Sunday

Joe Nieuwendyk

Joe Nieuwendyk was one of my favorite players. So it should come as no surprise that I always argued that Joe Nieuwendyk should one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Joe Nieuwendyk was a winner. He won three Stanley Cup championships with three different teams - Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey. Plus he won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002.

In 1999 he was so important to Dallas' Stanley Cup championship that he was named as the Conn Smythe trophy winner - about as prestigious of an individual award a hockey player can earn.

That was not his only major award either. In 1988 he won the Calder trophy as best NHL rookie, and in 1995 he won the King Clancy award for his leadership on and off the ice.

Statistically speaking his numbers are also worthy. 564 goals and 1126 points in 1257 games once upon a time guaranteed a player inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Nowadays a new standard is trying to be established, given the much higher scoring era of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Surprisingly, Nieuwendyk's career statistics could be a sticking point for some Hall voters. Injuries really slowed him, although he always remained a clutch player. He did not average a point per game. And his career totals lands him in a group of 1980s/1990s players who had similar statistics but are debatable Hall of Famers - players like Dino Ciccarelli (608 goals), Dave Andreychuk (640 goals), and a host of players who squeaked into the 500 goal club.

Nieuwendyk's advantages are his championships, his awards, and his impeccable reputation in the community - something the Hall of Fame definitely takes into consideration.

Knowledgeable hockey fans know that Nieuwendyk was one of those guys who brought more to the rink than any statistic can quantify. That might seem odd to say given Nieuwy spent much of his career primarily as a top marksman, but he was a complete player. Aside from chronic back injuries, he had no real weakness in his game. And he brought a lot to the organization off the ice, both in terms of dressing room leadership and community involvement.

In 2011 he was rightfully enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.


5 comments:

Robert 7:39 PM  

Will always remember his effort to score his 50th goal in his rookie season. A very important piece of The Flames Cup run in '89. He was sorely missed after he moved on to Dallas as part of the deal that brought Jarome Iginla to Calgary.

Anonymous,  12:34 AM  

I had the pleasure of coaching Joe one season, for the Central Ontario Midget Summer League Stars. After eight years of handling Midget/Major (16 yr old's) and Junior B teams, Joe was the most outstanding player and young man, I had ever had the opportunity to be associated with. out of Whitby, Ontario...Joe was an even better Box and Field lacrosse player..leading Whitby to Mimico Cup National Finals. His choice to attend school in Ithaca, NY and gain a Ivy League scholarship and education, rather than play Major Junior hockey further reflected on his family and growth.You are right though, in suggesting Joe, to be selected to the Hockey HOF. I would further suggest he ought to be chosen for the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.....Bill Easter, Ajax, Ontario

Lori,  7:06 PM  

Nieuwy is still showing his incredible instinct and intellect about the game as the Dallas Stars GM.

Due to ownership issues, the team's combined salaries this year (2011) are right at the floor. More than a third of the team is playing their first season in Dallas. Many people expected their 2011-12 season to be the worst of a series of bad years as the Hicks Sports Group bankruptcy fallout led to Brad Richards hitting the UFA market.

I don't believe many GMs could have put together a team that has the best record in the NHL (as of early Nov.) with a coach that is new to the league and a goaltender who was once considered "injury prone" and is at the moment ranked #1... all on a very tight budget and without an owner.

Admittedly it's very early in the season -- the Stars could slow down as the months wear on. Even if they do, Nieuwendyk has again proven that he's one of hockey's versatile geniuses, a person who truly understands what components make a team work and recognizes those talents in relatively unsung players.

Joe Kilabuk 9:06 AM  

I have a Joe Nieuwendyk hockey stick with autographed on the blade, was signed by him in 1992-1993, I'm just wondered how to selling it or if collector wants it, I could sell it. I have it with me for 22 to 23 years ago. Any idea who want to buy it? I have a email j.j.kilabuk@live.ca

Joe Kilabuk 9:14 AM  

I have a Joe Nieuwendyk hockey stick with autographed on the blade was signed by him in 1992-1993. Any idea if I can sell it? Or who ever want it the collector? I like to sell it. I have it with me for since 22 or 23 years ago. I went to Ottawa for Jim Kyte hockey school three times in 1991- 1992- 1993. Any idea about Joe Nieuwendyk with autographed it a sherwood. email me j.j.kilabuk@live.ca if any advice about it?

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