Who will be the next legend who once wore Buffalo Sabres Blue and Gold to enter the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame?
This year there are no clear cut candidates that are a lock for induction that would join the likes of Dick Duff, Grant Fuhr, Dale Hawerchuck, Clark Gillies, Pat Lafontaine, Tim Horton, and Gilbert Perreault.
On the bubble to get into the shrine in Toronto is former Buffalo Sabre Phil Housley.
Housley is second on the all time scoring list for American born players, only being surpassed by Mike Modano in 2007. Previous to that Housley was the leader.
To his credit, Phil Housley is already a member of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2007. He played the first eight seasons of his career in Buffalo – appearing in 608 games for the Sabres. He scored 20 or more goals every season except three while calling Buffalo home, and scored over 30 just once in his career, during his sophmore campaign. His most successful offensive years came as a Buffalo Sabre.
He was almost a point per game player while in Buffalo, reaching the mark twice in his eight years, and only missing it by a couple every other year. The Buffalo Sabres made the playoffs six times during the eight seasons he was on the team.
On January 21st, 2000 Housley palyed in his 1257h game, the most ever at the time by an American, Housley went on to play in 1495 NHL games. He held that record until it was broken in 2006 by Chris Chelios.
In 2004 he was inducted in the the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Despite playing in the league for so many years, Housley was never awarded an individual trophy, nor was his name ever etched on the Stanley Cup. This should not be a hinderance for Housley, as since 1992 there have been 56 men enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame – including the Class of 2012, 14 never won the Stanley Cup.
Housley still holds on record in the NHL – at that is he played the most games in a career without ever winning a Stanley Cup.
Phil Housley was first eligible for induction into the Hall in 2006. Housley is still active in hockey, currently coaching at the high school level for the Stillwater Ponies of Stillwater, Minnesota.
Other Buffalo Sabres that could be considered, Dave Andreychuk is also on the fringe of being entered. Dominik Hasek, announcing his retirement this year, will have to wait until 2016 for consideration by the selection comittee. With his unorthodox play and deep resume, Hasek could be a lock for the Hall.
The question is - will he beat Housley and Andreychuk into the hallowed shrine.