Yeah, no doubt. Joe Thornton is going to the Hall of Fame. Slam dunk.
While no Stanley Cups, he does have an Olympic Gold Medal as well as two World Cup Gold Medals.
I realize that means more to me than a lot of people but it's the Hockey HOF, not just the NHL HOF. Those Gold medals are a huge accomplishment. Making one best-on-best Team Canada is tough enough, never mind being a mainstay for over a decade. And you still have to win - which he did three times.
He was an elite player for a good long time - and a champion.
Even without the international stuff, he's still an HOF'er. The HHOF is possibly the least fussy of the HOF's. They aren't going to keep out a guy with 1500 points in the NHL. No way.
Now should they be more fussy? And who is in that shouldn't be?
Mike Gartner is HOFer with 700 goals I would not have voted for.
I like the guy - but he was never, at any point, a top 20 player in the league. He was a consistent next-level player with some longevity in a high-scoring era. For me, a HOFer needs to be one of the best at something for a good length of time.
Dionne was definitely a top player in his day.
Counting Cups is a dubious thing anyway, particularly in hockey. That's how guys like Clark Gillies and Guy Lapointe get in. I don't wanna say they were just passengers on dynasty teams - they had value - respectable players - but if they had spent their careers with the Oakland Seals, they ain't in no HOF.