The 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on Wednesday, and former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph is set to miss out once more.
The Hockey Hall of Fame 2020 class is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday at 4:30 pm ET and Toronto Maple Leafs fans will have at least some interest. This interest comes courtesy of goaltender Curtis Joseph who played five seasons in Southern Ontario, including his final season before he retired.
As per TSN‘s Frank Seravalli, this will be the first virtual vote in the 77-year history of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for Joseph, this is expected to make little — if any — difference in his chances of being inducted at the ninth attempt.
This may seem unfair on some levels, when you consider the Keswick, Ontario native has the seventh-most wins by a goaltender in NHL history. However, we’ll get to the reasons he is unlikely to be inducted in due course.
First up, it is worth considering what Joseph achieved during his time with the Leafs. While his tenure with the team was not long-term, he still left an indelible mark with them.
The 53-year-old recorded 138 wins in Toronto, which still stands as the fourth-most in franchise history. He is also sixth among Leafs goaltenders with at least 100 starts, in both save percentage (.910 percent) and Goals Against Average (2.49).
Just as importantly, Joseph helped the Leafs contend in each of the four seasons he was the regular starter between 1998-99 and 2001-02. The team made it to at least the Conference Semifinals each season, including twice playing in the Conference Finals.
However, it was this failure to ever advance further with the Leafs, which blighted the three-time All-Star’s NHL career in general. More specifically, this is why he will ultimately fail in his quest to become part of the Hockey Hall of Fame 2020 class.
As per Dan Rosen of NHL.com, Joseph has more career wins than Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, Grant Fuhr and Dominik Hasek. However, unlike him, they all have at least one Stanley Cup win.
Joseph actually held the dubious distinction of the most career wins in NHL history without a Stanley Cup championship, until he has overtaken by Roberto Luongo. However, Luongo at least won the Vezina Trophy; the best Joseph ever did was finish second in the voting for an award given to the league’s top goaltender each season.
Professional sports are usually touted as being all about the team. At the same time, there is no denying how vital a goaltender is towards success in the NHL. (Along these lines, it has to also be noted Joseph is tied for the third-most losses in NHL history.)
Another factor which places Joseph in an unfavourable position, is that only a maximum of four male players can be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame every year. His chances are further compromised when considering some of the other potential inductees in 2020.
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Jarome Iginla is in his first year of eligibility, at it is almost certain he will go straight in. Marian Hossa is similarly also in his first year of eligibility and has an excellent chance of being voted in, due in large part to the three Stanley Cups he won.
Boris Mikhailov seems to be another popular prediction among hockey analysts, despite now being in his 37th year of eligibility. Rosen makes the argument that Mikhailov’s chances were strengthened after Aleksander Yakushev’s induction in 2018.
Daniel Alfredsson appears to be a sentimental choice although — like Joseph albeit at a different position — it should be noted he never won the Stanley Cup or any major awards, save for the Calder Trophy in his rookie season. Others in with a strong shout include Alex Mogilny and Rod Brind’Amour.
When taking everything into account, it stands to reason that Joseph will once again miss out on induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame whether it’s fair or not. However, there would be absolutely no issue with being proven wrong on this occasion and we’re sure Toronto Maple Leafs fans everywhere would be in agreement.
Do you agree the Joseph will once again miss out on being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame? Regardless, what do you most remember from his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.