New Jersey Devils: It’s Time To Make Patrik Elias A Hall Of Famer

New Jersey Devils - Patrik Elias (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils - Patrik Elias (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils are one of the most storied NHL franchises despite being in existence for less than 30 years. With three Stanley Cups and a laundry list of legendary players and coaches who have called New Jersey home throughout their careers, there isn’t much to debate there. The franchise is best known for its suffocating style of play in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Players such as Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens, and Scott Niedermayer immediately come to mind leaving few accolades left for any of the club’s past offensive talent.

All of the aforementioned players have been honored by the Devils, their jerseys hang poetically from the Prudential Center rafters. Naturally, all three of them have a bust among our game’s greatest players in the Hockey Hall of Fame and it’s only a matter before they will be joined by another franchise icon.

Soon enough that elite trio of Devils’ HOFers will become a quartet. That is, once Patrik Elias gets his due and joins them in the HOF. There isn’t much debate about it – Patrik Elias will be in the Hockey Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.

The Devils all-time leading scorer also has his number retired at The Rock and is worthy of so much more than that. Many folks outside of New Jersey may not have had the opportunity to see Elias skate in his prime, so let’s fill you in on what you missed. His game was beautiful to watch. He had a fluidity in his skating ability. His mensa level hockey IQ was off the charts. The way he made players around him better was magical. The way he showed up in the biggest moments was legendary. The way he anchored New Jersey’s offense for nearly two decades was unparalleled.  He made watching Devils games an event.

Elias retired following the 2015-16 season. His impressive resume includes franchise records for most goals (408), assists (617), points (1,025), shots on goal (3,287), power-play goals (113), power-play points (333), shorthanded points (33), game-winning goals (80), and overtime winners (16). He also has the most goals (45), assists (80), points (125), power-play goals (21), power-play points (52) and shots on goal (444) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Devils. As if that isn’t enough, he is a two-time Stanley Cup winner playing a significant role in both championships.

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The Czech native’s impressive body of work doesn’t end there. If we dig deeper into his career stats, it becomes clear that he doesn’t just rank up there within the Devils organization, he ranks among the NHL’s all-time greats, and in some cases, his numbers are well above current HOF members. It’s only right that he too gets his due. Elias may not have been a first-ballot choice for most but entering his second year of eligibility it’s about time number 26’s name came up as a legitimate candidate to be enshrined among hockey’s best.

Imagine if he hadn’t lost significant playing time to his battle with hepatitis and labor disputes? Would there even be anything to debate? Arguments against Elias getting his just dessert aren’t worth your time. He’s a hero to Devils’ fans, and the way he embraced the state of New Jersey made him a real Garden State legend. Unlike Stevens, Brodeur, and Niedermayer, Elias would become the first Devil to enter the Hall having played his entire career in red and black.

Enough with the waiting game, just make it happen. Hopefully, the voting committee made the correct choice and allowed the greatest Devils forward of all time to take his rightful place among his Jersey brethren in Toronto.