MGoHOF: Hockey Candidates Comment Count

Brian May 10th, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Carl Hagelin, 2007-2011

STATS:

Season GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 41 11 11 22 28
2008-09 41 13 18 31 32
2009-10 45 19 31 50 34
2010-11 44 18 31 49 39

PROS: Molded from Swedish clay to be Red Berenson's platonic ideal of the student-athlete. Such an awesomely good defensive hockey player that it was immediately apparent even to novices. There was no such thing as an odd-man break with Hagelin on the ice. Fast as hell, offensively productive, and so good he leapt straight from Michigan's roster to the Rangers. If the Rangers had figured out how good he was in camp, would have been a strong Calder candidate. Four-year player with serious NHL ability, a rarity. Just really, really awesome at hockey.

Indirectly responsible for Yost's burgeoning flag tradition. Scored with a second left in overtime to win the game on senior night. I cried out "CARL?!!?!" during the devastating Miami Fort Wayne game that really needs a nickname.

CONS: Did not singlehandedly drive Michigan to national title, but you could say that about everyone on this list. Hagelin's senior year saw them get closer than any team since '98, so this is less of a con than it is for anyone else.

Shawn Hunwick, 2007-2012

image[1]

STATS:

Season Min GAA W L T Svs Pct
2007-08 3 0       2 1
2009-10 627 1.82 8 3 0 214 0.918
2010-11 2087 2.21 22 9 4 947 0.925
2011-12 2400 2.00 24 12 3 1092 0.932

PROS: Came to Michigan a 5'7" walk-on and third goalie expected to see three minutes over the course of his career. Left in the conversation for best ever; save percentages are no contest. Made me excited about the NHL again when he signed with Columbus and got in a game. Smart, funny guy on twitter. Fertile nickname ground: Tiny Jesus, Little Pimpin', etc. Lack of size gave him a distinctive style since if he stayed in or near the crease he was dead.

The North Dakota game should rightly pass into legend. His brutal post-Cornell press conference was just right. Which means it was awful to experience, but… yeah.

CONS: Did not make all CCHA first team. Occasionally lost his ish and started punching anyone who eyed his crease owlishly. Depending on personal preferences in re: 5'7" goalies giving hellacious uppercuts to skaters, this could also be filed under "pro." Failed to score on 20 minutes of power play time against Cornell. Deserved better.

Jack Johnson, 2005-2007

STATS:

Season GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 38 10 22 32 149
2006-07 36 16 23 39 87

PROS: Johnson the younger was Loose Cannon Cop on hockey skates, a guy who doesn't have to follow your rules, man, because he doesn't need the man to catch bad guys and batter them senseless with ninja kicks while acquiring the sweet lovin' from attractive ladies.

A ludicrously talented defenseman, he loved to doodle around guys he was so much better than. He also loved to annihilate anyone with their head down.

He almost killed BC's goalie with a slap shot.  He was really unbelievably good in year two. He wears his passion for Michigan on his sleeve. He probably shouldn't have even shown up after going third in the draft, but did anyway, and then stayed a second year.

Dad danced during Can't Turn You Loose in the long long ago when only one person danced. Indirectly responsible for JMFJ meme

articles_gallery_2_0505[1]

…and directly responsible for creating JMFJ shirts for the entire family—including what appeared to a ten-year-old—when they found out about this. IIRC the ten-year-old was informed that it stood for something it did not stand for. "Massive fun," maybe.

CONS: Left after two years, and his first year was… uneven. Massive penalty minutes are obvious. Loose Cannon Cop rep got him suspended, sometimes warranted, sometimes not. At one point during his freshman year I yelled "you're supposed to be the third pick in the draft" at him. Was great fun, but how much impact did he have relative to the other guys on the list?

Kevin Porter, 2004-2008

STATS:

Season GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 39 11 13 24 51
2005-06 39 17 21 38 30
2006-07 41 24 34 58 16
2007-08 43 33 30 63 18

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PROS: Four-year player, Hobey Baker winner as a senior after I said his production would tail off without Hensick driving scoring chances next to him. Solid citizen who led some of the best Michigan teams of the period. His final year featured the Nickelback and Creed goals against Notre Dame in the Denver Frozen Four in a game that Michigan otherwise would have won. If Hagelin gets fewer minus points than anyone else for not finding a title at the end of the rainbow, Porter is second.

CONS: This might sound insane: he lacked personality as a hockey player. He was of course very, very good at hockey, but compared to the other guys on the list his career lacks color. Is this insane? Does anyone else feel this? I mean, I don't know what to say about him other than "Hobey Baker winner." The lone highlight on the tubes is a nice snap shot:

But it's not a good candidate for Most Remarkable Thing on the Tubes. When he won the Hobey it sort of felt like the committee had backed themselves in a corner after snootily denying Hensick despite his point totals the year before. That was justified as an example of the Hobey's character requirement—as if mouthing off to a ref is uncommon. As a result, the uber-talented Nathan Gerbe got passed over thanks to a couple of spearing-type incidents over the course of his career.

Porter is the opposite of Johnson. Johnson was Paul Bunyan on skates. Porter was just really good at hockey.

TJ Hensick, 2003-2007

STATS:

Season GP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 43 12 34 46 38
2004-05 39 23 32 55 24
2005-06 41 17 35 52 44
2006-07 41 23 46 69 38

PROS: The most recent magic midget and a guy I miss every time Michigan blows a 2 on 1… or 2 on 0. Had an amazing knack for making the unstoppable pass in that situation, and plenty others. Capable of stickhandling in a phone booth full of lime jello. This is almost painful to watch…

…because Michigan hasn't had it since he left.

Should have won the Hobey Baker easily as senior since he led the nation in scoring by a wide margin. Often accused of being a glory hound but massive assist numbers suggest otherwise. Was a one-man power play setup, a skill you should appreciate more now. Was immediately awesome; accumulated more career points than anyone else in the timeframe by a wide margin.

CONS: Maybe kind of a glory hound. Once tapped in a Porter shot on an empty net that was already going in. Mouthed off in one of those dismal NCAA tourney losses to North Dakota and got a ten-minute misconduct at the worst possible time. Did not win Hobey Baker, probably because of this. It probably wasn't his fault but the teams he was most prominent on were amongst the worst Michigan's had since the Berenson era took off.

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Debate in the comments; voting will be unveiled once all candidates are.

Comments

freernnur5

May 10th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

Just a quick question,

How is us failing to score on 20 minutes of PP against Cornell a con against Hunwick? Yes he deserved to go out in a better way, but the failing of the offense doesn't seem like it should fall on him.

Steenie

May 10th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

I understand what you mean about Porter and lacking a personality as a player, and while that may have been true his first three years with the program, the kid came out of nowhere his senior year.  I'll always remember Porter that year occupying that area inbetween the dot and the top of the circle on his off-wing, and he was deadly with Kolarik and Pac feeding him on the power play.  You could also argue that what Hensick was to stickhandling, Porter was to shooting accuracy.  He was deadly accurate his senior year and we havent seen a shooter quite like him since his senior year.

BlueAggie

May 10th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

That Hensick clip is amazing because it works for both the pro and the con. Watch the fantastic stick work, then go back and watch the reaction of the teammate (can't make out a number) camped at the back door.

When it comes time to vote, I'm going with some combination of Hunwick, Hagelin and Porter. Hensick and Johnson were phenomenal college hockey players and worthy of eventual inclusion, but the other 3 guys all led at least one team to the Frozen Four.

BlueAggie

May 10th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Good call, I couldn't tell if that was a 9 or a 5. Oddly, I used to feel the same way about Milan Gajic (another 9). It seemed that the likelihood he scored was inversely proportional to the difficulty of the shot.

I just think Turnbull's body language is fascinating here.

RONick

May 10th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

Hunwick... but it is tough to knock these other guys too far down.  Hagelin is a close second I suppose.  This is going to be much more difficult than I initially thought...

freernnur5

May 10th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

I would probably vote Hunwick followed by Hagelin, but I will admit that Hagelin's senior year was the first year I got hockey tickets so it was the first time I really followed so that heavily influences my decision (although I am trying to watch as many youtube clips of the other guys to get a feel for them).

kmd

May 10th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

For what it's worth, the Rangers knew what they had, but they wanted him to spend some time in the minors working on his positioning. I'm pretty sure Torts has said a few times that he personally wanted Hagelin on the team right out of camp.

imafreak1

May 10th, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

The thing about Haeglin is he plays for the Rangers.

You need to get Knuble up there instead. It matters not that he doesn't fit the critereon.

stephenrjking

May 10th, 2012 at 4:55 PM ^

Obviously, this winnowing process is going to be tough, because you're voting against players you like. TJ and JJ are easily the most talented players on this list... but they are the ones I will be least likely to vote for. Brian alluded to my reasoning:

These two players were the most notable players, and presumably two of the leaders (whether they ought to have been or not) of the two least impressive teams of the Red Berenson streak. The teams were very talented, but the meat was just not there; neither early NCAA tournament exit was surprising at all. Something just seemed... wrong about those teams. And, rightly or wrongly, TJ and JJ are the two players most closely associated with that time span.

My opinion might be different if TJ hadn't melted down at the end of his last game, but you can't change the past.

For me, Hunwick is the clearcut #1 player on this list; he won some big games (North Dakota!) and put up impressive statistics, but in a contest that is deliberately subjective, he is the best individual story in the history of Michigan Hockey. 

What is that story? It's not the story of Rudy. I explained what he is here:

"When Brian Hogan went down, coach Berenson motioned Rudy onto the ice. Overconfident forwards from Notre Dame, Miami, Boston College, and North Dakota took their shots, sure that this walk-on feel-good story would be unequal to the task. For two years the assaults came. Yet he never faltered, his will never broke. Bewildered, they assembled at the bench to plot in frustration.

Then he slowly removed his mask to take a drink. The fans recoiled in shock. The opponents hissed in rage. For the face revealed was not the innocent, hopeful face of Sean Astin that everybody expected to see. He is not Rudy.

He is Jimmy Chitwood."

lhglrkwg

May 10th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

1. Hunwick
.....
.....
.....
45. Porter/Hensick
46.JMFJ
47. Hagelin

No offense to the other guys, but if Hunwick isn't in 1st by infinity miles then it's a disgrace. The man is the definition of a legend

blacknblue

May 10th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

Hensick was quite possibly my first man crush, and yes I know how that sounds. Not only was he a great hockey player he was also unbelievable fun to watch. And he was playing while I was actually still at Michigan Tech so I only really got to watch him play at GLIs.

stephenrjking

May 10th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

For me, the tough decision is who to prefer between Porter and Hagelin, should it come to that. Perhaps neither in the first year. If forced to choose, I don't know who to take (which of your kids do YOU prefer?)

Porter has the best hardware, a Hobey Baker. He and Kolarik put together that outstanding '08 season. Unfortunately, they didn't make the championship game, and there aren't many great "Porter Memories" as the OP suggests. He was just really good his senior year.

Hagelin was never a Hobey threat, but he was consistently very good. He was a significant part of both the incredible CCHA title run that kept the streak alive and the oh-so-close run to the title game the next year. He also has, by far, the better individual memory: Senior Night! See? I don't even need to tell you what happened, you already know. Alas, he never developed the top-end scoring touch that could have pushed Michigan to a national championship and he was never "great."

Tough choice. Maybe I won't have to make one.

Bando Calrissian

May 10th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

Well, if you really want Porter memories, he pretty much singlehandedly got Michigan through the Albany regional with two extremely good games, after an entire season of extremely good games.  

With a more consistent goaltender, that team beats Notre Dame.  I don't think it's fair at all to hold it against Porter that the Frozen Four didn't work out.

stephenrjking

May 10th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

It's fair to say that goaltending probably cost us the ND game. Again, we're choosing between kids here. And we're dealing with some random puck bounces that could have gone either way. If the ref gives us the right call in Fort Wayne, Hagelin is a part of another FF team, and who knows what they could have done with a home crowd in Detroit?

I think all of these players are memorable, but we're finding little differences and much of what we are describing is subjective. There will be odd opinions.

stephenrjking

May 10th, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

Upon reflection, and reading the reasonably persuasive Porter arguments, I've concluded that my Hagelin advocacy partly suffers from recency bias: I now would vote Porter cleanly over Hagelin.

The question I ask is, "who will I tell my kids about in 10 years?" Hunwick tips this category, but I'll tell them about Porter before Hagelin.

WCHBlog

May 10th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

I agree that Hunwick is the only worthy candidate here.

The one thing I will say for Hensick that should also go in the 'pros' is that his 222 career points is a number that almost nobody is going to touch. The two closest players to Hensick since he has graduated were still 25 points behind him. Even the really good players that leave early are never close to the pace Hensick put up.

Shameless self-plug, but I wrote a little about how nobody is coming close to Hensick here: http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2012/1/23/2727960/jack-connolly…

Bando Calrissian

May 10th, 2012 at 5:35 PM ^

If it were up to me, JMFJ and Porter are 1st ballot quality HOFers, Hunwick and Hensick are 2nd ballot, Hagelin is a later pick, if ever.  All have their merits, but I feel like JMFJ and Porter stand above the rest.  The former for his sheer talent and general swagger (both his and his dad's), the latter for his leadership and hardware.

And you're right about the Porter personality bit, but a lot of that has to do with the stacked lineups around him, as well as the fact that he's just a quiet guy.  Disclosure:  I knew the kid growing up, and while we weren't really friends, we certainly knew each other.  He's not an ego guy, he's not particularly vocal, and if I had to describe his personality, I think it would be summed up in something like "I hear he's really good at hockey, and that's all I really know about him."  He's going to stand out on the stats column, he's going to look great on the ice, he's a leader by example, but you're not really going to know much more about him than that. 

Hardware Sushi

May 10th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

I disagree with the Kevin Porter 'no personality' as a player comment.

He was a well-rounded player. A guy that could score but also played good defense. Average-size, good stickhandling, above average skater. He was a quiet captain. I think the combination of these may leave a feeling of no personality, but I think that's the point. 

He wasn't tiny or freak out when you got in his crease (I really hated that about Hunwick and would be my only qualm about Hunwick at 1) He wasn't a ridiculously talented a-hole like Hensick. He wasn't benevolent like JMFJ. He wasn't Jeckyll & Hyde like Montoya. He wasn't Kolarik and disappear at times on defense.

I think of Porter as a quieter Jed Ortmeyer. I don't know if it counts as personality, but well-rounded and leader come to mind.

enlightenedbum

May 10th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

If I had to pick one, Hagelin gets in, if it's straight up or down votes on all five, then he and Hunwick get in.  To me, this honor needs to be about something larger than just on ice contributions.  If this is just a "greatest players" honor that's kind of pointless.  The inductees have to mean something larger to the Michigan fandom and/or be obvious leaders.  They have to emblematic.  Which is why Hart's getting my vote for football and why we're all voting for Novak in basketball.

Honestly, I'd put JMFJ's dad in before JMFJ himself for the second intermission dancing tradition.

Hensick and Porter are both really talented, but even though I was actually in school for all of Hensick's and 3/4 of Porter's careers, I feel like there wasn't anything that wasn't between the whistles (like the flags, or Hunwick's general story, or Novak's aneurysm of leadership, or pretty much everything Hart ever said) that I could point to as being awesome.

MHNet

May 10th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

And I guess it all depends what you want to base it on--a player's whole career or one or two good/great seasons?

I love Shawn and his story is phenomenal.  Statistically on GAA and save percentage records he should be included.  However, based over the course of a whole career, it's tough.  He went from walk-on who was never suppose to play, to magical run when least expected to save Michigan's NCAA tourney streak.  But the following season Hunwick was actually LOSING the starting job battle to Bryan Hogan and had it not been for Hogan suffering an injury prior to The Big Chill, we might not be talking about Hunwick being included today.  Shawn certainly made the most of his opportunity after that.  My biggest knock would be the big rebounds he always gave up.  But a good defense helps out and they certainly did that for Shawn at times, too.  Hunwick stood on his head many a game, too, and never got the credit he deserved.  When I think of Michigan's past great goalies, would I put Hunwick up there with Marty Turco in the first go round of voting?  I can't say that I would, but I can't say that I wouldn't, either.

Jack Johnson.  Can't do it.  LOVE Jack and everything he's accomplished.  But the two years he spent at Michigan, the Wolverines were like watching a circus freak show more than a hockey game.  Fans went just to chant "Kill, Jack, Kill!" rather than cheer the team.  He was obviously very talented, however more times than not Jack acted more like a fourth forward than top line DEFENSEMAN on the ice.  I lost count on how many times he and Matt Hunwick left Billy Sauer out to dry due to poor decisions like pinching when they shouldn't or simply just getting beat (totally remember a game at the Joe vs. MSU where the Spartan player won a face off in the MSU zone and skated straight ahead right through Hunwick/Johnson and scored).  Sauer may not have been the best goalie, but the year after Jack left I remember predicting in my season preview that it may be addition by subtraction for the U-M defense. Though only remembered for his NCAA semifinal meltdown that season, Sauer did set Michigan's single season GAA and save percentage records the year after Jack left. That speaks volumes to me.

T.J. Hensick is a definite yes from me.  His attitude issues aside, the kid was phenomenal his whole career.  I don't always hold his attitude against him, either.  Yes, it was frustrating to watch Sauer in net his first two years when Hensick was there and perhaps T.J. shouldn't have vented his frustration on national TV during the NCAA playoffs (I remember the reporter asking him about Sauer and T.J., obviously not happy, said something like "I don't know what's going on with him.").  But you can also choose to interpret it as the competitor inside him.  I remember another short, uber-talented center who was a glory hound and had a feisty attitude named Mike Comrie.  Hensick could have left early for the pros but chose to stay.  His point total is probably one that won't be reached again by a Wolverine in the modern era of early departures.  And is being a glory hound always a bad thing?  The hockey team these past few years have had no standouts who could create the magic Hensick could and be a threat every time he touched the puck.  I wish we had another Hensick on the team.

Kevin Porter is another yes from me.  I think the problem he faced his first three years is that he was a solid winger who was always overshadowed by the likes of Hensick, Andrew Cogliano, Johnson, etc...  Porter had 24-34-58 his junior year (Hensick's senior year).  Any other year on any other team and you're looking at a Hobey Baker finalist for putting up stats like that.  Yet that campaign in his career is totally forgotten because everyone pretty much attributed those stats to playing alongside Hensick.  Porter didn't have the flash of Hensick.  Maybe he didn't have any highlight reel goals.  But what he was, was consistently good at both ends of the ice, and his senior year, with Hensick gone, he went from good to great, proving he wasn't just a product of Hensick.  Porter scored 33 goals his senior year, a number the likes of Cammalleri, Hilbert, Tambellini, Comrie, Muckalt, and Morrison never accomplished in one season.  And perhaps above all else, Porter and Chad Kolarik brought unity, leadership, and discipline to Michigan hockey once again after the two years of the JMFJ circus freak show that seemed to alienate some of the team as not feeling all inclusive on and off the ice.  To me, all seemed right again with Porter captaining the ship, and the Hobey Baker Award capped it off.

Carl Hagelin, I'm sorry to say, I can't do it the first time around, either.  Amazing his junior and senior years.  Off the chart speed and work ethic at both ends of the ice, like Jed Ortmeyer only with skill.  But offensively, Hagelin always lacked that ability to be a major scoring threat.  He never had a 20 goal season and never elevated his offense to elite status like we were all waiting for.  What he lacked there he made up everywhere else, but it's not enough for me to vote yes for him on the initial ballot.

kmd

May 10th, 2012 at 10:22 PM ^

God, I remember watching JJ and Hunwick getting split at once Yost. There was a turnover, they both turned to skate backwards in a way that made each of them peel way to the outside, forward went right between them and scored the game winner.

stephenrjking

May 10th, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

MHNet, great stuff as always, exemplary of the quality insight that every Michigan Hockey fan should pay attention to at your long-running, newly redesigned blog. (I take check or cash). I have two nits to pick, though.

1. You are comparing Hunwick to Turco here, but that's not a valid comparison. The 90s aren't in question--no learned Michigan Hockey fan would consider Hunwick more accomplished than Turco, but compared with other players of the last 7 years he looks very, very good. The "what if Hogan doesn't pull a muscle" question is technically real, but Hunwick flipped his opportunity into a year and a half of inspiring brilliance. Sometimes people get Wally Pipped.

2. There is a maximum induction of 6 players from Brian's 3 gut-punch sports, and I highly doubt 3 hockey players would be appropriate in a first class given the hockey team's lack of rings (if Michigan could just have nailed that 2-on-1 against UMD maybe this isn't an issue). Of course all the players are memorable and great--but I'd you had to pick 1 or 2, which are they?

In my opinion, it's a good thing we're not looking at the 90s in hockey. I'd be interested in your thoughts about a hypothetical HOF from that era, though. Large list.

MHNet

May 11th, 2012 at 10:45 AM ^

I suppose it also wasn't hard to look very, very good over the past seven years when you consider who Hunwick's competition in net was. Bryan Hogan looked like a Hall of Famer his sophomore year when he beat out the struggling Billy Sauer and put up a 1.97 GAA. But, yes, Shawn did get his second chance and, as I said, he made the most of it and came up huge many a times and deserves all the credit for carrying this team on his back.  Hall of Fame worth at some point, just not yet for me.

If I pick two from that list, it's Porter and Hensick.  I also think maybe Hunwick and Hagelin need to have their names withstand the test of time a little bit before I'd consider voting them in, if that makes sense. Everyone still remembers Hagelin on senior night, but that'd be like voting in Mike Legg solely for "the goal." And Hunwick, geez, he just ended his career a little over a month ago, so it's easy to get caught up in his buzz and remember all the things he did.  Ask me in four or five years.

Porter - Great overall career. A player you could put out in any situation and count on. He emerged from the shadows of the other star players his senior year and led Michigan to one of their best seasons ever at 33-6-4 (T-3rd best winning percentage season, 2nd fewest losses in a season under Berenson).  It was like 1996-97 all over again that also sadly ended with a disappointing NCAA semifinal loss, too (though I think you can blame that on someone's Mile High Meltdown in net, not Porter). His 33 goals his senior year is a number that many of our offensive specialists never accomplished, and he won the Hobey Baker to boot.  Not just a standout on the ice, but off the ice. As I said, perhaps most importantly, he righted the ship as captain.

Hensick - Offensive wizard from the day he stepped foot at Yost. Could dazzle with the puck and put it right on his teammate's tape, too. Led U-M in scoring three of his four years, getting edged out by Tambellini his sophomore year by two points. Phenomenal senior year and should have won the Hobey. His 222 career points ranks 8th all-time at Michigan. Only player since Bill Muckalt graduated in 1998 to surpass 200 point mark, and I'll be shocked if another player of his skill level stays around long enough to do it again. Yes, had a few character issues and defensive zone issues (as in, lack of), though he worked on the latter his senior year and was even put on the penalty kill and scored a pair of shorthanded goals.

If I have to pick between the two, I go with Hensick. I understand Brian's argument about Porter's lack of personality as a player.  I think the other knock is still whether Kevin was really that good or a product of others doings. Playing with Hensick would help anyone's offensive numbers (see David Rohlfs) and I think folks tend to forget his senior year he played with Chad Kolarik, who had a great senior year in his own right. Kolarik was right there neck-and-neck with Porter in scoring putting up 30-26-56 in 39 games. That's four fewer games than Porter, so based on projection they were essentially tied for the scoring lead. Kolarik could have been a Hobey finalist but he pretty much publically campaigned against it and wanted all the attention on Kevin. They were a one-two punch that fed off each other, though I tend to remember Kolarik as being the one showing more offensive flare and personality.

Hensick, despite his minor faults, you absolutely cannot deny his talent level and his production. It was off the charts. He could do all the dirty work, draw the entire opposing teams eyes on him, and setup a teammate perfectly for a goal, or he could do all the dirty work and score on his own as the video Brian posted shows. There's no question about whether he was a product of someone else's doing. He was the cog that made the machine go. If posting 222 career points isn't Hall of Fame worthy, I don't know what is.

Yostal

May 10th, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

I respect the differences of opinion among the faithful here, and certainly all five are worthy candidates.  But after the auto pick of Tiny Jesus, I think I have to go with Carl.  There was just something to the way that he played that I loved.  He could shoot, he could pass, he did the little things.

To me, the MGoHall is not just about the excellence of the player, but the emphemeral "spirit of Michigan" and by extension, the "Spirit of MGoBlog".  Do I associate, in my mind, that player with MGoBlog.  If I had to rank these six by that criteria, it would be Hunwick, Johnson, Hagelin, Porter, Hensick, and give me another day and that order may change.

I guess this is about gut feeling for the first ballot.  If any of these five gentlemen get the call from the Hall, I'm going to be very happy for them.  But my vote, if I get one, is Hunwick.  If I get two, it's Hunwick and Carl.

Sambojangles

May 10th, 2012 at 11:55 PM ^

Oh my God, this is going to be way more difficult than I remember. I have no idea who I'm going to choose when it gets to Mike Hart, Brandon Graham, and Mike Martin.

For me, Hunwick is clearly the first, as others have stated. He has an amazing story from the run in 2010, and the following two years, especially this year, to back it up. He is exactly what I think this HOF is about: Michigan athletes about whom it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to remember. You can't say anything about Michigan hockey over these past three seasons without starting and ending with Hunwick. Amazing, all-around player and person.

I started as a freshman in 2008 and finished this year, so I'm biased toward Carl Hagelin and the magic he did recently. The Swedish flag (they only made it because it's maize and blue), and the work he put in, especially his last two years, were amazing. He was captain of the team when they were a shot away from National Champions. As Brian said, an NHL quality guy who stayed four years. I will always remember the Senior night game when he scored to tie with less than a minute left, then the game winner in OT. I think he was great, and would put him on my list for HOF. He will probably be the M hockey player whose NHL career I follow closest, unless one ends up on the Red Wings.

Porter is my next pick, but only because he won the Hobey Baker. If you have the hardware to back it up, I think that's probably good enough to be on the list. But other than that, I hardly remember him (mostly since he played before I was a student).

JMFJ: only stayed two years. I don't blame him for leaving, but I still don't think such a short career should be recognized in the HOF.

Hensick: I remember him as a great player, but not much else. Again, I wasn't a student or season ticket holder then, so I did not have the immersion in to the team as I do now. Objectively, he's probably better than Hagelin, but I don't remember any special aura about him, so I vote no.

NMU Blue

May 11th, 2012 at 12:15 AM ^

Tiny Jebus came in when all hope was lost and won his spurs. I can't add much more to the exceptional commentary above on him. For any detractors to his game, I'd like to point out that the North Dakota team he shut out was likely the best college team since our 2007 squad. Kid didn't just win the game, he turned water bottles into wine growlers. He is my #1 pick.

TJ was one of the sickest stick handlers I've ever seen. He was the second coming of Comrie when Mike was a once in a decade type of player. TJ had the swagger and aura that made other teams fear him. His likenesses all seem to skate at Miami now. He was so good Brian referred to Treais(sp?) as a poor man's version of him. TJ is my #2.

How can you go wrong with any of these guys?

duffman355

May 11th, 2012 at 1:40 AM ^

I am an alum, have been reading this site for a few years, and am also a huge fan of Brian's magizine.  I don't lend out my copies as I convinced others to purchase it themselves.  I finally decided to join as this is one of my favorite sites, and I think I would like a say in voting in members to Brian's HOF.  Also I leave two spaces after periods as I learned to type before 1995. 

GoBlueBalls

May 14th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

This hall of fame was made specially to enshrine Hunwick. He'll have a higher percentage than Novak or Hart.

When I think I Hensick, I think of a guy who could score at will, any time he had the puck, and often times, he would.

Haglin is worthy, but I might not vote for him this year. Wouldn't be upset to see him voted in.

JMFJ is legendary, but his brief career leaves him short of HOF status.

Sad to say I don't remember the Hobey Baker winner.