After Colin Campbell, these Rangers most likely to make Hockey Hall of Fame

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2024 on Tuesday, which included former New York Rangers coach and 1994 Stanley Cup champion Colin Campbell.

Campbell was elected in the builders category, mainly for his work at the executive level in the NHL league office, where he’s currently an executive vice-president for the NHL and its director of hockey operations.

The former NHL defenseman was an associate coach with the Rangers under Roger Neilson for two seasons beginning in 1991-92. He then held the same position in 1993-94 under Mike Keenan when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.

After Keenan left the Rangers, Campbell replaced him as coach for three-plus seasons, before joining the League’s front office.

Campbell is the 65th person with Rangers ties in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He joins Henrik Lundqvist, enshrined in 2023, and Kevin Lowe, in 2020, as the most recent Blueshirt inductees.

In all, 55 players and 10 builders with a connection to the Rangers are in the HHOF.

Unless there’s a shift in thinking regarding Mike Richter, or even John Vanbiesbrouck, it could be a while before another Blueshirt gains entry into the Hall.

Related: Rangers showing ‘serious interest’ in Ducks forward: report

Rangers next options to join Hockey Hall of Fame

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

On the current roster, it’s a bit too early anoint Igor Shesterkin, Adam Fox or even Artemi Panarin a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. Shesterkin’s Vezina Trophy in 2022, Fox’s Norris Trophy the season before and Panarin’s sustained regular-season brilliance at least raise hopes each will one day reach the greatest of heights in the sport. Of course, some more hardware — the Stanley Cup (cough, cough) — would enhance each resume.

So, removing those three from the equation for now, let’s examine some options about who could be the next person with Rangers ties enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Quick is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and the winningest United States-born goalie in NHL history (393 wins). He has the second-most wins among active goalies (Sergei Bobrovsky, 396) and only 14 goalies are ahead of him on the all-time NHL wins list.

In short, he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day.

But for now, the 38-year-old is the No. 2 goalie for the Rangers behind Shesterkin, and had a renaissance season in 2023-24. So, there’s retirement talk just yet. But when he does hang ’em up, Quick will be immortalized in Toronto.

Patrick Kane

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane played only 26 games with the Rangers (19 regular season, seven playoffs) after they acquired him ahead of the 2023 trade deadline. Playing through a hip injury that required significant surgery following that season, Kane totaled 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) with the Blueshirts and eventually signed with the Detroit Red Wings last season.

Like Quick, though, Kane is a no-doubt Hall of Famer. He’s also a three-time Stanley Cup champion, one with a Hart Trophy, Calder Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Art Ross Trophy on his lengthy resume. With 1,284 career points, Kane trails only Mike Modano for most by a United States-born skater in the NHL.

An unrestricted free agent July 1, there’s been some talk about a Rangers reunion with Kane next season.

Doug Weight

NHL: New York Rangers at Edmonton Oilers
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of great United States-born players in NHL history, consider Doug Weight. Though not nearly as dynamic as Kane, Weight had 1,033 points in 1,238 games, eighth most by a U.S.-born skater in NHL history, five more than his former Rangers teammate Brian Leetch. The Rangers selected Wight in the second round of the 1990 NHL Draft and he played two seasons in New York before being shipped to the Edmonton Oilers for Esa Tikkanen, who helped the Blueshirts win the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Weight helped the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006 and won the King Clancy Trophy in 2011. Some consider him a compiler of stats since he only had one 100-point season and topped 80 points only three times. But he’s in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and has an outside shot at landing in Toronto.

Peter Laviolette

NHL: Stadium Series-New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Laviolette just led the Rangers to the most wins (55) and points (114) in franchise history. Not a bad start to his tenure on Broadway. But he’s been all about winning in his career. Laviolette is the winningest U.S.-born coach in NHL history, and seventh all-time, with 807 victories. He needs just 43 wins to pass Ken Hitchcock for sixth place all-time.

Laviolette led the Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup championship in 2006.

John Tortorella

NHL: New York Rangers at Minnesota Wild
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If we’re considering Laviolette, than John Tortorella must be included on this list too. The former Rangers coach, who now is behind the Philadelphia Flyers bench, is the second-winningest U.S.-born coach in NHL history, and ninth all-time, with 742 victories. He needs just 41 wins to pass Al Arbour for eighth place.

Tortorella guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2004.

Mike Keenan

Syndication: Westchester
Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal NewsCredit: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News

Mike Keenan is a more controversial, and debatable, Hall of Fame candidate. He famously led the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup championship and won 672 games as coach with eight teams, 15th most in League history. He’s the only NHL coach to take three different teams to the STanley Cup Final, though he only won with New York.

On the International stage, Keenan coached Canada to a Canada Cup championship in 1987 and won the Gagarin Cup with Metallurg in the KHL in 2014. He’s the only coach to win championships in both the NHL and KHL.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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