Toronto Maple Leafs: Alexander Mogilny robbed of Hall of Fame again

Alexander Mogilny #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Alexander Mogilny #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images) /

With the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2020 revealed, former Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres forward Alexander Mogilny is still not getting the respect he deserves.

There were some deserving names listed in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2020 induction list but there were a couple of former Toronto Maple Leafs players — one of who is a Buffalo Sabres legend — seen as notable omissions.

Paul Taylor explained why not having Curtis Joseph in the Hall of Fame was tough to understand and the same can definitely be said about Alexander Mogilny. Since 2009 the Russian sniper has been waiting to hear his name being called by the Hockey Hall of Fame, only to be rejected.

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There were some well deserved names getting their call to the hall but looking at the list, there is a case to be made that Mogilny deserves the honour before some of them. Jarome Iginla is definitely a lock and there is no questioning him being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

However, as good as Marian Hossa was, to say he should get in before Mogilny might be a bit of a reach. Hossa finished his career with 525 goals and 1134 points in 1,309 games, and three Stanley Cups.

That is a good resume and even though Mogilny only played 990 games he had 473 goals and 1,032 points, a Stanley Cup and a Lady Byng Trophy. Not only that, but he also had a significant impact on the NHL.

In 1989, Mogilny made the tough decision to defect from the Soviet Union and join the Buffalo Sabres, who took him with the 89th overall pick. Had Mogilny not done this, there is no telling when players like Sergei Fedorov, and Pavel Bure would have been able to come over.

The historical significance of what Mogilny did should prop up his case even more and we haven’t gotten to his reputation on the ice.

As Sportsnet’s Mike Johnston explains, many former teammates have a lot of admiration for Mogilny’s play. One of those players was former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin.

"“I would say Mogilny, early in his career, got the credit for being the player he was and scoring [76 goals in the 1992-93 season] but at the end of his career I think he was underrated when he came to us,” Sundin told Sportsnet a couple years ago. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to play with him early in his career. We played together late [in our careers]. He already had problems with his hip. He was 36 years old, but I didn’t realize how good he was until I actually skated with him in practice.“Playing games with him, he was fantastic. He’s probably the most talented player I played with, I think. You look at him on the big spectrum of the National Hockey League, people probably don’t think of him as maybe one of the best that ever played but he’s right up there for me.”"

Toronto Maple Leafs fans surely remember Mogilny being one of the best players who played with Sundin, considering he had a pretty successful time with the team. He scored 101 goals and 166 points in 176 games, including 33 goals and 79 points in the 2002-03 season.

Looking at next year, it’s hard to not see Mogilny getting more recognition towards his Hall of Fame candidacy. As Johnston notes, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg and Rick Nash, while Daniel Alfredsson, Theo Fleury, Rod Brind’Amour, Sergei Gonchar, Keith Tkachuk, Patrik Elias, Jere Lehtinen and Joseph are some of the top names and it would be tough to not have Mogilny ahead of most of them.

The good thing is that there is still time to get this right but the longer Mogilny is ignored, the harder it will be for him to stand out.

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Do you think Mogilny should be in the Hall of Fame? When do you think he could get the call? Let us know in the comments below.