking about his talents, capturing everyone’s attention for good. Some may even go as far as saying he is the Conn Smythe frontrunner at this point. Bobrovsky’s 396 regular season wins and .915 career save percentage place him 14th all-time in wins and 25th in save percentage. He’s a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, one of 22 netminders to accomplish the feat. His resume is looking pretty good for the Hall of Fame. 
“Bobrovsky likely needs the Cup and maybe the Conn Smythe to help cement himself, given he’s had some significantly average years at best, too,” said Steven Ellis. “But I’m still leaning toward him getting in based on the Vezina Trophy wins alone.”
Honourable Mentions: Paul Maurice, Evan Bouchard, and Gustav Forsling
Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice is a favourite amongst contributors to make his mark in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He’s three-plus seasons away from Scotty Bowman’s all-time coaching record of 2,141 but has yet to add a ring to his finger. 
Edmonton Oilers Evan Bouchard is the candidate that every contributor is on edge about becoming a potential Hall of Famer. Although he may be a favourite to watch over the past year or so, there is still time to tell whether his production will continue at the same pace he’s been playing at. 
“The big projection here is obviously the Bouchard pick,” said Matt Larkin. “My logic is: if he remains tethered to the Oilers’ offense for his prime and Edmonton keeps McDavid and Draisaitl on their next contracts, Bouchard will accumulate some prolific offensive totals for a defenseman.”
Maxwell also threw out the consideration of Gustav Forsling. Since he arrived in Florida in 2020, he has continued to improve, and his numbers prove it after scoring a career-high 29 goals and 56 points this season. 
“He’s evolved into one of the best defensive defensemen in the game and certainly the best defenseman on the Panthers,” said Maxwell. “If Florida makes a couple more Cup runs during his time, or if he even gets a Norris down the road for his play, he could definitely get some consideration for the Hall.”

Trading Jakob Chychrun would be sensible for the Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators defenseman is used to having his name caught up in trade talks. After being included on Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s trade targets list, it’s likely that general manager Steve Staios could have the blueliner moved during the offseason. 
Chychrun registered 41 points this past season, placing him first amongst the Senators’ defencemen. He has one season remaining on his current $4.6 million contract with a modified 10-team no-trade clause. 
The Senators currently have a projected $12.4 million in cap space available this summer, but Jake Sanderson and Thomas Chabot are locked into lengthy contracts at a combined $16.05 against the cap. Their expensive defensive corps is a considerable reason why Chychrun is a continuous trade topic. 
During the recent episode of Daily Faceoff Live, Seravalli and Yaremchuk shared their insights on the potential trade of Chychrun. While their opinions varied, they both agreed that the trade could have a significant impact on the Senators’ defensive strategy.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I want to start out in Ottawa, Jakob Chychrun, this guy, he might lead the league in time spent on the trade targets board since you’ve started doing it, what’s the situation there and why is Ottawa looking to move him and what’s the market gonna be like?
Frank Seravalli: Poor guy, right? I mean just constantly in the swirl of the trade targets board.
Tyler Yaremchuk: You’d imagine he’s numb to it by now?
Frank Seravalli: I guarantee you he is, like someone please call me when I’m actually on the move. And look, I think that’s still very likely to be the case in Ottawa, considering the spot that their in. They’ve got Chabot at $8-million bucks, Sanderson $8-million bucks, those two guys at $16 million on the left side of your defense, you now need to pay Jakob Chychrun. Who, by the way, has played better hockey in Ottawa than he was in Arizona.
So, he’s probably going to jump up to the $7.5-million range from $4.6 million. How do you pay $24 million dollars to one side of your blue line and have nothing on the other. That’s not proper team balance and from a pure asset perspective, really because of the way Chychrun plays, really what the Sens should explore is trying to move Chabot. But you’re dealing with Chabot as a distressed asset right now, because of his contract. No ones taking on that deal with that term.

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