The Hockey Hall of Fame welcomes its newest class on Monday night in Toronto with one of the most goalie-heavy groups ever to be inducted.
NHL netminders Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon all made the Hall of Fame. Center Pierre Turgeon joins them in this class, along with Canadian women’s hockey legend Caroline Ouellette, former NHL executive Pierre Lacroix and longtime head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Who will join them in the Class of 2024?
A lot of that depends on how the 18-member selection committee feels about current world events.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reverberated through the hockey world since February 2022. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Council has banned Russia and Belarus from competition in the 2023-24 championship season. The NHL has faced challenges in planning another World Cup of Hockey, wanting Russian players to participate but not necessarily a Russian team.
The 2024 Hall of Fame field features Russian stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk as well as Alex Mogilny, one of the most hotly contested snubs in recent memory. A source told Rob Rossi of The Athletic in June not to expect Russian candidates to gain entry to the Hall of Fame any time soon. “It’s easier not to put in Russians right now,” the source said.
Will the “Russia Factor” determine how the selection committee picks the Class of 2024?
“Honestly, I’ve given up predicting what they’ll do,” said Paul Pidutti of Adjusted Hockey, which Pidutti founded to analyze NHL players’ Hall of Fame potential. “I think we’re all trying to figure out what their ideal candidate looks like. What characteristics they’re looking for. But as someone who’s looked at this as closely as anyone, there never really seems to be a pattern emerging.”
Here’s our ranking of candidates for next year’s Hockey Hall of Fame class, including their respective years of eligibility. We’ll give our best guess for the actual Class of 2024 at the end.