The first mention of the creation of a New Era Fantasy Hockey League Hall of Fame occurred on December 19, 2008, just over three years after the creation of the league itself. Not surprisingly, that first mention was by Saint Louis Blues general manager and Builder nominee Phil Lanthier. Equally unsurprisingly, that discussion quickly turned to discussion between Carter Toni and Mark Zabludovsky over the Hall-worthiness of certain forwards, and wrapped up with a declaration by one Kevin Fuhr that defensive defensemen were, “a dime a dozen.”
Perhaps no conversation better illustrates the fervor with which league general managers approach their franchise players, and their desires to see them enshrined for NEFHL eternity. And, so, it is with great fanfare that the NEFHL Hall of Fame Committee presents its inaugural selection process. As a part of this process, all thirty-one league general managers will have a chance to make their selections from hundreds of players who have retired prior to the 2015-16 season, regardless of number of games played. In subsequent selection periods, a minimum of 600 games will be required for skaters, and a minimum of 500 games will be required for goalies.
This list of eligible players will include such names as Joe Sakic (2009), Teemu Selanne (2014), Dany Heatley (2015), Martin St. Louis (2015), Daniel Alfredsson (2015), Ray Whitney (2015), Jason Arnott (2016), Kimmo Timonen (2015), Chris Pronger (2013), Scott Niedermayer (2010), Evgeni Nabokov (2015) and Martin Brodeur (2015).
Eligible players excluded from this year’s selection process by a vote of the Committee include Ilya Kovalchuk.
A partial list of eligible players (forwards with more than 400 games played and goalies with more than 200 games played) can be found here:
Players who receive 70% of votes from voting general managers will be inducted into the NEFHL Hall of Fame. Players receiving two or more votes during any selection period will remain on the ballot for the following selection period, for up to seven seasons. General managers may vote for as many selections as they choose, but are also entitled to submit a blank ballot to the Committee to demonstrate their opinion that none of the nominees are deserving of election to the Hall of Fame. All ballots must be submitted to the Hall of Fame Committee Office, addressed to Oilers-Jason, no later than 11:59PM ET on Sunday, August 19th, 2018.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is currently scheduled to take place prior to the opening of the preseason.
Time marches on, but history has a way of repeating itself.