After announcing his retirement from the NHL on Tuesday, the debate begins on whether or not goaltender Curtis Joseph is worthy of enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo's Puck Daddy, broke down the numbers on CuJo's career.
Based on the numbers, Cujo was one of the most impressive postseason netminders of the last 20 years, posting a career 2.42 GAA and .917 save percentage in the playoffs. That includes a 1.93 GAA for the 1998 Oilers and a 2.30 GAA during the Leafs' playoff run in 2002.
Never appeared in a Stanley Cup final, never won a Cup. But he was fourth all-time in regular-season wins (454), fifth in career games played (943), 20th in shutouts (51) and had a career 2.79 GAA and a .906 save percentage. Oh, and tied for most losses in NHL history with Gump Worsley (352). That too.
CBC Sports columnists Tim Wharnsby and Scott Morrison went back and forth on the issue as well and are in agreement on the subject, saying that while Joseph may not have won a Cup, he still has the credentials to be deserving a spot.
Wharnsby: Curtis Joseph will have his critics because he played in Toronto. They will point out that he never won a Stanley Cup, never played in a Stanley Cup final and is tied with Gump Worsley with 352 losses. But that lofty total didn't prohibit the Gumper from his entrance into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Morrison: I agree with you Tim. It says here that he is a Hall of Famer. No brainer. Everyone looks at numbers, but the numbers only tell a part of the story. As you pointed out, his wins put him in Hall of Fame company. Yes, his losses ties for the career lead, but that doesn't tell his story. He made average teams better. He gave his teams a chance to win and often took them farther into the playoffs than they might have deserved.
ESPN.com's Scott Burnside thinks the fact that CuJo has no Cup is enough to keep him out, citing that he apparently didn't have the ability to get a team over the top.
He helped St. Louis and Edmonton win playoff series they had no business winning back in the day, but never once played in a Stanley Cup finals series. He had the starting job for Canada at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and was replaced one game in by Martin Brodeur, who led Canada to gold. Joseph was the man twice in Toronto when the Leafs advanced to Eastern Conference finals in 1999 and 2002, but couldn't lead his team over Buffalo and Carolina (two teams that were there for the taking).
What do you think? Is Curtis Joseph worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame?