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World Cup teams made up of Hall of Famers


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I've been sitting on a spreadsheet for a while which has every HOF players' nationality: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1svnLxRamPAMFER-Fpj0NG98qr_H577HnrRwMoOzrKkU/edit?usp=sharing


Now the time has come to make the most of this by looking at what rosters could be put together out of Hall of Famers using only their nationality. Results are below:


:can: Canada (27 players) :can:


Jardy Bunclewirth – Unassisted – Zach Parechkin

Tom Lincoln – Ethan Osborne – Carl Jacobs

Josh Vestiquan – Kameron Taylor – Dust'n Funk

Brett Slobodzian – Alex McNeil – Matt Defosse

Devon Marlow-Marta


Sterling Labatte – Daniel Braxton

Black Velvet – Mitch Higgins

Elijah Incognito – Adam Schultz

Blake Beukeboom


Aidan Shaw, Benoit Devereux, CAL G, Rhett DeGrath, Brick Wahl, Markus King, Norris Stopko


In what should come as no surprise at all, Canadians dominate the VHL Hall of Fame and are by some distance the most common nationality, although only just recently has this led to a lead in gold medals at the World Cup. However, Canada has always been well represented, from Brett Slobodzian in the very first days of the VHL, to two of the most recent inductees in Markus King and Norris Stopko. Running 4 full forward lines and 3 defencemen pairings with two fine players in Marlow-Marta and Beukeboom who would be on the scratch list, there really is no weakness in a HOF Team Canada, but if you had to pick a strength, it would probably be in net, with 7 goalies inducted thus far, 4 of them arguably in the top 10 all time (Shaw, Devereux, G, and DeGrath).


Naturally, the talent pool shows no signs of drying up. Ay Ay Ron, Keaton Louth, and Jasper Canmore are recently retired Canadians in discussion for the HOF, while some of the league's finest active players (Matt Thompson, Beau Louth, Julian Borwinn, among others) will be eyeing a place on the ballot soon.


:usa: United States (18 players) :usa:


Gabriel McAllister – Thomas O'Malley – Bruno Wolf

Diana Maxwell – Mike Szatkowski – John Locke

Brannan Anthony – Kevin Brooks – Matt Bentz

Cam Fowler – Tom Slaughter – Jarvis Baldwin


Conner Low – Ryan Sullivan

Mason Richardson – Jake Wylde


Apollo Skye, Benjamin Glover


Canada's natural rival on the hockey seen, the US is a relatively late bloomer on the hockey scene and the VHL is no exception. Although the above roster features legends like Szatkowski and Brooks whose names grace current awards, some of the best Americans to lace up their skates in the VHL are in more recent memory – arguably some of the greatest players in their position like Gabriel McAllister, Thomas O'Malley, and Conner Low.


The US talent pool is a bit shallower on the defensive side, with only 6 goalies or defencemen in total, largely helped by a brief period from S29 to S40 when all 4 defencemen above declared for VHL drafts. However, the names on display would certainly hold their own against any other roster. There are few bonafide stars who might be added to the squad soon, with Alexander Pepper probably the biggest active name, but a new generation will surely come through in the coming seasons.


:gbr: United Kingdom (13 players) :gbr:


Leeroy Jenkins – Phil Gerrard – Brennan McQueen

David Smalling – Phil Rafter


Phil Hamilton – Jeff Hamilton

Matt Bentley – David Walcott

David Henman – David Night


Hans Wingate, Adrian McCreath


Somewhat surprisingly, the unheralded hockey nation of Great Britain is the third most represented country in the VHL Hall of Fame. That is, until you consider the clear influence of the Knight brothers, David and Phil, on the list of players above, both of whom have English heritage and have almost without fail brought British players into the league.


The UK has historically been included in other teams in the World Cup (Switzerland and more recently Europe or Western Europe), although did win four silver medals from S24 to S34 when the British influence was at its highest. In classic British fashion, this team would really struggle in net if its wasn't for the Scots, including possibly the greatest goaltender the VHL has seen in Wingate. The future outlook suggests a continued trickle of talent, with Podrick Cast the likeliest addition to round off the two forward lines, and Joseph McWolf and Finn Davison just behind him among active players.


:swi: Switzerland (10 players) :swi:


Matt Bailey – Scotty Campbell – Scott Boulet

Leander Kaelin – Branden Snelheid


Tomas Jenskovic – Alexander Sauve

Petr Shirokov


Sandro Clegane, Matthew Pogge


Switzerland was probably the single biggest trend in early days VHL as numerous members chose the nation to represent in the first 15 seasons of the league's existence. It was definitely a charge led by the legendary Scotty Campbell, whose successor was Tomas Jenskovic, and who was also the GM to move Avangard to Davos, Switzerland.


It was definitely a trend which didn't stand the test of time, as since Alexander Sauve and Matt Bailey retired in S19, the only Swiss Hall of Famer has been Sandro Clegane (S46-S52). The Alpine nation is currently represented in the VHL by Malmo's Mikka Pajari and Moscow's Owen May – two fine players, but unlikely to live up the standard set by the VHL's founding members.


:swe: Scandinavia (17 players) :fin:


Max Molholt – Grimm Jonsson – Tukka Reikkinen

Mikka Virkkunen – Lars Berger – Jukka Hakkinen

Odin Tordahl – Aksel Thomassen – Theo Axelsson

Zach Arce – Aleksi Koponen – Anton Brekker

Niklas Lindberg


Alexander Valiq – Fabio Jokinen

Mats Johnsson


Tuomas Tukio


Although a natural fit for hockey, Scandinavia (encompassing Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland) has actually done quite well at World Cups with the second most gold medals behind Canada, including a still standing record of 4 straight wins from S20 to S26. That's all the more impressive considering none of the 3 defencemen or goalie Tukio made their league debuts before S30.


It's certainly an attack-heavy part of the VHL world. Finland is most represented with 6 of the 17 inducted members, followed closely by Sweden on 5 and Denmark on 4. Norway contributes Odin Tordahl while the great Icelandic export was Grimm Jonsson, inducted back in S18. The current crop of Scandinavians is pretty traditional, led by Rauno Palo from Finland and Sebastian Ironside from Sweden, with younger players including the Swedes Dahlberg and Svoboda, and Joel Ylonen from Finland.


:ger: Western Europe (10 players) :eu:


Christian Stolzschweiger – Markus Strauss – Ansgar Snijider

Felix Peters – Lukas Muller


Jochen Walser – Joey Kendrick

Patrice Reynaud


Greg Clegane, Remy LeBeau


A part of the world dominated by Germany, which has actually provided the VHL with 6 Hall of Famers, joint-fifth with Finland, from the likes of Stolzschweiger and Kendrick in the very early days of the VHL to Lukas Muller more recently. The current Hall of Fame ballot includes another German forward in Tyson Kohler, although he has been waiting since S56 so his fate is very much up in the air.


Germany once competed as a separate World Cup nation and earned a silver medal in S10, but has more often combined forces with the UK as a (Western) European team. Other countries have had very ad hoc representatives, like France with Patrice Reynaud and Remy LeBeau, the Netherlands with Ansgar Snijider, and Ireland with Greg Clegane. Currently there are four Irishmen above 500 TPE (Mulligan, Baxter, Rift, and Wolfe), as well as Italian Paolo Nano and the Spaniard Elasmobranch Fish. Whether they will put their countries on the VHL map remains to be seen.


:rus: Rest of Europe (11 players) :un:


Volodymyr Rybak – Alexander Chershenko – Alexander Beketov

Pavel Koradek – Tarik Saeijs – Pietro Maximoff

Layken Heidt – Fredinamijs Krigars


James Bencharski


Alexander Labatte, Maxim Desny


The only major hockey nations not mentioned at this point are Russia and the Czech Republic, both of whom fall into this section. There are four Russians in the VHL Hall of Fame, from Alexander Beketov to more recently Alexander Labatte, with a possible resurgence happening right now led by Maxim Kovalchuk and the Russian contingent of the newly formed Moscow Menace.


The Czech Republic has barely ever been represented in the VHL in any shape, although goalie Jakab Holik has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for a few seasons now. The second biggest portion of this team is actually the 3 Ukrainians – long-time Calgary teammates Chershenko and Rybak, drafted in S27 and S28 – and the only Eastern European defenceman in the HOF; James Bencharski.


This part of the world is rounded off by Slovakia (Saeijs), Greece (Heidt), Latvia (Krigars), and Romania (Maximoff). Latvia has frequently had a presence in the league with Riga and now its Latvian GM whose goalie Kriketers is the likeliest contender for induction, while Romania's current finest is Veran Dragomir. He, along with the Slovenian Ryan Kastelic, however, have not had the careers to match their efforts thus far.


:un: Rest of the World (9 players) :merc:


Edwin Reencarnacion – Franchise Cornerstone – Lord Karnage

J.D. Stormwall – Bismarck Koenig – Xin Xie Xiao


Japinder Singh


Daisuke Kanou, Alex Gegeny


Finally, everyone who couldn't fit into any other category. The VHL's member base occasionally throws in some very exotic destinations in the mix and nine of the more unorthodox nations make up this 9-man roster, featuring Japan, China, India, New Zealand, Mongolia, Somalia, Namibia, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic.


On the current Hall of Fame ballot, Astrid Moon is a Japanese goaltender who might one day join the legendary Kanou and increase Japan's representation to two, while Oyorra Arroyo, in his final VHL season, might add another Caribbean Hall of Famer alongside the Dominican Reencarnacion. Reencarnacion's actual successor (or predecessor?) Preencarnacion is probably going to end up on the wrong side of the divide at this point however.


Lastly, resident Asian Terence Fong's current player is Tzuyu from Taiwan, also still with some Hall of Fame hopes. Although that rounds off the current exotic crop and this article, it will be interesting to see what other trends and destinations will develop in an ever growing VHL.

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12 hours ago, frescoelmo said:

You could've just called the UK Team Knight


Also, we were pretty close to an all-Coach line

That man was a true American patriot. Freedom McJustice deserves better.

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