ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: (L-R) Assistant General Manager Marc Bergevin of the Chicago Blackhawks, General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk of the Dallas Stars and Vice President of Hockey Operations Al MacInnis of the St. Louis Blues during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Tuesday afternoon the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee will meet, vote on, and announce this years class that will enter the Hall in November. Among the candidates are several former Dallas Stars including Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pat Verbeek and Guy Carbonneau.
The "first time eligible class" this year includes Belfour, Stu Barnes, Mattius Norstrum and Richard Matvichuk, to name a few Stars. Trevor Linden is on the list as well but Ed Belfour is widely considered to be the only real candidate off this particular first-time list. Crazy-Eddie has a Stanley Cup to his name, two World Cup titles, two Vezinas, the Calder Trophy and several All-Star appearances, not to mention 484 wins and 76 shutouts.
His 484 are third all time, but his career playoff numbers really put him over the top. He has 88 wins (including 14 shutouts) and a .920 save percentage with a 2.17 GAA.
Joe Nieuwendyk was eligible last year and many thought he'd get in with a slew of goals and three Stanley Cups with three different teams, including a Conn-Smythe Trophy, but he was not selected. Dino Ciccarelli was the only former NHL player to make it last year.
Nieuwendyk scored 564 goals and 562 assists in 1,257 career games played to add to his three Stanley Cups and Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada.
According to the Hall's web site "Any candidate receiving 75% or greater approval of the members of the Selection Committee present is declared elected," so election can be quite difficult.
When it's all said and done, how many 1999 Stars could potentially be in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Brett Hull is there already and Ed Belfour can't be far behind. Will Nieuwendyk join them? And how many years before we're having this discussion about Mike Modano? Sometime in the next month we could have a start to that countdown and subsequent debate.