You know, we here at NIHOF may have had Dino ranked as our #5 candidate but we didn’t think he was ever going to get in. Considering he has been eligible since 2002 and has the career statistics of a Hall worthy inductee, we just thought that he was the kind of guy that the Hall would look to avoid…or conveniently forget.
Statistically speaking Dino’s case should be open and shut. Dino had 608 goals and 1,200 career NHL points over a nineteen year career. His career goal total puts him sixteenth all time. Prior to his induction, that total put him behind Dave Andreychuk as the player with the most goals scored not yet in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ciccarelli is also number eight on career Power Play Goals scored, and ranked thirteen on career playoff goals. Dino also appeared in four NHL All Star teams which was no small feat, considering the offensive juggernauts that played in the 1980’s.
Ciccarelli may not have Stanley Cup Ring to his credit, but in 1980 he was a major part of the Minnesota North Stars unexpected run to the Cup Finals where as a rookie (who only competed in 32 games after being called up) he was the team’s top player and a huge reason that the overmatched North Stars got as far as they did. His ringless fingers were not from a lack of effort.
What may have kept Ciccarelli out for so long is the controversy that surrounded him. The most infamous incident was the one that landed him one day in jail when he attacked the Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman during a game with his hockey stick. Dino was also not the most friendly with reporters and in a game where hockey players are uniformly known for their off ice pleasantries, Dino was an exception to that rule.
It is the latter paragraph that may have kept Dino Ciccarelli out for so long. Remember, that all inductees are not necessarily equal. It is a huge honor to be inducted in the first year of eligibility (a select few have had the three year wait waived) and it is in this way that we “separate” Hall of Famers from each other. We don’t think that Dino was a first year inductee, but by no means should he have waited eight years. We are happy that Dino is in, but we are not thrilled that he had to be “taught a lesson” by waiting so long.
Congrats anyway, Dino. You deserve it!