Salute to Ronnie Franchise
A lot of writers are calling Mess 'the most complete player since Howe.' By complete, I assume they mean a combination of skill and violence. Francis was a very complete player in his own right. Fourth in the all-time scoring list, he lays claim to a Selke trophy.
The TSN article states:
"...with Igor Larionov retiring in April 2004, that makes five shoo-ins with only a maximum of four players allowed to be inducted per year."
The other three shoo-ins are Stevens, MacInnis and Messier. What the author of the article fails to realize is that 2004 was last year, making Larionov eligible a year ahead of this bumper crop.