So, Mike Modano has been elected to hockey's Hall of Fame. I guessss he's a Hall of Famer. It's just that when I think Hockey Hall of Famer, Modano doesn't really jump out at me. Then again, neither do Clark Gillies, Bernie Federko, Dick Duff and many more. The hockey Hall is relatively easy to gain election (tell that to Eric Lindros), and because of that I don't really have a problem with Modano. I just would have put Mark Recchi in before him.
Recchi and Modano were both rookies in 1989/90 even though Recchi had played 15 games the previous season and they finished 5th and 2nd respectively in Calder Trophy voting (behind old-man Makarov). They both retired 21 years later. Modano was integral in the winning of his one Stanley Cup in 1999 and Recchi was a large part of winning three Cups. In Recchi's first Cup he finished second in scoring with 34 points behind only Mario Lemieux. Modano also was second in scoring during his Cup year as well as the following year when Dallas dropped the Final to New Jersey.
In regular season play Recchi garnered three Second Team All-Star selections to Modano's one. Recchi placed top-four in All-Star voting on three other occasions and Modano four other times. Modano had three top-ten finishes in Hart Trophy voting finishing seventh twice while Recchi had a sixth and a ninth place finish over his career. Internationally speaking, Modano helped the USA win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the following spring Recchi was a part of Canada's World Championship squad.
In terms of raw numbers, Recchi is 12th in career points with 1533 points and Modano 23rd with 1374. Modano never finished in the top five in scoring, his best being an 8th, 9th and 10th place. Recchi's best finishes in points were a 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Perhaps the most interesting comparison of the two is found on www.hockey-reference.com. The site has a category called Similarity Score in which they find players whose careers had "similar quality and shape". On Mark Recchi's page his most "similar" player is Stan Mikita, then next is Modano. On Mike Modano's page, his most similar player is, you guessed it, Mark Recchi.
In the end, Mike Modano is probably a deserving Hall of Famer it's just that I'm not sure if he deserves enshrinement before Mark Recchi.