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Poll results: PHT readers think Joe Thornton is Hall of Fame material

Aug 25, 2012, 8:40 PM EDT

On San Jose Sharks Day, PHT asked readers if they think that Joe Thornton is putting together a Hall of Fame-type career.

Almost two-thirds of voters (61.82 percent or 285) responded “Yes.”

source:  The question prompted some interesting discussion in the comments section as well. Here are two vantage points (click here for more).

I was selfishly cheering for him to get in, because I was a North Stars fan as a kid, but when they let Dino Ciccarelli in the HOF in 2010 the bar was lowered. Dino simply stuck around and got numbers; he never won a Cup or a major individual award.

I think Thornton would eventually get in-after a bit of a wait-even without a Cup. He’s got a Hart and an Art Ross, he seems like a lock to finish his career with 1,200+ points and he has an Olympic gold, a World Cup championship and a World Jr. gold to his name.

He also has about five years left to try for the Cup win that would make his election a no-brainer.


The bottom line is that Thornton needs to win the Stanley Cup before any Hall of Fame conversation can be started. He is very good no doubt, yet a birdie putt left “close” is still just a par in the end. I say “liquidate” Wilson and McLellan now, give Robinson the keys to the car and I can guarantee you Sharkies, that it’ll be “you and us” dancing at next year’s WCF.


  1. sjsharks66 - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Agreed, cup or not he is HOF material!

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Yea, I’m not seeing the debate. Jumbo Joe should be in the HOF. One of the best passers in the game and the his career apples back that up.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Aug 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    I’m on the border with him if he wins a Stanley cup I think he’ll be HOF material , if not if he scores more than 60 assists again b4 his career ends then again hell be HOF , if both 100% chance

  4. johnwwt1976 - Aug 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    For sure he is, the best playmaker of the decade, posted up 2 straight 90+ assists years and he plays both ends of the rink which is tough to say about a lot of players!!!

  5. sharkcity408 - Aug 25, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Best passer in the game hands down. He passes so well that half the time the teammate receiving the pass is shocked to get it. Haha. Plus look at all his accolades. Win a cup=no brainer. No cup= in but after careful consideration

  6. contraryguy - Aug 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Thornton just turned 33, and presumably if healthy, will play for years to to come. The problem is, stat wise, he peaked 5+ years ago. It feels like splitting hairs to say that his HOF chances depend on stats, he should be in anyway, but another year or two where he leads in assists wouldn’t hurt.

  7. pastabelly - Aug 26, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    Stanley Cup has nothing to do with HOF. If Ray Bourque had never left Boston, he’d still be a first ballot lock. We are only having that discussion because Joe is a borderline Hall of Famer. The real question should whether five great years and a bunch of good ones get you in.

  8. wakegoalie27 - Aug 26, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    He definitely should get consideration cup or not. He’s the least selfish player playin right now (one of the least) and he’s a great 2 way power forward with the ability to pass a puck through a Dixie cup and the hands to bury it top shelf. Very skilled player and like one poster said he’s pretty much a lock for 1200 points.

    I say…. Let the man in, just not a first year eligibility selection unless thy take home the prize.

  9. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Simply put, If Thorton doesn’t get in he would be the high scorer in NHL history NOT in.

    He’s in

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      But someone has to be the highest scoring player not to be in the HOF, just by definition alone, not saying the player should be Thornton but if you’re criteria is that they’re the highest scoring player not in the HOF then eventually you’ll put everyone in there.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        Ok, he would be the highest, and have many others below him in scoring already in, is that better?

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        But thanks for pointing out the obvious, brilliant stuff.
        File that under no f’in kidding

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      When you leave out half of what you’re saying, and probably the most important part, it leaves it open to interpretation, no offense intended just answering what you said.

      To your point though, the fact their are plenty of guys with less points in the HHOF is the problem, guys like Rod Langway, Clark Gillies, Dino Ciccarelli, Bernie Federko, Larry Murphy, Mark Howe etc in the HOF is crazy, all of these guys were good players but none were elite.

      Joe Thornton is a great player, and would likely be in the hall regardless but because of how they’ve diluted the quality in there at this point, rather than debating his merits and wondering how he stacks up, you look and realize he’s a slam dunk.

  10. sidneydeane35 - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Sorry, Really don’t see this guy as Hall of Fame material.
    The guys got talent we’ll never see, always wondered just how good a player he would be if he actually was hunger to win a cup.

  11. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    The hockey hall of fame let’s in so many borderline players that there’s no doubt that Joe Thornton will get in. And that’s not a knock on Thornton or his career because I think he’d probably be a hall of famer regardless, but I think it’s sad that if anyone was even a pretty good player (or an above average one who played in Toronto) there’s really no need to debate their merits cause you know eventually the HHOF will put them in.

  12. ironmike778 - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Hall of Fame?? Come on. That’s ridiculous. I like Joe but he’s not HOF material. No way.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM


  13. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Joe Thronton only needs to play 4 more years and only get 60 points a year to crack 1300.
    He will finish with as many or more points than Mats Sundin.

    Anyone who thinks 1300, and a Hart isn’t getting into the Hall is a fool

  14. ironmike778 - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Joe has had a real nice career. But sorry, no freaking way is he a HOF’er.

  15. comeonnowguys - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Is it the Hall of Very Good For A Decent Stretch?

    Or is it the Hall of Fame

    He easily gets into both. The latter as a member of the visiting public.

  16. johnwwt1976 - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Cam Neely is in on less than 800 games played and under 700 points, no cups and no major awards, Thornton is a slam dunk!!!!

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