Today’s piece is designed to help us decide if Patrik Elias will be worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame at the end of his career. I can tell you right now that this is going to end with “I don’t know” because honestly, I don’t know.
I realize I’m not raising a new question, but I think it’s a really interesting case.
To me, based on the standards of previous Hall entrants, Elias is sitting right on the bubble.
The 37-year-old, who signed a three-year contract with the Devils this summer, has 375 goals and 930 points in 1,090 career regular-season games, all with New Jersey. He has been just as good in the postseason, posting 45 goals and 125 points in 162 career games. Breaking it down to points per game, that’s 0.85 in the regular season and 0.77 in the playoffs.
Where do those numbers rank Elias as of today? Glad you asked. It’s a good question. The 0.85 number ranks him 138th all-time, while the 0.77 figure ranks him 120th all-time. In terms of totals, Elias’ 930 points rank him 92nd all-time, while his 125 playoff points rank him 45th all-time.
If Elias averages 70 games per season over the next three seasons and dips to 0.75 points per game over that time, he will (likely) finish his career at the age of 40 with 1,087 points. That will get him to the mid-70s on the all-time points list. Anything can happen with the Devils, but they don’t look very much like a playoff threat. Still, Elias should settle around the low-40s/high-30s in playoff points if the Devils can crack the postseason twice in the next three years.
That, of course, assumes a lot, including Elias not pulling a Teemu Selanne and sparking an #EliasForever movement that sees him play into his early-40s. If he plays beyond his current contract, he will amass even more goals and assists.
But let’s say that’s where the road comes to an end for Elias. What does 400-plus goals, nearly 1,100 points and two Stanley Cup rings – including 43 points in 48 playoff games when the Devils reached the Cup Final in 2000 and 2001 — mean to the Hall of Fame voters?
Numbers in a bubble don’t mean much, so let’s delve into Elias’ career a little deeper in the search for context. Read the rest of this entry »